Mitt Romney's Biggest Fans

As this Politico piece notes, Mitt Romney didn't convince many critics of his Massachusetts health care overhaul in his speech yesterday. Those who didn't like RomneyCare before the speech still didn't like it afterwards—and quite a few folks seemed to like Romney even less for refusing to back away from his plan.

As a political play, then, it's hard to see the speech as anything but a disaster for Romney, who clearly would like to be the GOP's next presidential nominee: Few Republican primary voters will ever see the whole mid-afternoon speech, which wasn't even broadcast on the cable news networks. But they will hear quite a bit of loud criticism of it from those who remain unconvinced by Romney's continued defense of the Bay State's mandate-and-subsidy driven health care plan. At best, Romney's approach might play well with independents, who tend to like compromise. But that won't matter if he doesn't win the nomination, which now seems all but impossible. If opposing ObamaCare in any form is a priority for the conservative base that votes in GOP primaries, then I suspect voting against Romney will be too. 

Still, Romney did manage to win plaudits from at least one influential political institution: The White House. Speaking to reporters earlier today, Obama administration press secretary Jay Carney had nice things to say about Romney and the Massachusetts health care overhaul he passed: "We have said before that health care reform that then Governor Romney signed into law in Massachusetts is in many ways similar to the legislation that resulted in the Affordable Care Act...we obviously feel that Massachusetts took a smart approach towards health care reform.” 

Read my not-so-enthusiastic take on Romney's speech here

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  • ||

    I'm surprised that anyone thinks of him as a serious candidate. He got clobbered last time around without the barking albatross that he's now sporting around his neck. I think people think he looks kinda presidential, and that's the end of the analysis. By "people", of course, I mean the media.

  • ||

    He lost last time around because independents and Dems flooded the GOP primaries to vote for McCain, and the fundies turned out in droves to vote for the Huckster.

  • &||

    He lost last time because he was perceived as a phony, nothing more than the product of polls and focus groups. Voters want candidates who are fighters and seem genuine even if they have no other particular outstanding quality. Witness the enthusiasm over Jesse Ventura, Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain. No doubt there was some tainting of the primary process, but, ultimately, Romney was the problem with Romney.

  • ||

    It took guts to come out and stick to what he did in Mass. with healthcare. The easy thing to do would be to disavow just like all the other potential candidates have done so far. He's the only one that has had the guts to stick to his decisions. Don't get me wrong...he's no knight in shining armor, but he's better than the rest. As an independent, he's the only GOP potential that I will vote for. If anyone else get the nom, then I will stay home. I bet alot of other independents feel similar.

  • &||

    What exactly will Romney do if is he is elected President? Hard to say until the time comes and his poll-consulting political handlers tell him what he should do. Core principles? What are those?

    Not completely disavowing RomneyCare may have been the bravest thing that Mitt has ever done in his life ... or not. It may just be a part of some strategy that his handlers cooked up for him.

    Please name for me a few "brave" things that Romney did while in elected office so that I can become a Romney groupie too.

  • ||

    Which candidate do you support, ampersand person? With a little effort I'm pretty sure I can come up with some invective full of innuendo topped with paranoia against them too.

  • &||

    Just because I think all the candidates suck doesn't invalidate my opinion of Romney.

    Invective? Not in my post.
    Innuendo? Perhaps a little. I don't think characterizing Romney as an empty suit is saying anything controversial, but others might think so.
    Paranoia? Nope. Not in my post.

    Are there any other mischaracterisations that you would like to hurl my way? Never mind. You bore me.

  • ||

    Paranoia? Nope. Not in my post.

    It may just be a part of some strategy that his handlers cooked up for him.

  • ||

    Paranoia? Nope. Not in my post.

    It may just be a part of some strategy that his handlers cooked up for him.

    and then of course there's your theory that pollsters are publishing false results to make politicians happy below.

  • ||

    Paranoia? Nope. Not in my post.

    It may just be a part of some strategy that his handlers cooked up for him.

    and then of course there's your theory that pollsters are publishing false results to make politicians happy below.

  • JoshINHB||

    Core principles? What are those?

    Not true,

    Romney sincerely believes that he is the smartest guy in any room and that he must be president to restore his family honor (or something). He also believes that government in the right hands(his)can solve problems. And he does that by getting alot of really smart people together to make decisions for the peons, whether they like them or not.

    A mediocre egomaniac with daddy issues. What could possible go wrong?

  • Federal Dog||

    No: He, like Obama, lacks the intelligence and character to admit even his most obvious and destructive errors.

    That makes him far worse than other people running/talking about running.

  • JoshINHB||

    If anyone else get the nom, then I will stay home.

    If Romney gets the nom I'll definitely vote 3rd party or stay home.

    He's the worst kind of pos establishment republican. It'd be better for conservatives to have four more years of Obama than that asshole.

  • ||

    He lost last time because he was perceived as a phony, nothing more than the product of polls and focus groups.

    Please explain this.

    I hope you're not saying this in reference to gun rights and abortion and such; you don't need a poll or a focus group to tell you what most Republicans expect on those issues.

  • &||

    He changed his purported beliefs to conform to "what most Republicans expect" so he is a phony who is either dishonestly concealing his true beliefs or has none. Either way voting for pols like Romney is like voting for a question mark and since he changes his rhetoric to suit the political situation or climate of discourse, a vote for him is a vote for the status quo.

  • JoshINHB||

    Mutt could have said that he supported gun rights without claiming to be a lifelong hunter, but only fo varmints not cute animals that enviros love.

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/.....int-hunter

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1ZTIbr8MuY

  • asdf||

    You actually like Mitt? Explain imo

  • TRTB||

    One of the (perceived) best qualifications for being a CEO, is having previously been a CEO. Doesn't matter that much whether the previous effort was a failure. You are qualified to be a CEO because you were qualified to be a CEO. Same effect here?

  • ||

    That's one of the great truths of American business today. Get up to the executive level, and you've got a meal ticket for life. I've worked with some brutally incompetent people who keep getting high-level, high-paying jobs, even after termination for being idiots.

  • Tman||

    Yeah, I see this all the time in my experience as well and it drives my fucking crazy.

    One would think a giant corporation would do some due diligence to see if the candidate CEO was actually you know, a GOOD CEO OR NOT, before entrusting them the company keys. That way they can avoid having their company run in to the dirt, sorta exactly like the CEO did with the last company.

    You'd be wrong though. It's pretty sad.

  • cynical||

    Professional courtesy.

  • &||

    Keep in mind that part of the selection process is to pick someone who has suffered through a disaster. The last thing a big organization wants is someone who will curl up into the fetal position or otherwise become paralyzed into inaction or impetuous behavior in the face of a tough situation. Hiring a CEO who has had the midas touch everywhere they have been increases that the chance that the company will end up with a CEO exhibiting erratic behavior at the very time when a steady hand is needed.

  • marlok||

    I hope no one ever asks you to recommend a good surgeon.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Doubling down on defending ones failures seems very presidential to me.

  • WarrenT||

    I find it impossible to get more than 3-4 lines into a Mittard article. The more I read the less alive I feel. Mitt Romney sucks the life out of me. In fact just writing this comme

  • Joe M||

    Between this and the Mormon thing, he hasn't got a prayer.

  • Jerry||

    Is Romney's secret campaign tactic to run in the Democratic primary?

  • ||

    Again showing that the Obama administration is terrified of having to run against Romney next year.

    I didn't know that Reason was objectively pro-Huckabee.

  • asdf||

    I'm pretty sure most people think they both suck cocks. I hope Huck runs and splits the retard vote.

  • &||

    At best, Romney's approach might play well with independents, who tend to like compromise.

    Way to shill for the political establishment, Peter. Independents are not an ideologically monolithic group nor are they static in membership. The meme that independents just want politicians to get along and compromise by enacting policies that are somewhere between the big government policies of the Dems and the big government policies of the Repubs is a convenient idea for the statists, but is questionable in its accuracy.

    Many voters who support the tea party movement label themselves as independents. Do you really think they want policies which are some kind of wishy-washy mish-mash of D and R policies? I think not. Some independents are members of the professional left who are upset with what they see as a continuation of Bush's policies by Obama. Do they want D and R compromise policies?

    And please don't try to tell me that "public opinion polls" prove that voters want comity and compromise. Polling companies are servants of the political class and gain in power, wealth and influence when government grows. Like any consulting business, a polling company knows that telling a client what that client wants to hear helps to keep that client happy. I'm not saying that all public opinion polls are inaccurate, but they tend to be talked about more than they should be, probably because they provide material for the 24/7 babble of the commentariat. There are good reasons to believe that there is a systemic bias to public opinion polls in the direction of the desires of the political class which is a bias toward statism. "Independents want civility and compromise" fits that pattern of bias.

  • ||

    Polling companies are servants of the political class and gain in power, wealth and influence when government grows. Like any consulting business, a polling company knows that telling a client what that client wants to hear helps to keep that client happy.

    I'm not saying that all public opinion polls are inaccurate

    Looks like Romney's not the only one with a flip-flop problem.

    If you have evidence that poll results have been fabricated, give it. If you have problems with the questions or methodology, explain them. If all you have is innuendo, I don't want to hear it.

  • &||

    I didn't say that all poll results are fabricated or even that any poll result has been fabricated, I merely asserted that it is reasonable to believe that there is an overall systemic bias of polls in favor of the results desired by the political class. It is well-known the results of polls can be dramatically influenced by their wording, the context in which they are asked, by asking priming questions before the key question for which the results are reported to the media. Of course, not asking certain questions is also used to deliberately create a distorted view of public opinion on issues.

    Abortion provides a good case of how polls can be manipulated to promote agendas. Asking people whether it should be permissible to place legal restrictions on terminating the life of a child in the womb generates different poll results than asking people if they think that a woman's reproductive rights should be legally restricted.

    An example of distortion by question omission in the case of abortion is revealed by a poll conducted in the 90s which asked whether or not it was wrong for a woman to get an abortion just because her pregnancy might interfere with her career or her education. As I recall, 68% of respondents answered yes. The poll was memorable to me because it revealed a strong moral opposition to the majority of abortions performed in the US by asking a question which I have never seen asked at any other time. The political class either supports the legality of abortion or it does not want to fight politically against it, so the aforementioned question doesn't get asked in the frequent polling performed on abortion.

    Of course, when poll results don't match up with the results of actual elections or ballot initiatives, then the polls have to be taken with a grain of salt. When the same kind of poll is inaccurate in the same way in many different elections, then it is reasonable to believe there is a bias to the polling that the polling companies are not correcting. An example of this, near and dear to the hearts of H&R, are polls regarding support for gay marriage. I remember polls in the 80s declaring support for gay marriage building. Thirty years later, there are still such polls.

    Poll results in the 90s, I think, purporting to show that Hawaiians supported pending legislation allowing gay marriage were reported accompanied by extensive commentary explaining how Hawaii was more culturally diverse and tolerant than other US States. The legislation was voted down by a wide margin. Why? Because the Hawaiian State legislators knew that the published polling was wrong and their constituents did not support the legislation.

    Whenever gay marriage has actually been put to a vote, the results of the vote don't match the results of the polls. The American people don't want to allow gay marriage, but published public opinion polls constantly suggest or are spun to suggest that opposition to gay marriage is weak. The politicians know the true views of the voters. That's why progress on legalizing gay marriage has come through the judiciary.

    It is revealing to note, too, that when an election is at stake, politicians of both parties reject supporting gay marriage. The DOMA passed easily with bipartisan support with no real opposition and Clinton signed it without hesitation and Obama campaigned for Prez as being against gay marriage. That suggests that the internal polling of Clinton and Obama showed that the American people firmly opposed gay marriage despite publicly released poll results suggesting indifference or wavering opposition. Why the disparity between private polling results and publicly published results? Because the political groups who pay for the publicly released polls are trying to drive public opinion. The polling companies know what the pols want and provide the results appropriately.

    I realize these examples won't convince you, Tulpa, but what the hell do you expect? A marketing brochure from Gallop bragging that they will generate whatever results are desired? I'm not even suggesting that bias in polling is even conscious. National politicians, pollsters, pundits and media persons, are all part of the same subculture most of the members of which live in the same cities or even neighborhoods and spend most of their time talking to one another. It shouldn't be surprising if that subculture evolves a set of assumptions about the world that don't necessarily match that of the bulk of the country. When poll results don't match those assumptions, then the results are not published or are discarded or are explained away. When poll results don't match voting results, the disparity is chocked up to some "unexpected" turnout or some such thing.

  • ||

    Every reputable polling firm provides a list of questions asked and a summary of the selection method when they publish a poll. If you think the results of a particular poll are biased due to these concerns, dig into the data for that poll and explain why.

  • ||

    I'm not even suggesting that bias in polling is even conscious.

    When poll results don't match those assumptions, then the results are not published or are discarded or are explained away. When poll results don't match voting results, the disparity is chocked up to some "unexpected" turnout or some such thing.

    And here's the paranoia again, accompanied by a denial of the paranoid belief. If they're throwing out results they don't like, that's a conscious decision. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

  • Robert||

    Polling is not that hard. I've done some of my own, and I've also done surveys for survey firms. Why don't you do some polling yourself if you think you can do better? But I bet the faults you find in them, you turn out to have on your own too.

  • Wind Rider||

    Anecdotal evidence indicates most people think of Herpes and Romney in the same terms. Annoying as shit, and no matter what, just keeps coming back. Aside from Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review, who wets her chair at the mention of the Mittster's hair stylist, I have yet to meet an actual, real life human being that actually likes the guy. Haven't met Lopez either, but that's probably for the best, all round.

  • Wind Rider||

    o/t, but. . .
    Banner ad at the top "Should Sarah Run?"

    Why not, she hasn't quit in the middle of something for a while yet, probably just itching to. . .

  • ||

    You don't have to like him. He's running for president, not drinking buddy.

  • &||

    Public opinion polls prove that voters will always vote for the politician who is most "likeable" and polls don't lie.

  • ||

    Got a link for that "always" statement?

  • ||

    Wow this makes a whole lot of sense dude. Wow.

    www.anon-toolz.se.tc

  • Mike M.||

    But that won't matter if he doesn't win the nomination, which now seems all but impossible.

    I wish you were right, but unfortunately you're wrong. Romney is the front-runner in spite of the awful Massachusetts health care law.

  • ||

    Who knows...Maybe Obama will dump Biden and make Romney his running mate in 2012. Seems fitting.

  • ||

    I'm not clear on this - is it Romney's repellent sliminess that appeals? Is it his obvious phoniness? Is it his total lack of character and integrity? Is it his self serving ambition?

  • Republican Establishment||

    We love all those, why pick just one.

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  • Robert||

    Huckabee's not running, Christie says he's not running, Romney can't get much GOP support, Trump's a joke, Palin has high negatives, Paul has a ceiling on his support...do the Republicans have anyone who wants to run and can beat Obama, or should they just wait until 2016?

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