Mitt Romney

"Wings" to Go

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On the Nevada leg of his doomed quest for the White House, Mitt Romney said this:

"I believe conservatives across the nation and particularly in states where I have been able to take my message, like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Michigan and Florida and Nevada, that conservatives that have heard me time and again recognize that I do speak for the Republican wing of the Republican Party," Romney said.

The AP's account points out that Howard Dean used the same formulation—"Democratic wing of the Democratic party" in March 2003, clubbing the then-Democratic frontrunners for approving the Iraq War and caving in to George W. Bush. (Dean rival and Florida Sen. Bob Graham sniped that he was from the "electable wing of the Democratic Party." Graham was last seen cleaning tables at the Applebee's in Largo, off U.S. 19.) The taxonomy is more interesting than that, though. Dean borrowed the phrase from the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, the Minnesotan liberal who'd died in a plane crash in October 2002. In his obit for Wellstone, Fred Barnes explained why that description mattered.

He used to describe himself as a member of the "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party"–the left wing. But why would conservatives express admiration? The answer is he was an honest liberal, a rare breed in Washington. He occasionally called himself a "progressive" but never a "new Democrat" or "moderate." Nor did he insist, as many liberals do, that political labels mean nothing. He was not a faker.

You're asking if there could be a more ironic origin for Romney's applause line. The answer is "no."

And it's strange how little Romney is getting from his yearlong political cross-dress. Rudy Giuliani, who has dealt with his own Romney-like differences with the GOP base by pivoting to terrorism and tax issues, is running away with the election. After this Nevada speech the audience took a straw poll and Romney lost to Ron Paul by 17 points.

NEXT: Mr. Rainy Face

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  1. After this Nevada speech the audience took a straw poll and Romney lost to Ron Paul by 17 points.

    Straw polls are based on self selection, and are therefore statistically invalid. Only randomized, scientific telephone polls show anything. That’s the reason these are the only types of polls shown on TV, right?

  2. I’m glad to see Romney fall. He scares the crap out of me.

  3. Straw polls are based on self selection, and are therefore statistically invalid.

    As a measure of what the electorate thinks, all true. But since Romney spoke to the conference and Paul didn’t, it’s sort of surprising that Romney lost the poll.

  4. God Damn People’s Republic of Taxachusetts Liberal Nanny-Stater. I can’t wait to wish him “Good Riddance”.

  5. Ron Paul started running ads on the local radio station this weekend. The station’s self-declared demographic target is early-20’s male (e.g. frat boys). The ad itself sounded like it was targeted towards the typical republican (e.g. middle-aged, middle-class guy).

    The ad was quite effective (to me a middle-aged, middle-class guy), but I’m not sure how well the rest of the target audience will respond. Then again, Ron seems to be drawing very well amongst young people.

  6. As a measure of what the electorate thinks, all true. But since Romney spoke to the conference and Paul didn’t, it’s sort of surprising that Romney lost the poll.

    Apparently I should have included the sarcasm tag…

  7. God bless the libertarian leaning conservatives of Nevada.

    They do make me proud from time to time.

    Icing on the cake is how poorely Rudy did.

  8. side note:
    I was watching Tim Russert on MSNBC (I think) yesterday and they were talking about the Republican presidential candidates. They briefly mentioned Ron Paul and his supporters, and then right before going to commercial break Tim said something like “There, we talked about the Ron Paul supporters, so please no emails about this!”

  9. Vermont guy, you need sarcasm tags on these internets.

    Even though to you it might seem obvious. (we have all kinds posting here.)

  10. Vermont guy, you need sarcasm tags on these internets

    Yeah, and throw in an LOL just in case.

  11. Huh, I was just going to post that VT didnt need sarcasm tags.

    Of course, I avoid using them to smoke out the clueless, so YMMV.

  12. It was news when Huckabee won the South Carolina straw poll a few weeks back. AP carried the story, CBS radio carried it. Funny now that Ron Paul is winning a bunch of straw polls they are all of a sudden “meaningless”.

  13. Reinmoose,

    The question I would like to ask Russert is why he needed to be annoyed with emails before he covered RP?

  14. I wish straws could vote in the general election.

  15. I wish straws could vote in the general election.

    Best. Response. Ever.

  16. More Ron Paul noise here.

  17. Republicans who win are guys the general male electorate feels they could sit down with, have a beer and maybe kick back and watch a ball game – Dubya and Reagan both met that bar. There is no one in America who thinks it would be fun to sit and have a beer with Mitt Romney.

  18. You missed perhaps the best part of this story. MSNBC’s headline is so insultingly terrible I can’t believe it.

  19. Weigel, I know you get a kick out of being snarky but doesn’t Graham — one of the few Democrats who opposed the Iraq war, period, whereas Dean just wanted to give inspections more time to work — deserve better? Just sayin’.

  20. You missed perhaps the best part of this story. MSNBC’s headline is so insultingly terrible I can’t believe it.

    Yeah, but read the comments. 😉

  21. “I wish straws could vote in the general election.”

    We would have president Ronald McDonald.

  22. What J sub D said.

    Probably just one very busy person spamming the comments section.

    The MSM is accelerating toward complete irrelevance. And they’re not helping their case by blatantly ignoring such a big story.

  23. We would have president Ronald McDonald.

    Better than President Paris Hilton. Although I would probably agree with most of her social policy.

    And J sub D – yeah, the comments were comforting at least, still amazing that the LOSER gets 90% of an article.

  24. Oh and I posted this earlier, but some of you may have missed it:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/21257762

    “An Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful”

    Dear folks,

    You guys are good. Real good. You are truly a force on World Wide Web and I tip my hat to you.

    That’s based on my first hand experience of your work regarding our CNBC Republican candidate debate. After the debate, we put up a poll on our Web site asking who readers thought won the debate. You guys flooded it.

    Now these Internet polls are admittedly unscientific and subject to hacking. In the end, they are really just a way to engage the reader and take a quick temperature reading of your audience. Nothing more and nothing less. The cyber equivalent of asking the room for a show of hands on a certain question.

    So there was our after-debate poll. The numbers grew … 7,000-plus votes after a couple of hours … and Ron Paul was at 75%.

    Now Paul is a fine gentleman with some substantial backing and, by the way, was a dynamic presence throughout the debate , but I haven’t seen him pull those kind of numbers in any “legit” poll. Our poll was either hacked or the target of a campaign. So we took the poll down.

    The next day, our email basket was flooded with Ron Paul support messages. And the computer logs showed the poll had been hit with traffic from Ron Paul chat sites. I learned other Internet polls that night had been hit in similar fashion. Congratulations. You folks are obviously well-organized and feel strongly about your candidate and I can’t help but admire that.

    But you also ruined the purpose of the poll. It was no longer an honest “show of hands” — it suddenly was a platform for beating the Ron Paul drum. That certainly wasn’t our intention and certainly doesn’t serve our readers … at least those who aren’t already in the Ron Paul camp.

    Some of you Ron Paul fans take issue with my decision to take the poll down. Fine. When a well-organized and committed “few” can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many,” I get a little worried. I’d take it down again.

    Sincerely,

    Allen Wastler
    Managing Editor, CNBC.com

    Questions? Comments? Write to politicalcapital@cnbc.com.

  25. Ron Paul may not be the guy I would want to have a beer with, but that is because I am not a big beer drinker.

    I would however love to sit down with him and his wife and have some nice milk and chocolate chip cookies, and talk about what is wrong with America and how we can work together to fix it. Ron is an interesting guy and I feel like he has a great wisdom that we all need to listen to, so that we can learn.

    I don’t think any other candidate has a wife that actually bakes cookies, they probably have ‘the help’ do such things. Ron Paul is for real, he gets my vote. And if he wins hopeuflly Carol will share her cookie recipes with all of us.

    Bye the way, I have heard Rand Paul speak (Ron’s son) and I really hope that if Ron doesn’t make it this time that his son picks up the torch and gets involved in politics. It’s never too late folks!

  26. Voters in elections are also based on self-selection; those with more than a marginal interest are ones who go and vote in the primaries. Usually the turnout rate is pretty low vs. general elections. So that fact will help Ron Paul somewhat.

    > Straw polls are based on self selection, and are therefore statistically invalid.

  27. Hey, could one of you Reason folks photoshop a small mustache on Romney’s face there?

  28. `Sfunny, isn’t it?

    NBC/MSNBC/CNBC have Tim Russert, former aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) and Empire State Governor Mario Cuomo as their main political analyst. The peacock also has Chris Matthews, who used to work for Dems such as Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-MA), Jimmy Carter, Sens. Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie, and who lost a Democratic primary for a House seat.

    ABC has former Clinton hack George Stephanopoulos, and Diane Sawyer, who worked for Nixon.

    Eeeevuuuullll Fox News replaced the hyper-Republican Tony Snow with the apparently non-partisan Chris Wallace.

    CBS uses old shoe journo Bob Schieffer, for what that’s worth.

    Kevin

  29. NBC/MSNBC/CNBC have Tim Russert, former aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) and Empire State Governor Mario Cuomo as their main political analyst. The peacock also has Chris Matthews, who used to work for Dems such as Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-MA), Jimmy Carter, Sens. Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie, and who lost a Democratic primary for a House seat.

    And every one of them would bristle at your insinuation that they might be just a little bit pink. Lefty journalists admit that bias is real–and that it’s all on FOX.

  30. I often wonder when watching MSM News, if people are so gullible that they think talking heads have profound insight, or that their side’s politicians aren’t just spewing lies, is it immoral as a businessperson (MSM outlets, etc.) to take advantage of this gullibility?

    Rather, are people gullible sheep because of the MSM, or does the MSM exist to take advantage of the gullible sheep?

  31. Ironic to the max from Allen Wastler!

    “Some of you Ron Paul fans take issue with my decision to take the poll down. Fine. When a well-organized and committed “few” can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many,” I get a little worried. I’d take it down again.”

    Gee whiz, Alan, I would say that a few CNBC execs like yourself taking down a poll that 7,000 people voted in is just what you described there about the “few” messing with “the many.” Writing from experience!

  32. It’s always interesting how liberal analyses of partisan bias in journalism are typically based on what’s actually on the news or in the paper, while conservative analyses always count party affiliations of journalists.

    When people deny that there can be such a thing as setting your opinions aside and covering the news in an impartial manner, it’s useful to keep that in mind.

  33. Romney’s campaign managers might want to consider swapping his Vista OS for Linux.

  34. Rather, are people gullible sheep because of the MSM, or does the MSM exist to take advantage of the gullible sheep?

    Yes.

  35. I would say it depends on the news in question, joe. It’s hard to cover an issue like gays in the military and be objective unless the reporter is simply printing soundbites of the politicians involved. Which won’t get them very far.

  36. It’s always interesting how liberal analyses of partisan bias in journalism are typically based on what’s actually on the news or in the paper, …

    Based on definitions of what constitutes “liberal” and what constitutes “conservative” that are largely subjective.

    … while conservative analyses always count party affiliations of journalists.

    Which is an objective standard.

  37. sage,

    One of the best, fairest, and most objective pieces of journalism regarding gay marriage that I’ve ever seen was on the 700 Club.

    Because the “journalists” in question simply assumed that the evil of what they were reporting was so self-evident, and because they were so certain that their audience would implicitly understand this, they ended up producing a thoroughly objective, just-the-facts-ma’am report about the progress of the gay marriage movement in the United States and Canada.

  38. Rather, are people gullible sheep because of the MSM, or does the MSM exist to take advantage of the gullible sheep?

    Pretty much.

  39. Oh yeah, I will also note that “Wings To Go” FUCKING RULES with teryaki sauce or the super-hot sauce. One time I got one of the super-buckets, I was rolling in wings for like 2 days. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm.

  40. which is an objective standard.

    You’re right, it’s an objective standard, but also largely meaningless. Just because someone with a past party affiliation covers a story it does not follow that their coverage is biased (nor does it follow that it is objective of course). Instead content based analysis is probably more useful although I find it interesting what journalists associated with one political party or another DON’T cover as much as what they DO cover and the way that coverage is presented.

  41. Franklin Harris,

    Based on definitions of what constitutes “liberal” and what constitutes “conservative” that are largely subjective.

    No, actually. One study I’ve seen, about guest commentators on the PBS NewsHour, looked specifically at the party affiliation of their guests.

    Another example that comes readily to mind is the ongoing habit of sites like Atrios and Daily Kos to report on whether the guests on the Suday shows or some other chat fest supported the AUMF back in 2002. This is a favorite, because we often see the right represented by, say, David Brooks and Jonah Goldbert, while the left/anti-war side is represented by Peter Beinart and Tom Friedman.

  42. And why would the party affiliation of guest commentators be different from the party affiliation of journalists?

    Because the commentators are there to present their side of the issue, while the journalists are there to moderate. One is playing a partisan role, and the other – hopefully – isn’t.

  43. I guess I’ve become so cynical of MSM news reporting that I assume a bias is there to begin with, then I think, “OK what is this story about?”

    Good example, joe. I think for journalists to be objective on every story they cover is highly improbable. And for the 700 club, damn near impossible.

  44. Yeah, me too.

    But it’s far too simplistic to assume the bias is “liberal.”

  45. sage, I’m not surprised that CNBC deleted its web poll for the sole reason that Ron Paul was popular. I am surprised that they frankly admit doing it. That’s the sort of thing you want to obfuscate a little.

  46. When people deny that there can be such a thing as setting your opinions aside and covering the news in an impartial manner, it’s useful to keep that in mind.

    joe, it’s literally impossible to “cover news in an impartial manner”. You have to choose which news items to cover, and in which order of importance — bias. You have to make a profit by presenting news that your audience will want to watch — bias. You have to make the news understandable to your audience, and decide which perspectives — statist, libertarian, conservative — you will make it understandable to — bias.

    If, for example, Al-Jazeera presents a video montage of Iraqis getting killed by the American military, without any audible commentary, running over and over would you say that was unbiased because everything SHOWN actually happened? Or would the parts left out kinda matter?

  47. Upthread I noted the past partisan affiliations of those hosting the various broadcast Sunday Morning shows. I forgot to include former Nixon hack John McLaughlin, who obviously speaks for himself, not for the NBC OnO stations or PBS.

    I think it is a venial sin against the ideal of objective journalism to have someone with known partisan sympathies acting as an analyst or commentator, if sin it be at all. In any case, these programs usually have a panel representing the entire range of American political opinion, from right-statists to left-statists! It’s only when someone like Stephanopoulos is used as a sole reporter on a political story that I have a gripe about partisanship. This Week always has a conservative voice, usually George Will, while FNS tends to have that brace of NPRites, Juan Williams and Mara Liasson.

    It’d be nice if they had some libertarian-leaning folks from time to time, wouldn’t it?

    Kevin

    (not holding my breath)

  48. “And it’s strange how little Romney is getting from his yearlong political cross-dress. Rudy Giuliani, who has dealt with his own Romney-like differences with the GOP base by pivoting to terrorism and tax issues, is running away with the election. After this Nevada speech the audience took a straw poll and Romney lost to Ron Paul by 17 points.”

    Funny how you failed to notice that Rudy lost the straw poll to both of the aforementioned gentlemen…

  49. prolefeed,

    Of course there is no such thing as absolute objectivity, but seizing on the absence of a Platonic objectivity is no excuse not to try.

    Obviously, the al Jazeera example you give would demonstrate a bias of some sort. That would be an example of not even trying to procude something fair.

  50. But it’s far too simplistic to assume the bias is “liberal.”

    I would agree that it isn’t consciously partisan, most of the time, and that confirmation bias plays a large role in what bias is perceived by any given observer.

    Still, I think its pretty clear that most journalists,and especially most journalists with nationwide audiences, come from a very narrow social/demographic base, and tend to have very little contact with people outside that base.

    Their bias isn’t so much overtly political as it is a kind of provincial narrowness.

  51. Romney lost by a wider margin than Sen. Craig’s stance.

  52. R C,

    Nice post – I think we’ve been getting a little behind on our weekly agreement.

    The beltway press, for example. “On the one hand, every researcher who’s ever looked at the problem says on thing, but on the other hand, I found a guy with a communications degree at a Saife-funded think tank who says otherwise. Sigh, there’s to sides to every story, why can’t people get over their partisan blinders and be serious, like me?”

  53. “On the one hand, every researcher who’s ever looked at the problem says on thing, but on the other hand, I found a guy with a communications degree at a Saife-funded think tank who says otherwise. Sigh, there’s to sides to every story, why can’t people get over their partisan blinders and be serious, like me?”

    Exactly. OH, this ticks me off so much. They’ll take a subject where researchers are 90% in agreement and bastardize it to the point where a casual observer would think that the expert opinion on the subject was split 50/50, or worse something like 33/33/33. Then they refer to their coverage as “fair and balanced” or some other nonsense to imply that they’re unbiased. Reporting on an issue as 50/50 when it’s really something like 90/10 is still biased.

  54. joe — I agree that the press should try to be more objective and less partisan. You appeared to be suggesting that perfect objectivity was possible, which was what I was refuting — perhaps there was some miscommunication on that point. I have written about what to me appeared to be blatant partisan bias in the local papers, and received some apologies saying they didn’t even see the bias (also some fervent denials they were in any way biased — some people are more locked into their notions of being infallible than others, yeah?) 😉

  55. Obviously, the al Jazeera example you give would demonstrate a bias of some sort. That would be an example of not even trying to procude something fair.

    There are some in the mideast who would consider that example to be “fair and balanced”, much as some think Fox News to be that, or (insert lefty example of unconscious bias here).

  56. Reinmoose,

    While your logic appears solid, critics say it is the lunatic ravings of a drunken pedophile.

    Critics, Reinmoose. Critics. It’s only fair to give them their say.

    😉

  57. What my critics say is untrue! I’m not a pedophile! 😉

  58. “On the Nevada leg of his doomed quest for the White House, Mitt Romney said this:”

    Jebus H Ballgag! You see the future! Ain’t you sumpin!

  59. No, the MSM is working to make certain the race is Rudy v. Hillary. They feel they were screwed out of the NY Senate race in 2000 because Rudy dropped out. The MSM will do anything itcan to berate any candidate that isn’t Hillary or Rudy. They have been living this dream for six years and mark my words; it’s the race they will make certain you (and of course they) get in ’08.

    To paraphrase McClune — The media is the electorate.

  60. I get the vibe that Mitt Romney is willing to say what ever if he thinks it will advance his presidential quest. Of course, he’s not as adept at duplicity and obfuscation as Hillary.

    On the other hand, here’s the real straight talk express:

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

  61. I just watched the Alexander Korda version of the Jungle Book starring Sabu. In it the girl from the village asks him to translate what a monkey said.

    Mogli relpied, “You do not know? He says what the monkeys always say. ‘The Monkey People are the best people in all the jungle. We know this is true because we always say it.'”

    Mitt should apply for Monkey Man membership. His logic is so similar.

  62. Correction, seven years, not six.

  63. I don’t know, Mark.

    I think the MSM is so bored of Hillary Clinton that they’d puff up an unusually-large carrot as a serious challengers at this point.

  64. Mark,

    If the “MSM” was really controlling the elections, we would have had a McCain presidency in 2000, and a Dean presidency in 2004.

  65. Why is it that no one has picked up on the angle that we are witnessing, what has occurred in past GOP elections, is a struggle for supremacy in the GOP between the Goldwater/libertarian wing and the Rockefeller/Eastern Establishment wing?
    It sure is evident from the results of the Nevada Conferences straw poll and the fact that all of the GOP candidates being pushed by the MSM(Eastern Establishment) are as socialist as Hillary.

  66. Ron Paul’s Head-to-Head Records (Win-Lose-Tie):
    Ron Paul v. Rudy Giuliani 31-5-0
    Ron Paul v. Mitt Romney 24-12-0
    Ron Paul v. Fred Thompson 21-14-0
    Ron Paul v. John McCain 32-3-0
    Ron Paul v. Mike Huckabee 30-4-1
    Ron Paul v. Sam Brownback 32-2-1
    Ron Paul v. Tom Tancredo 33-1-0
    Ron Paul v. Duncan Hunter 32-2-0

    For those who might like more info:
    (1. National Threat) http://www.ronpaulnation.com/tv.html#controller_general_david_walker
    (2. True cost of gas) http://www.terrarossa.com/?p=225
    (3. America: freedom to Fascism) http://www.freedomtofascism.com
    (4. The Secret Government…) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82g3KxcFuoY
    (5. Truth about Giuliani) http://www.rudy-urbanlegend.com/ (6. CIA drug dealing) http://youtube.com/watch?v=1l31x-IIK4E
    (7. Civil Liberties Lost) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8QwTKKSvR8&mode=related&search=
    (8. Money Masters) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936
    (9. Iraq War: Legal or Illegal) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Khut8xbXK8&mode=related&search=

  67. “Dave Weigel writes, “Straw polls are based on self selection, and are therefore statistically invalid.”

    Aren’t the general election themselves self selected?

  68. “On the Nevada leg of his doomed quest for the White House”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hold on a sec, I am out of breahth. Hahahahahahahahahaha.
    The above quote is absolutely hilarious. Not because it isn’t true, it is, but because this same site touts Ron Paul like he actually has a legitimate shot at the White House. Ho ho, pure comedy gold.

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