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Heavy thumbs for Romney

Heavy thumbs for Romney

The Romney campaign expects to have the nomination all but wrapped up by the end of January The Washington Post reports, and is using surrogates like John McCain to push the narrative that if Romney wins the first three (or four) states, it’s over.  One of those wins, of course, was Iowa by 8 votes, and the second is in Romney’s virtual home state, New Hampshire.

The key, once again, is not convincing Republicans that Romney is the best nominee, but that he is the most electable, as the Post reports:

“I’m sure the campaign will scold me for setting any kind of expectations, but I do think Governor Romney will do very well,” [S.C. Treasurer and Romney state campaigh Chair Curtis] Loftis said. “People are calling me saying, ‘Curtis, I didn’t get it in August, but I get it now.’ People want to send Barack Obama back to Chicago, and while they like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, when they get into that ballot box they’ll say, ‘Do I want to finish in first place or last place?’ ”

There is almost no pushback in the conservative media to this narrative.  Bill Kristol has been a notable contrarian, and writes in the upcoming issue of The Weekly Standard (emphasis mine):

Mitt Romney, this year’s iteration of the establishment candidate, is a decent, serious, and in some ways impressive man. But it’s clear a lot of Republicans look at him, his campaign, and his advocates and see the ghosts of establishmentarians past. The question in this cycle has always been whether a viable challenger would emerge. We will now see, in the crucible of an intense campaign, whether Rick Santorum is up to the task of being that challenger. And we will also see whether the establishment will be able to put so heavy a thumb on the scales that voters will think the race is over before it has even really begun….

Santorum—and anyone else in the field, or anyone who may still enter—deserves “an open field and a fair chance” to compete for the “big White House” that Lincoln occupied. All American history is saying, and all we are saying, is . . . give Rick a chance.

The electability narrative is a false narrative, as I have explained many times and will continue to explain in further posts:

Romney will win New Hampshire, but I hope the voters of South Carolina have the fortitude to tell the Romney campaign and its surrogates to get their thumbs off the scale.

Update: While the collective wisdom of the conservative punditry is that Romney is inevitable and most electable, there have been a handful of contrary voices such as Michael Walsh at National Review:

It’s instructive to note that Romney has gained not at all from the successive collapses of the second-tier candidates, and that while it may have just been dumb luck on Santorum’s part to be the last man standing, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Does anyone doubt that had Rick Perry not proven himself to be a tongue-tied imitation of George W. Bush that he would have put Romney away handily? It wasn’t Perry’s position on immigration that did him in, it was his sheer ineloquence.

The Mittbots might want to ask themselves this: if Romney is so great, why did Santorum — a guy who was barely a blip on the radar screen a couple of weeks ago — come out of nowhere to nearly nip him at the wire, while Mitt stayed stuck at . . . 25 percent?

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And as soon as Romney “wraps up” the nomination, the WH will flip the “all systems go” switch which will notify the media to release the dirt on Romney. They (the media) will be relieved because it will “free up” space for the Obama dirt which they’ve had to “store” (suppress) offsite due to the abundance of same.

That article says Romney’s team is working towards getting the nomination in four states, but you’re post says they’re EXPECTING to get it in four states. Your posts have gotten so biased and flat out wrong it’s sickening. You keep trying to make his ambition in trying to get the nomination appear as cockiness, like he expects it or thinks he deserves it, because you know ambition is looked on positively while cockiness is looked on negatively.

Of course he thinks he will eventually get the nomination, if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be running. Newt also thinks he’ll be the nominee, yet you never try to portray him as being cocky.

    dmacleo in reply to Awing1. | January 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/romney-surrogate-nh-primary-it-s-not-even-about-picking-someone-your-own-beliefs-and

    New Hampshire State Sen. Gary Lambert, speaking for the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, told the Nashua New Hampshire Republican City Committee that this year’s first-in-the-nation primary is not about liking a candidate, “It’s not even about picking someone with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”
    “Rather than go on with the blah, blah, blah. I’d like to get right to the point. Which is–Look, we know how this movie is going to end. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee,” Lambert said.
    “This is not about picking your favorite, it’s not about picking someone you like. It’s not about picking someone even with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”
    Earlier Lambert said, “The way I look at it, the sooner we get it over with the better. We can save the money because in the end, guess who we’re after? We’re after Barack Obama.”

    really ????

      Awing1 in reply to dmacleo. | January 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Yep, Romney’s camp has said he’ll eventually get the nomination. Newt himself has said that he’ll be the nominee. That’s a lot different than the false statement of the Professor that Romney’s camp said they expect the nomination after four states.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Awing1. | January 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “Romney’s top aides said privately that they see a four-state streak within reach but publicly dismissed any suggestion of a coronation.” Sounds like “expecting” is a fair description.

      Not even close to fair. Within reach suggests it’s possible, not that it’s expected.

        WarEagle82 in reply to Awing1. | January 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        TILTON, N.H. — After preparing for a drawn-out nominating battle that would stretch well into the spring, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is now quietly shifting gears in an effort to steamroll his underfunded opponents — and lock up the Republican nomination by the Florida primary at the end of this month.

        So they are pursuing a strategy the don’t expect to accomplish? Is English your native language?

          Awing1 in reply to WarEagle82. | January 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

          There’s a difference between pursuing a strategy to try to win in four states, and walking around saying you expect to win in four states. They never said they expect to win in four states, not once, because that would be cocky.

          I don’t expect to be first in my class, but I’m sure as hell going to try. If I said “boy with how I’m doing, being first in my class is within reach”, that be different from me saying “I expect to be first in my class”. One is something you’d expect from an ambitious person, the other is what you’d expect from an entitled prick. The professor is making false statements portray Romney as the latter, and I think it’s wrong.

      Oh, and there’s this quote from Romney himself, in response to the latest NH polls:

      “I know some pollsters say I’m doing real well. Let me tell you, those polls, they can just disappear overnight,” he said. “What you say to a pollster is a bit like going on a date. It’s like well, I might try this but you know, getting married, that’s something else. So we need to make sure you’re working real hard and I’ll keep working real hard.”

      Sounds a bit milder than what is portrayed here, and certainly milder than what Gingich was once saying about his own lead.

Funny, Bill Kristol was saying the night of the Iowa caucuses that Bachmann, Huntsman, Perry should all just drop out and clear the field. Clear the field for who? Call me when Bill Kristol stops being part of the establishment he is now railing on. He was the same guy that backed the McCain/Kennedy Shamnesty Bill, for heaven’s sake.

Sure, the Romney campaign is going to put out the meme that if he takes NH it is all over. Too bad the delegate count won’t support that. Mitt came out of Iowa with six delegates. A total sweep in NH will give him 18 (which won’t happen because NH is proportional). That’s a long way from 1,143 delegates needed to take the nomination. Mitt has to project an attitude that he’s the Chosen One, although most voters have not had a say in it.

But Rick Santorum is feeling his oats, and he is not going down without a fight. And neither is Newt. All of Mitten’s dirty laundry is going to surface. His nomination of Democrats for the Ma bench, his cozyness with a number of people who now work for Obama (Holdren, Foy, et al). His issuance of marriage licences for same-sex couples in spite of a court order that said it was up to the Massachusetts legislature. The other candidates have nothing to lose by pointing out Mitten’s unmitigated liberalism.

Obama ran on “Change You Can Believe In.” Mitt should run on “No Change.”

The imminence of Romney’s candidacy is like some kind of Groundhog Day grotesquerie for conservatives, or the cruel spit in the face by a royalist RINO ancien regime on its death bed. Romney is a self-parody of nearly limitless possibility for the Left, a stuttering and affectatious composite of the worst features of republicanism from a burlesque, the bumbling burgher the Left will deposit in the metaphorical tumbrel or drag out into the mob to be drawn and quartered. The Left will cut out his liver, blend it into foie gras and serve it on saltines for the masses.

But something else will happen, I think. When this goes to the convention I predict a spontaneous peristaltic reaction from the base, a total conservative internal convulsion. Romney will not emerge from this convention.

“It’s not even about picking someone with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”

The expedient and deluded thinking of the RINO, once more. By picking someone without “your own beliefs and principles,” you will in fact be picking the one person who WILL NOT and CANNOT beat Obama. Period.

    Darkstar58 in reply to raven. | January 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Yep, that’s what they tell us

    …and we should listen, you know, because the GOP Establishment really does know exactly what we need and what is best for us and all *facepalm*

BurkeanBadger | January 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

This narrative is correct. If Romney wins South Carolina it is effectively over. He will then win Florida (barring a major scandal). The Florida win will seal the deal. Only once in the modern era has a Republican candidate won the first four primaries/caucuses yet still face a stiff challenge after that (Gerald Ford in 1976; and, he still narrowly won the nomination).

At that point, there will be little practical reason for any of his opponents to continue fighting. He will have proven himself in: small states (Iowa, New Hampshire), large states (Florida), in the midwest, the northeast and the south, in states with high proportion of evangelicals (Iowa, South Carolina) and in a state that is relatively secular (New Hampshire), in states that are overwhelmingly white, non-hispanic (Iowa, New Hampshire), in a state with a large African-American population (South Carolina) and in a state with a large Hispanic population (Florida), in a state with higher than average household incomes (New Hampshire), just about median (Iowa) and lower than average (South Carolina).

Expect this to quickly turn into an avalanche as far as endorsements. I was a little surprised that McCain endorsed so early. But after a New Hampshire win, several big GOP names will come out for Mitt. After a South Carolina win, far more. I know endorsements from the “establishment” don’t carry as much weight as you’d think. But I expect an unestablishment figure such as Sarah Palin to at least tacitly endorse Romney at this point.

I know many of you believe the “conservative establishment”, in cohoots with the MSM is building up Romney’s aura of inevitablility. And, they are to some extent. But you know what will strengthen this aura more than they ever could? Romney winning, over and over and over!

Oh, but he might have only won a plurality in each state! A majority of Republicans still voted against him. Yes, but a larger majority voted against all the other candidates. The anti-Romneyites have had ample, ample opportunity to unite. Thus far, they have failed to do so. Ultimately, someone has to be the nominee and “Not Romney” is not a candidate

If the anti-Romney contingent truly wants to stop him, their only hope is to stop him in South Carolina. This is still very possible, but not with the number of candidates who remain. They have to unite behind someone. Someone (probably Gingrich) will have to drop out after New Hampshire and make an endorsement of one of the remaining not-Romneys.

    retire05 in reply to BurkeanBadger. | January 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I suggest you take a math course. If Romney were to sweep every early primary, including those on Super Tuesday, he would only have 820 delegates, 323 short of the needed number to take the nomination.

    But he won’t sweep every primary, and only came out of Iowa with 6 delegats. A sweep in NH would give him 18 (but NH, like Iowa, is proportional), SC 25 and Florida 50. That is a total of 115 delegats, but Romney has already lost 22 delegates in Iowa. Best case senario is at the end of SC he winds up with 93.

    A loss of any of the major delegates states on Super Tuesday, and he still won’t be able to pull it off by the end of March. That takes us into the first week of April with Texas (a big gun) that holds 155 delegates.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Romney is not going to carry the evangelical Bible-belt Midwest or the Deep South. He’s betting on the momentum out of Iowa, and counting on unimportant New Hampshire. But he did that in 2008, and by February 7, 2008, he dropped out. Huckabee threw his support to McCain, and Romney was history.

    Having the guy who lost the general last time endorse you may seem like a good idea to Mittens, but for a lot of Republicans, who resent McCain’s pathetic campaign in ’08, it is the kiss of death. McCain’s endorsement only ties Romney to McCain’s disasterous McCain/Kennedy Shamnesty Bill where Americans spoke out so loudly (shutting down the Congressional switch board for the first time ever) it was defeated.

    Mittens has basically remained unscathed by the press, on both sides, because he is the epitome of everything that represents the status quo and they don’t want to rock the boat. But that is all about to change. As it was said, Newt and Rick Santorum have nothing to lose by exposing Romney for what he is; a big government, nanny state RINO whose motto should be “No Change.”

    Henry Hawkins in reply to BurkeanBadger. | January 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    In 2008, Romney won 11 of 31 primaries – precisely none of them south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Implications of rule changes for GOP nomination

The following rule was adopted by the Republican Party back in August 2010:

“Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the national convention which occurs prior to the first day of April in the year in which the national convention is held, shall provide for the allocation of delegates on a proportional basis.”

“One notable exception to this rule is Florida, which got approval to remain a “winner take all” state. So Florida will be very important.”

“In 2008, the Republican primary contest was decided quickly and relatively painlessly only because there were winner-take-all rules at the time. Those rules have been changed. If you take the current proportional delegate rules and apply them to the results of the 2008 race through Feb 5th, when the race was still heavily contested, something very surprising happens. John McCain, who took a commanding lead under the winner-take-all rules in effect in most states, instead ends up behind Mitt Romney by eight delegates (with a confidence factor of plus or minus 5 delegates.) The standings, with more than half the delegates decided, would have been as follows.” (Daily Kos)

Romney 439
McCain 431
Huckabee 247
Other 114

The myth of proportional representation in the GOP primaries:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-myth-of-proportional-representation-in-the-gop-primaries/2011/12/26/gIQABv0nIP_blog.html

A state by state breakdown:

http://frontloading.blogspot.com/2011/12/republican-delegate-allocation-rules.html

It seems to be clear as mud. The timescale and complex rules favor candidates with money and organization.

The bookmakers and election markets take:

Irish bookmaker odds for 2012 election:

Republican Presidential Nomination
1/5 Mitt Romney
10/1 Rick Santorum
14/1 Ron Paul
16/1 Newt Gingrich
20/1 Jon Huntsman
50/1 Rick Perry

Next President
8/11 Barack Obama
13/8 Mitt Romney
20/1 Hillary Clinton
25/1 Ron Paul
25/1 Rick Santorum
33/1 Newt Gingrich
40/1 Jon Huntsman
100/1 Rick Perry

http://northernohiolocalpolitics.blogspot.com/2012/01/betting-odds-for-gop-nomination-and.html

http://iemweb.biz.uiowa.edu/graphs/graph_RCONV12.cfm

http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/?eventId=84328

    retire05 in reply to Viator. | January 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Ummm, South Carolina is winner-take-all, not proportional. And the biggest loss for the early primary states was not the winner-take-all change, but the loss of half their delegates. Florida was reduced to 50 from its normal 99.

    No one can take the nomination by Super Tuesday. And not even after that. Of course, the Romney pimps don’t want you to know that, but Carl Cameron was explaining it on Fox the other day, the only time I have heard it explained on ANY channel.

Romney and the establishment Republicans are one thing –we not agree with them, but as a principle of small “d” democracy they have the right to do what they do– but it’s the Dems and the MSM who are spinning the pro-Romney narrative to influence who the Repubs pick so as to get the nominee they most want to run against, which is detestable. The Dems have finally figured out how to use the MSM to get their way, by submarining their opponents.

huskers-for-palin | January 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

The primaries in the South, minus Florida, will not be friendly and receptive to Romney unless he quashes the other campaigns by then. In terms of regional politics, the Romney campaign, surrogates, and its “talking-head” allies understand that Romney won’t play well if they are still competing against a Santorum or Gingrich.

I still believe all the Romney hand-wringing is way overblown. He certainly is not my first choice, but he is as qualified a candidate running for POTUS as there has ever been. He can be salvaged from a conservative standpoint by a solid VP selection such as Rubio.

Offered a choice between economic competence with Romney/Rubio or four more years of rudderless crisis management with Obama/Biden, I think America will chose the former more often than not.

Everyone just needs to chill out and not panic. The goal is the defeat of Barack Obama. After that, then we can get picky.

    Darkstar58 in reply to Jaydee77. | January 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    – Romneycare (after 30+ years of Dems trying to pass it)

    – Cap & Tax (Romney bragged: “Massachusetts is the first and only state to set CO2 limits on power plants.”)

    – single highhandedly allowed Gay Marriage (while Dems complained they should ignore the completely unconstitutional court hearing Romney cites as the reaason)

    – gave Planned Parenthood 5 Billion to build abortion clinics

    – gave free abortions through Romneycare (with merely a $50 co-pay)

    – forced Catholic hospitals to give out birth control

    – Planned Parenthood placed on Oversight Committee

    – one of tougher gun laws in country made permanent and vague

    – 3/4 of judge appointments Democrat or agenda-driven Independents (Romney bragged: “(I have) not paid a moment’s notice to nominee’s political leanings.”)

    – ensuring sanctuary cities get state aid

    – Raised taxes from 9.3% to 9.9% overall over his time

    – Doubled corporate tax rate

    – 100s of new “sin” taxes, consumption taxes and carbon taxes (including increasing gas tax, internet sales tax, tax on hunting licenses, etc)

    – so much regulation, state only saw 1.4% growth while the Country as a whole witnessed 5.4% over the same time

    …Yep, Romney is as qualified as any single Democrat you can find walking the planet. He has, after all, a Governing record which Obama only wishes he could tout…

    raven in reply to Jaydee77. | January 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Wrong. Get picky, get angry and get active. Don’t settle for this multiple-choice mountebank.

    There is nothing whatsoever in his past to suggest he could or would or will beat Obama. And he won’t.

This is not about picking your favorite, it’s not about picking someone you like. It’s not about picking someone even with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”

In other words, it’s about beating Obama, beliefs, principles, and even likeability be damned… sounds like the perfect rationalization for recommending the nomination of Hillary!

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