Will Frankenstorm Faze Halloween? Romney/Ryan Endorsement Treats: NH, MN, OR, CA

Romney supporters are ready for Halloween in Wilton, Connecticut. Oct 25, 2012
(photographer unknown)

In spite of Hurricane Sandy, dubbed ‘Frankenstorm’, on this All Hallow’s Eve most of the nation’s merry little folks in masquerade will participate in traditional Halloween activities.

Trick-or-treating is a go in storm damaged New York City; Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging ghoulies, ghosties, and long-leggety beasties to stay away from affected areas and be cautious. According to the latest news report I heard today, Gov Chris Christie, who characterized damage in his state as “too widespread for words”, was still considering issuing an executive order to cancel Halloween in New Jersey until the situation stabilizes somewhat in his state. Given that Christie was touring storm damage this afternoon with Obama, it appears Halloween is a go in The Garden State. Various other cities affected by the super storm Sandy will postpone Halloween frolics until this coming Saturday.

UPDATE (1:21 PM PT): Governor Chris Christie has announced that New Jersey will celebrate Halloween next Monday, November 5, 2012 (election eve!).

While continuing to call upon supporters to be mindful of victims from Hurricane Sandy and to donate to the Red Cross, Governor mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan are back into the ‘spirit’ of things and are campaigning. Today Governor Romney is campaigning in Florida with former FL Gov Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio. Congressman Ryan is spending the day holding events in his home state, Wisconsin, and as the moon rises tonight, will be free to go trick-or-treating with his wife Janna, and three children.

Meanwhile, things that go bump in the night may be the sound of looters and spooks on the left are outrageously baring fangs over Romney’s storm relief efforts. Even though Obama told bone rattling Biden “now is not the time for politics” Joe was up to his usual hocus pocus and also hinted at a 2016 run for the White House. Yikes for America.

Obama will be back on his thorny campaign trail tomorrow, so beware!

Meanwhile, in spite of the double, double, toil, and trouble, the ENDORSEMENT cauldron continues to boil and bubble for the GOP ticket!

Nashua Telegraph (NH)
October 30, 2012

Mitt Romney For President

Four years ago, with little hesitation, we endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama to become the 44th president of the United States, saying it was a time for “new leadership, a new approach to governing, a new way of conducting the people’s business.”

After several hours of spirited debate, not unlike conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America, we reached a consensus that he had not. Perhaps more importantly, when we identified the key challenges facing the nation – jobs, the economy and the national debt – we concluded he was not the best candidate to meet them.

That person is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and we hereby endorse him to become the 45th president of the United States.

As we noted when we endorsed Romney for the GOP nomination prior to the New Hampshire primary in January, Washington is broken. In order to fix it, it will take a strong leader willing to roll up his sleeves and work directly with the heads of both parties to carve out the best possible solutions.

We believe Romney has demonstrated that he can do that; the president has had four years to demonstrate that he can’t.

True leaders also don’t wait until two weeks before Election Day – in the form of a 20-page booklet, no less – to lay out a specific agenda for the next four years. Coupled with the negative tenor of the campaign, that merely confirms the president and his strategists felt that attacking Romney’s agenda was more politically expedient than releasing one of their own.

Nevertheless, we are confident Romney is the candidate who would tackle the serious issues facing this nation, starting with jobs, the economy and the debt. In the end, we couldn’t say the same about the president.

Speaking of hobgoblins, David Axelrod, senior strategist for Obama’s reelection campaign, today declared he would “shave my mustache if Obama loses Minnesota.” Come on! Let’s make Axelfraud break out his razor! While traditionally a ‘blue-wall’, the race is tightening enough that Romney is now buying ad time in The North Star State. Check out the endorsement below:

West Central Tribune (MN)
Oct 27, 2012

Romney vote is right for president

[T]he president’s first term has not been full of successes.

He moved on health care reform, pushing through legislation without bipartisan support, resulting in a legislative backlash which gridlocked Congress.

This administration has been unsuccessful in reducing the unemployment rate in the United States, with 43 long months with the rate above 8 percent.

Economic growth has remained stagnant through most of his first term. The three-year recovery has been very slow, poverty is up, family incomes are down and housing has been in a slump.

The scary issue facing America this Halloween is a looming fiscal crisis. There is the gigantic budget deficit $5 trillion deeper than when Obama took office. And a looming fiscal cliff deadline at the end of year, when automatic cuts of $100 billion from federal budgets and tax increases of $400 billion, happen unless Congress and the administration make a deal.

For various reasons, Obama has not been a uniting force and has not found a way to work with his Republican opposition.

Four years ago a nation tired of two wars, high deficit spending and an unfolding economic crisis sought a change. The country’s voters chose a young senator from Illinois to lead us forward.

There has been fair criticism of the Republican leaders of Congress who vowed to obstruct the president in the last two years, just as Obama had a Democratic control and didn’t work with Republicans in the first two years of his administration.

And both political parties are to blame for not having the political fortitude to deal with America’s growing fiscal crisis.

On Nov. 6, west central Minnesota voters face a choice for president. We all agree that Washington is broken and not functioning, much like a baseball team that is not winning. There is a time when a change is needed and a new manager is brought in to get the team refocused.

Republican Mitt Romney is seeking to bring that change to Washington. He is promising a new brand of leadership, an economic focus to create jobs and fiscal prudence to work on the budget deficit.

Romney has demonstrated his leadership in private business, in state government and in the 2002 Olympics.

He is a successful businessman, who earned his wealth through investment and decision-making strategies. He has spent the majority of his life in private business and said he knows how to grow jobs.

In 1999, Romney was brought in to resolve the scandalous crisis at the Salt Lake City Olympics. He addressed the situation, calmed sponsors, developed new leadership, controlled spending and staged an excellent Winter Olympics.

In 2002, he was elected governor of Massachusetts and faced an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. He worked with that Legislature to control spending, restructure state government and eliminated a $3 billion state government deficit.

America needs a change in leadership to refocus the country and its economy toward a strong and vibrant country. This country cannot afford to slip back into another recession so soon.

We believe Romney is the right choice for president on Nov. 6.

Click here to continue reading

Romney on Obama’s Speech Tonight: Americans Want A Report On President’s Promises

From Concord New Hampshire today, Mitt Romney remarked on what Obama should say tonight…

President Obama needs to report on his promises (audio):

ROMNEY: “I actually think it will be interesting to listen to the President tonight. What I’d like him to do is report on his promises but there are forgotten promises and forgotten people. Over the last four years, the President has said that he was going to create jobs for the American people and that hasn’t happened. He said he would cut the deficit in half and that hasn’t happened. He said that incomes would rise and instead incomes have gone down. And I think this is a time not for him not to start restating new promises but to report on the promises he made. I think he wants a promises reset. We want a report on the promises he made. And that means let’s hear some numbers. Let’s hear 16. Sixteen trillion dollars of debt. This is very different than the promise he made. Let’s hear the number 47. 47 million people in this country on food stamps. When he took office, 33 million people were on food stamps. Let’s understand why it was he’s been unsuccessful in helping alleviate poverty in this country. Why so many people have fallen from the middle class into poverty under this president. Let’s have him explain to the American people the 50 percent number. Why 50 percent of college graduates can’t find work or work that is consistent with their college degree. The President needs to report tonight on his promises rather than try and reset a whole series of new promises that he also won’t be able to keep.”

Any chance we’ll hear those things from Obama?


This is what we’re going to hear:

By Gary Varvel – Sept 6, 2012

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Romney Dominates Nevada Caucus; Entrance Polls Tidbits

Well, the final results aren’t final yet . . . but it’s clear that Romney won this important swing state’s caucus, and won it big. (Update . . . Romney did get just over 50%, but the entrance poll results have just been revised this morning, so much of what you see quoted below is somewhat off from what the linked poll says NOW. Sorry, I’m not going back and re-calculating things at this point).

He’s got 43% of the vote with 43% of precincts reporting, but the results of Clark County (Las Vegas) as not coming in as fast as expected. Don’t fret though Romney fans, Mitt will win a majority of the votes and I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere between 52-55% of the total vote when all is said and done. If things track as closely as they are in the entrance polls, Clark County should go for Mitt by over 60% (and they’ve nailed the non-Clark County…rest of NV…percentage at 43%, exactly how the real results have turned out)

Debunking the “Romney won Nevada because of the Mormon factor” myth:

Yes, Mitt dominated among LDS voters with 90% choosing Romney, BUT (and it’s a very big “but”), EVEN IF NOT A SINGLE MORMON WENT TO VOTE, ROMNEY WOULD HAVE WON THE STATE WITH A 42%-26% margin over Gingrich.  Romney won Catholics 52%-19% over Newt and “White Evangelical/Born Again” by a solid margin of 46%-26% over the former Speaker.

Debunking the “See, the poor won’t vote for Romney” myth:

On CNN’s coverage tonight, the anchors/pundits seemed to be getting as much mileage as possible out of the fact that the only economic demographic that Romney did NOT win was those that make $30,000 or less (which were only 10% of the voters in NV last night).  They were trying to tie this to Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment and even went on to conclude that this “underscores the fact that blue-collar workers, who you can’t win without their support, do not see that this is a guy that will fight for them.”  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  I realize that these pundits aren’t statisticians, but it’s pretty straightforward to figure out why he didn’t win this demographic.  First off, he hardly “lost” this demographic.  Paul and Newt both got 31%, and Mitt got 30%, a virtual 3 way tie for first.  Secondly, the age of the voter is VERY determinative of income when looking at your youngest age group especially.  Voters aged 18-29 were only 8% of the vote (quite similar to the 10% in that income of $30K or less), and Paul won that group 40% to 39% over Romney.  Paul has been wining the young college-aged voters in almost every state . . . it’s his base and he’s definitely turning out this group of folks that do not typically vote in a GOP primary.  Good for Paul. But these college kids are a HUGE portion of the “makes less than $30,000 year” group, and I don’t think anyone would consider college kids “the very poor,” they are just in a temporary low-income stage of their lives.

“Strong Moral Character;” Mitt good, Newt Very Very Bad:

In perhaps the most revealing entrance poll finding, those that felt a candidate having “Strong Moral Character” was their number one trait they sought in a President, Mitt got 54% of the vote … Newt got 1% of those voters.  No, that is not a typo, ONE PERCENT (Paul got 32% and Santorum got 13%).  Looks like Nevada voters are pretty good judges of character, eh?  THIS IS WHY YOU’RE LOSING NEWT!! YOU BLAME MITT FOR YOUR LAGGING VOTE TALLIES, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR BUDDY!

Debunking the “Strong Conservatives and Tea Party voters don’t like Romney” myth:

Like New Hampshire and Florida, Romney, once again, won self-identified conservatives and supporters of the Tea Party in Nevada.  This time though, he won A MAJORITY of these groups.  Romney beat Newt 54%-21% among conservative voters and 50%-23% among Tea Party supporters.  Yet I still see pundit after pundit say that Romney still has a lot of work to do to appeal to conservatives (while they “obviously” love Newt).  CAN THEY NOT READ A POLL?!?  Among “very conservative” voters he Mitt still won 49%-24% over Newt, and even beat him 39%-30% among those “strongly supportive of Tea Party.”  Some narratives are hard to kill, but when a state in the Northeast (NH), Southeast (FL), and West (NV) all show Romney winning conservatives and Tea Party supporters I think it’s proof positive against that media meme. The real take-away/new-media-narrative should be that Newt has work to do to appeal to as many conservatives as Romney has been.

Odds and Ends:

The Economy was the number one (even by a majority) issue on voters minds, and Romney carried these voters by 62%.  By an even larger margin, the candidate quality of “Can Defeat Obama” was number one, and Romney absolutely dominated here with 73% of the vote.  WOW!  “Right Experience” was the top quality to only 15% of voters, but Romney cleaned up here too with 55% (Rick Santorum pulled in a whopping 1% here).   Romney also continues to dominate the Suburbs winning with 69% there; historically this is a key demographic for winning a general election.

Turnout Issue:

Newt and some liberals keeps saying that Mitt’s trying to suppress turnout in order to win.  When we look at the field compared to 2008, however, I don’t think it’s any surprise that turnout is lower.  Last time around there was much more diversity, and much more famous personalities in the field.  You had a Pro-Choice candidate with strong personal appeal/popularity in Rudy Giuliani, War Hero John McCain, popular actor Fred Thompson, and folksy former pastor Mike Huckabee in addition to Mitt and Paul all in the race this far into the process.  Substituting character-challenged Gingrich and personality/experience-challenged Rick Santorum in place of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee is beyond even comparing apples and oranges. They all had more money and organization that either Newt or Rick too and that is how turnout is driven. Like all of Newt’s complaints/excuses, this one rings hollow as well.


More Mitt Media Appearances After Huge Win in New Hampshire

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Another interesting note from a different clip from Morning Joe. Gov. John Sununu says the democrats won’t even compete in New Hampshire of Mitt’s the nominee virtually guaranteeing NH’s electoral votes will go to the republican!

Watch Mitt on ABCnews by clicking here.

Watch two more videos from CBS below the fold. Click here to continue reading

Gingrich, Huntsman, and Perry Join MoveOn.org in Attacking Mitt Romney for His Time at Bain Capital

Once you are done with post, I hope you’ll want to complete today’s “One a Day for Mitt” Action Item and get some friends to complete it as well.

Move On is running attack ads on Mitt Romney about his record with Bain Capital. That’s to be expected although it is telling that the Left only fears Mitt. However, it’s a little strange who else is picking up on talking points from the far Left.

This is a montage Fox News put together of Gingrich, Huntsman, and Perry all attacking Romney over his work at Bain Capital.

Now here’s Mitt Romney’s “I like to fire people” quote in context:

“I want people to be able to own their own insurance if they wish to. And to buy it for themselves and perhaps keep it the rest of their life and to choose among different policies offered from companies across the nation. I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need I want to say ‘You know, I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.’ So, that’s one thing I would change.”

That soundbite sure sounds like something that most people can agree with and relate to when you see it in context. For as much as we love to criticize the main stream media for their unabashed slant, and rightly so, much of the Right still goes along with their deception as long as it supports their goals.

Apparently some of the Right wants someone with private sector experience, just not private sector experience that involves firings or making a profit. Since when do we hate capitalism? I thought that was the Left’s job. The primaries are dress rehearsal for the general election and it’s imperative that we vet all candidates extensively before the media really sinks their teeth in to our nominee, however, employing class warfarish, anti-capitalistic criticisms is nothing short of deplorable.

UPDATE: Hot Air comes to Mitt’s defense as does Jennifer Rubin in several separate posts.

An editorial at Investors.com poses an interesting question: What If the U.S. Government Got the Bain Treatment?

Tim Pawlenty also brings some perspective to this issue:

Watch Jack Welsh describe how lucky we are to have Mitt Romney running for President below the fold. Click here to continue reading

Mitt Smashes Through Supposed “25% Ceiling”; AND Lead Plaintiff for 26 State Suit Against ObamaCare, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Endorses Mitt Romney

Can you feel the Mitt-Mentum building folks? It’s nearly palpable! Thus, it has been with great pleasure that many of us long-term Romney supporters have watched Mitt smash through the supposed “25% Ceiling” of support that his opponents and Democratic talking-heads have fabricated. We’ve heard many of his GOP opponents and those on the left stating that Romney is a “weak frontrunner” because he rarely polled above 25%. I’ve heard literally hundreds of comment on news programs that “over 75% of the GOP want someone different than Mitt Romney as their nominee.” A couple of problems with that argument:

1) No one else was higher than Romney (rare temporary “flavor of the month” candidates briefly popped into the 30s being the only exceptions) and so if 75% don’t want Romney, then 85% don’t want Gingrich, 90% don’t want Paul, 95% don’t want Perry, and 99% don’t want Huntsman.

2) Romney is now consistently polling above his supposed ceiling, with the most recent Gallup Tracking Poll taking Mitt to 31% and well on his way to 35% plus once he wins New Hampshire.


*************Sick of hearing that Mitt’s involvement with RomneyCare will make him unable to criticize ObamaCare as the nominee?  I’ve argued before on this site that the converse is actually true, that Romney would be the best nominee the GOP has to take it to Obama on the issue of Health Care.


Mitt just added a whole new level of credibility to this argument by earning the endorsement of Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, and the lead AG for the 26 state lawsuit heading to the Supreme Court to test the constitutionality of ObamaCare.  Something tells me that she would not be giving this endorsement without a full confidence that Mitt will do as he’s said, and grant immediate waivers to ObamaCare and then work to repeal the law itself through congressional action.

~Addendum from Ross
The Morning Joe crew makes the observation that Gov. Romney is the most disciplined candidate in the field below the fold. Click here to continue reading

Ken Starr Op-Ed “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”; Also– MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell Admits Obama Fears Romney

Lot’s of good news tonight for Romney and his supporters.  First off, Ken Starr (most notably known for the Clinton/Lewinsky case, but a man who is a true legal scholar and current President of Baylor University) has penned an Op-ed entitled “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”  While it’s not an endorsement, and doesn’t even mention Romney by name, it is a great historical and constitutional argument why he/we could definitely vote for a Mormon.

I strongly encourage Americans who would ask this question [“Can I vote for a Mormon?] of themselves to consider and weigh thoughtfully our nation’s constitutional traditions. At their best, those are traditions of welcoming religious forbearance.

To support this proposition, I return to the founding of our constitutional republic — boasting as we rightly do the oldest Constitution in the history of the planet. Only 27 amendments have been ratified to that basic document over our 222 years as a representative democracy. In fashioning this remarkably enduring document, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia made it absolutely clear that no religious test should ever be imposed to hold office. The Founders also made clear that religious dissenters (such as the Quakers) should not be compelled to take an oath if doing so would be a violation of conscience. Building on those twin pillars of tolerance, the Supreme Court at its finest moments has likewise vigorously defended the right of all persons to participate in the democratic process, including holding office, without the burden of religious tests or qualifications.

According to the American political tradition, there are essential questions by which all office seekers are qualified, regardless of their faith journey or history. The first is: Does the candidate subscribe completely to our constitutional structure, including freedom of conscience for persons of all faiths — or no faith? A second question for the thoughtful voter is related to and flows from the first: Will the candidate subscribe, without any “mental hesitation or purpose of evasion,” to the oath to protect and defend America’s Constitution? If the answers to those closely connected questions are yes, then voters should proceed to cast their ballot on the basis of the candidate’s qualifications, platform and policy positions — not the candidate’s membership (or lack thereof) in a particular faith community.  …

In my own life, I have drawn great strength from my religious practices and, according to the teachings of my faith tradition, I intend to continue to keep in prayer those who are chosen to lead our nation. That said, the litmus for our elected leaders must not be the church they attend but the Constitution they defend.  …

America should stand — in an intolerant world characterized all too frequently by religious persecution — as a stirring example of welcoming hospitality for highly qualified men and women of good will seeking the nation’s highest office. Life experience, personal qualities and policy views are the pivotal points to guide Americans as they go to the polls in 2012.

I realize that most American’s already agree with Mr. Starr on this point, but for those that may feel that voting for Romney is an endorsement of Mormonism, the strong case that is presented above may open some hearts and minds to supporting the best choice and best chance to replace President Obama … Mitt Romney!

********And in a relatively raw video clip, BreitbartTV interviewed MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell at a Bar in New Hampshire where he admits that Romney is the GOP candidate most feared by Obama.

Money quote:  “Romney is the one they don’t want. They know they can beat anybody else. Romney, they think they can beat, but it’s a harder road.”  Watching the whole 6 minute video shows this to be a candid and honest exchange, not a liberal plant or talking point (We saw that in the immediate post-debate analysis on ABC last night when Democratic Strategist Donna Brazelle stated to the panel and audience that they want to run against Romney because he’s the weakest candidate … she was met with laughs and jeers from the rest of the panel and the audience for that obvious lie)

Some other interesting tidbits from the video:  O’Donnell’s perplexed by Newt’s attack on Romney’s career at Bain saying it should have no effect in a GOP primary, but that those attacks may have some effect with some voters in a general election.  He also doesn’t think the GOP VP choice will matter much, though the interviewer mentioned my favorite choice, Marco Rubio, being able to take Florida off the map for Obama.

FULL DEBATE ADDED – Who Won the Back-to-Back New Hampshire Debates?

One down, one to go. Before you do anything else, take a moment to VOTE for Mitt in the polls we’ve posted here. We’ll probably add more polls to vote in once the Sunday morning debate is over.

Michael Barone writes: “At about 10:28pm tonight, as Mitt Romney pivoted from a question on tax loopholes and started in with, “the real issue is vision,” I had recorded this thought in my notes, “He just clinched the nomination.””

Check out the best tweets of last night here. Also, if you missed the debate last night, click here to check out Mitt’s answer on contraception last night.

Update: Here are the best tweets of this morning’s debate.

The chat box has been moved back to the sidebar.

Click here for full video of the ABC/WMUR Republican Presidential Debate (January 7).


NBC/Facebook Republican Presidential Debate (FULL VIDEO January 8):

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Check out Mitt’s Ad Big Promises, Big Failures:

Finally, watch Gov. Sununu take Chris Matthews to school below the fold. Click here to continue reading

Mitt, from what I’ve seen

I’m probably not the most qualified person to write this article. I’m not a member of Mitt Romney’s inner circle. I just happen to live in the same neighborhood with two of his sons: Matt, who I’ve known for a few years, and Craig, who I’ve known for a bit less time. I also happen to be friends with Ann’s brother Jim, and Jim’s wife. Here’s Jim today when he met Nikki Haley:

It's nice to have a backstage pass

Jim with Nikki Haley

Perhaps the picture below best sums up my relationship with the family: every once in a while I find myself just outside the family circle, with a chance to view things just a touch closer than I would otherwise.

Paul eavesdropping

But so it’s clear, my relationships aren’t with Mitt and Ann, they’re really with extended members of their family. And while I’ll call him “Mitt” in this article, face-to-face I’d probably address Mitt as “Governor Romney.”

But after those caveats, I wanted to write this to share what glimpses I’ve had from time to time just outside that extended family circle. These are just my impressions, and are certainly informed by my biases. But they’re my honest opinions.

Being President is Not a “Bucket List” Item for Mitt

I’ve never had the impression from the few times I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with Mitt or Ann (and that’s been relatively few), or any of his family members, that being President of the United States is on Mitt’s “bucket list.” In fact, the one time I got to spend any extended period with Mitt and Ann, at a dinner at Matt’s home after the 2008 campaign, I had the impression Mitt was just as happy that the campaign was over. He seemed glad he had done his duty in running, but was very happy just spending time with his grandchildren. It’s obvious that family is of primary importance to him.

At that time he explained that during the campaign he found himself talking all day, every day. I understand it took weeks, if not months, for his voice to truly recover. When he said in 2009 and 2010 he wasn’t planning on running for President in 2012, based on what I saw after his first campaign, I believe he was sincere. When people derisively say he’s been campaigning for 5 years, I don’t believe that is truly the case.

So I don’t believe jumping into the 2012 campaign was a light decision. At a local fundraiser a number of months ago Craig discussed his dad’s decision to run again in 2012, and actually began to choke up. It was clear it was not an individual decision, but a family decision, and not an easy one. The decision would have a significant impact on all the family, win or lose. Each of the sons and their families would be asked to assist, and volunteer their time, taking time off work to attend and even speak at events. I don’t believe Craig (or Matt) harbors any intent to enter politics, but I’ve since seen their pictures in the press introducing their dad in locations over 3,000 miles from home.

Craig and Mitt Romney on the Road

Both Matt and Craig leave their own kids behind to make a campaign appearance for a few hours, after which they hop back on a plane (likely flying coach, like the one time I happened to be on Southwest with Mitt) to head back home. And the family knew the sons and the grandkids would possibly be exposed to pointed questions or comments about their father and grandfather (if not outright insults). It comes with the territory, but would be a sacrifice made as a family.

The Romney Clan

Why Is Mitt Running?

In light of the great personal and family sacrifice, why would Mitt run? As we all know, since Obama was elected, things haven’t gone so well. The economy never really did turn around completely, and the nation’s unemployment numbers fell through the floor. To hear Ann tell it, as she did at a fundraiser a couple months ago, she saw the news one day and turned to Mitt and said “You’ve got to run again.” That’s what gelled the decision. I’m not sure Mitt would have run otherwise.

After a Rally

Ann Romney after the Derry, New Hampshire Rally January 7, 2012

I really believe Mitt’s running out of a sense of duty and a belief he can fix this country, and not to check a box. To hear it told, he’s peaceful, regardless of the result. He has been successful in the past turning businesses around. His experience in Massachusetts was similar; he was elected to fix a state with a large deficit, and did so without raising tax rates. He did it with the Olympic games with an army of volunteers, turning a potential disaster into the first successful games post 9/11. He knows he can turn around our government, and wants to help. He could just disappear into the background, enjoy life and his grandchildren and find contentment. But he’s motivated to serve. In my mind, this is precisely the person I want in the White House: not someone who seeks power, but someone who wants to serve others.

Mitt Tells the Truth

Mitt recently said that even if he were to lose, his future looks bright. Part of that is because he knows he’ll be fine even if he’s not elected. I’ve heard Matt say that win or lose, Mitt and the family will still be happy. So Mitt does not need to say anything he doesn’t really mean. I could go into the details of the alleged flip-flops by Mitt, but that topic has been well addressed by other posts on this site (hint: while there’s been one genuine change of heart, on abortion, in the right direction, if you look at the facts he’s been very consistent). It would be easier to change with the political tide and reverse directions, but despite the heat Mitt is taking, and took in 2008, he has stuck by his guns. On Massachusetts health care, for example, he’s been told by many on the right to disavow what he accomplished and say it was all a big mistake. Newt has done that a few times (remember the Nancy Pelosi ad that Newt now brushes off). But Mitt doesn’t do that. He doesn’t think that. He thinks it was a state solution, and the voters of that state still like it. It’s up to them to change it if they want, but Mitt has been very clear and consistent that Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” is a huge mistake and not the template for success at the Federal level, and he would overturn it day one through a variety of means.

Federal vs State...It matters

Does Mitt flip-flop? Does he pander? Not at all. To people that know him, that narrative rings very untrue. He doesn’t need to pander, and his actions show his consistency. In fact, the family knows him as a man of strong integrity. It’s just politics as usual to try and paint the guy you don’t like with any negative label you can, and to repeat the big lie enough times that it starts to stick.

Even Outside Politics, Mitt’s Motivated by the Right Reasons

Much has been said about Mitt’s private sector success. But my observations of him and his family indicate he’s a very frugal man. You must remember that Mitt’s father, George, while having his share of success, was not college-educated and worked his way up the ranks to become president of American Motors. It’s told that George was a great man, and that Mitt admired him very much.

Mitt, age 14, and George Romney

So Mitt learned the value of hard work. His son Matt, who is one of the most frugal people I know, told CNN that his dad would often “bark” at the boys to shut the refrigerator door or to turn off electricity or water to avoid waste. The family tells the story of the eldest son, Tagg, losing an anchor to their boat underwater, but rather than just buying a new one, Mitt took Tagg to look for the anchor (underwater!). Could they have afforded a new one? Probably, but Mitt wanted to teach Tagg a lesson: we don’t waste. Craig also tells of the sons being asked to dig holes one day and fill them the next, so they’d understand the value of hard work.

Stories of Mitt selflessly helping others also abound: having his company drop everything when a co-worker’s daughter was lost in New York (and finding her); jumping to the aid of women being harassed; serving for years as a volunteer “bishop” (pastor) in his congregation while having a full-time job; taking on the scandal-plagued Salt Lake Olympics when there was very little to be personally gained. He’s been married to one woman for over 42 years. He raised 5 exemplary sons, who all volunteered two years of their lives in unpaid religious service and are all now happily married. Seeing and hearing all this, I’m perplexed when I hear snide remarks made about Mitt changing positions for political reasons, or, as Newt accused, that Mitt is a liar. That is inconsistent with the Mitt I’ve seen, and I believe that accusation says more about the accuser than the accused.

Mitt is one Heck of a Manager

I’m a securities lawyer by training. As a result, I’ve had the chance to watch some good CEOs in action. They know how to motivate people. They know how to formulate a vision, communicate that vision and get people to follow them. When people talk about Mitt’s “ground game” in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states, this is what they mean. Mitt’s got people helping him. And they’re excited to do it. They set goals. They work hard and are inspired. As I finish this post, I’m sitting in New Hampshire headquarters where there were probably 50 volunteers working on a goal of making 16,000 phone calls today. Take as well the example the story in Politico that it was Mitt’s having shadow counters in key locations that allowed his campaign to identify discrepancies in vote tallies in Iowa, ultimately resulting in Mitt’s victory. And without exception, anyone who knows Mitt well loves him.

Good CEOs also run a tight ship. Contingencies are planned for. Tasks are identified and people assigned to do them, and held accountable. Mitt’s comment about Lucy in the chocolate factory is very telling: I think it was as much heartfelt sentiment as it was a joke: it was Newt’s lack of organization in Virginia that cost him getting on the ballot. Mitt said about that incident that when things are coming quickly, you’ve got to get organized. The President of the United States is the CEO of the world’s largest organization, and is entrusted with the security and freedom of the United States, and in fact much of the world. You’ve got to have someone with good CEO skills to do that job, to avoid the Lucy in the chocolate factory scenario. I’ve now volunteered in two campaigns, and seen the preparation for and consistency in the debates. From what I’ve seen and heard of his experiences leading his family, the Olympics, Massachusetts, his congregations and more, Mitt runs a very tight ship, and keeps surprises to a minimum. That inspires trust. Newt is notorious for his poor leadership skills, and for unpleasant surprises. Our current President went from a community organizer to state legislator to US Senator to his current job, and we see the results of his lack of executive experience: no foreign policy, “leading from behind,” unemployment over 8% for 35 months and more. Senator Santorum is of the same cloth in my mind: a legislator with a propensity to identify problems and increase the size of government, rather than being the person that has to actually implement the solution.

Where this Leaves Me

Again I’m not a Romney family insider, but I’ve enjoyed my limited time spent with the extended Romney family. They’re good people. They’re true to their faith. They love each other. Family is of utmost importance. When it comes to politics, Mitt does not have some pathological need to check a box on his resume by being president. He fixes things, and knows he has the skills to put our government and economy back on track. He has no need to change positions for political reasons, and hasn’t (life would be much easier for Mitt if he didn’t have so much integrity). Some people say that Mitt Romney seems too good to be true. But from everything I’ve seen, he really is that good.

NH News: Sununu Gives Smack-Down, Romney Endorsed by Eagle-Tribune & Nashua Telegraph, Women For Mitt

Signs outside of Gov Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. Jan 4, 2012 (Photo/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Leading into the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary vote on Monday and the debates this weekend (where we expect feisty, fur-flying exchanges), let’s look at the latest NH polling from CNN and roll with some of latest Granite State news…

● Fresh off a third-place win in Iowa, the Ron Paul camp is fighting hard to come in second in New Hampshire. Congressman Paul is polling in NH at 17-18%.

● Head-fake Rick Perry, after spending $5.5 million in Iowa and losing badly there, announced he was heading back to Texas to assess his campaign. The next day, he tweeted a bandy-legged photo message:

And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State…Here we come South Carolina!!! http://yfrog.com/odz8ujrj

So, he’s not out of the running, but he’s skipping New Hampshire. Smart… because he’s polling at 1%.

● What to say about Jon Huntsman? He shunned Iowa and has staked his entire Obama-Clinton-love-letters campaign in The Granite State. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a good laugh hearing Huntsman say he is going to win NH. From the get-go, I’ve thought his efforts were to be a spoiler there for Romney while attempting to garner national attention for himself. Today, he’s barking that he’s the underdog and is pounding Mitt for being in South Carolina, while he and others are in NH. Gov Romney took a quick trip to the Palmetto State to campaign with SC Gov Nikki Haley (a very good move) and will be back in NH tonight to host a spaghetti supper. By the way, Huntsman is polling in NH at around 8%.

● Yesterday, when answering a social issue question from students at the College Convention in Concord, New Hampshire, ‘Game On!’ Rick Santorum became terse and was booed as he left the stage. Now, as he campaigns in NH, he’s turning himself into a pretzel trying to avoid social issue discussions and is taking jabs at Romney. Santorum’s favorite line today: “It’s a joke to call Mitt Romney a conservative.” Santorum now has money to play with (raised $2 million dollars in the last two days). We’ll see how agile his campaign is – what he distributes in the way of ads, flyers, etc. in NH. After being under the radar, now that his record will be brought out of moth balls, we’ll see who the joke is on. He’s drawing support at 11%.

● After two weeks of crying about vetting ads and his poor showing in Iowa, tight-lipped Newt Gingrich said yesterday on FOX News that he isn’t “particularly angry” (trying to hide ‘old’ Newt while the steam cloud coming out of his ears blurred his vision). With the help of the Union Leader, he’s lumbered fiercely into NH adding revenge to his baggage. Gingrich’s words belie his rhetoric; with a goal to ensure Governor Romney isn’t the nominee, he’s busy spitting lies about Romney’s record (albeit, in a professorial tone). Notice that Newt didn’t refute the content of the ads – just whined about them. A family from Portsmouth, NH, says Gingrich ought to “quit whining and man up“. See video.

Yesterday, Reuters reported Odd allies: Gingrich, Obama align in attacks on Romney: “The danger for Gingrich attacking Romney is it’s going to bring up all the old Gingrich flame-thrower baggage. Folks in Florida, folks in South Carolina who are watching cable news and following this stuff on the Internet are going to be exposed to the meaner, acerbic Newt as opposed to the professorial, idea Newt. I can’t see this helping him.”

As of today, Newt is polling at 9%.

● Former NH Gov John Sununu, a Romney supporter, didn’t mince words when he spoke today with FOX News’ Martha MacCallum about Gingrich, Huntsman, and Santorum:

Later, Sununu took on Judge Napolitano on FOX Business Network’s ‘Freedom Watch’:

“…[J]ust because you talk loud doesn’t mean you talk accurately. Half the garbage you just put forward is absolutely wrong.” ~Former NH Gov John Sununu

Can we clone Sununu and turn him loose?

Mitt Romney is polling around 41% in NH and, after winning in Iowa, is on track to become the first Republican to win IA and New Hampshire in an open-election year. Click below the fold to read more from The Granite State.

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