Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Packed As Mitt Romney Delivers Annual Reagan Lecture (Video)

Festooned in red, white, and blue bunting, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was the setting for an enthusiastic crowd of 700 or more as they welcomed former MA Governor Mitt Romney on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Besides addressing the large crowd, Romney’s rousing Annual Reagan Lecture was also a live webcast.

It was quite a sight to see former First Lady Nancy Reagan enter the hall on the arm of Gov Romney. Another treat was when Mitt asked his wife, Ann Romney, to step to the podium to offer a few words. Questions and answers after Romney’s speech underscored, among other things, the concerns Americans have for the direction America is currently going. Excitement for another possible presidential run by Romney was evident!

The event also included an earlier book signing for Romney’s new best-selling book No Apology: The Case For American Greatness. Dinner was served after his speech.

Mitt Romney 2012!

For additional information and Romney’s pre-lecture interview click here.

UPDATE from Ross:

Here’s an excerpt from a review of the speech by one of the attendees:

One of the first things that impressed me about Romney was his grasp of facts. He didn’t use a Teleprompter, nor notes – just what was in his head. He spoke from the heart with a passion and love for America and the people who work so hard everyday just to make ends meet.

The Economist: Mitt Romney Frontrunner 2012

End-of-the-year political assessments shadow the arrival of the New Year such as Helen Thomas dogs Robert Gibbs.  Giving a nod to our man Mitt, The Economist dubs Mitt Romney the presidential frontrunner for the Republican nomination 2012:

• Dec 31st 2009 – The Economist | NEW YORK
WE ARE hours away from ringing in the new year, and most Americans will be happy to leave 2009 behind. Only 46% of respondents in our latest poll described 2009 as a good year, and the reasons are obvious: unemployment is hovering around 10%, whole cities are collapsing, America is still mired in two seemingly endless wars, and the threat of terrorism persists. So what of the politicians who are supposed to deal with these problems? How did they fare in 2009? “Not well” would be the obvious answer, but I’ve asked my colleagues to consider who (or what) were the biggest winners and losers of the year. Here’s what they had to say:

New York: In a year when the unemployment rate rose by nearly three percentage points, there can be few winners. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney earns points simply for not being Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin, all of whom had missteps in 2009 (though Ms Palin could just as easily be called a winner  since her love/hate numbers seem to rise in tandem). It’s still some way off, but Mr. Romney now seems the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

 It’s a good start for the New Year!

Romney To Donate Lecture Profits to University of Utah Scholarship Fund

When Mitt Romney stops in Utah next March as part of his No Apology: The Case for American Greatness tour, he will not only raise a lot of excitement, he will raise a lot of money for a scholarship fund for the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah:

The Hinckley Institute of Politics’ mission is to promote political and civic involvement and to engage university students in the political process. The Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah is a bipartisan institute dedicated to engaging students in governmental, civic and political processes; promote a better understanding and appreciation of politics; and train ethical and visionary students for service in the American political system. Robert H. Hinckley founded the Hinckley Institute of Politics in 1965 with the vision to, “teach students respect for practical politics and the principle of citizen involvement in government.” Since it’s founding, the Hinckley Institute has provided a wide range of programs for students, public school teachers and the general public

The Hinckley Institute was established in 1965 through the generous bequest of the Noble Foundation and Robert H. Hinckley. Robert H. Hinckley served in the Roosevelt Administration as Director of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and Director of Contract Settlement. He later went on to found the American Broadcasting Company in 1946. “Every student a politician” was the dream of Robert H. Hinckley.

For additional information on Hinckley Institute of Politics programs go here.

*Follow up - The  http://www.mittromneyutah.com/ website is now functioning and features the following announcement:

The Hinckley Institute of Politics
is proud to announce that it will host a lecture

by Mitt Romney

Former President and CEO of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, Governor of Massachusetts, GOP Presidential candidate, and author of Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games,
in conjunction with the March release of his newest book

No Apology:
The Case for American Greatness.

Governor Romney’s address is set for
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm, at the
Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
This event will be the only opportunity in Utah to hear from Governor Romney as part of the No Apology book tour.
All ticket prices include a signed first edition hard cover book.
(retail price $25.99)
**This event is not a political fundraiser. **
**All event profits will fund Hinckley Institute of Politics student scholarships.**
If you have any questions or comments please contact the
Hinckley Institute of Politics: 801.581.8501

Donating the ticket sales profits from the “No Appology: The Case for American Greatness” lecture at the University of Utah reminds us again of Governor Romney’s generosity, commitment to education,and unwavering belief in ethics in government and citizen involvement.

Utah is the theme today, so day EIGHT of our Twelve Days of Christmas showcases a Utah homeboy. Singing a rhythmical rendition of the beautiful Angels We Have Heard on High
here is… Donny Osmond.

The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it is always young,
And its soul full of music breaks the air, when the song of the angels is sung.
~ Phillip Brooks

Romney Best To Resuscitate America

2CAMV7EKGCATGHGU9CA8MTHF3CAN8FJ0CCAK7XMQICAHSHQTRCAGXI7QICA18OR2DCA14YC94CAX3W72SCAEVBI6OCA2EGKEWCAQGGAYECAXFAM19CAI2LFMRCAIABVAYCAWRYLQ7CAU3E8OECANVSVU1As a battered 2009 gasps its last breaths, Mark McKinnon of Daily Beast renown offers his opinion on who can best resuscitate America when 2012 limps around:

The way things are going, maybe we should go ahead and hold the 2012 elections after all—instead of just reappointing Obama president by acclamation. As we head into 2010, it seems increasingly likely that the 2012 presidential contest will at least be competitive. President Obama’s favorable ratings are now consistently below 50 percent; no candidate has been elected president with a favorable of 47 percent or lower and the Rasmussen Poll this week has him at 44. He has yet to pass any signature legislation on the big issues on which he campaigned, and he now has Afghanistan strapped to his back like a political refrigerator.

Correspondingly, we’re seeing a lot of activity among prospective GOP players. By this time next year, the field will be largely set. What is most interesting, comparing the list today with the one a year ago, is who has fallen off it or otherwise lost altitude. Mark Sanford and John Ensign, once bright lights, have been doomed by the ancient curse of infidelity. Jon Huntsman got detailed to China. Bobby Jindal gave a painful speech which reminded voters of Kenneth from 30 Rock. And Mike Huckabee’s chances took a serious blow when a prisoner he freed as Arkansas governor allegedly shot and killed four policemen before being gunned down himself.

So where does that leave the field today heading into next year? Who’s up and who’s down? Four candidates who started the year on the list are off (Sanford, Ensign, Jindal and Huntsman), replaced by newcomers: Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Joe Scarborough, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry.

1. Mitt Romney
Republicans historically like an orderly process—handing the baton to the candidate who has patiently waited his or her turn in line. That guy, this time around, is Romney. He has been plodding and dutiful. He is tanned. He’s rested. He’s rich. And he appears ready for another round. There’s a great deal to be said for having been through the gauntlet before. He now has the experience and knowledge to navigate the treacherous and tricky waters of a Republican primary contest. He knows economics, has built businesses and created jobs both in the private and public sector, and he established health care reform in Massachusetts. And if he runs his race like he did the last month of the last campaign, true to who he really is, he should be the nominee.

Others (listed in order) are:  2) Sarah Palin  3) Tim Pawlenty  4) John Thune  5) Mike Huckabee  6) Joe Scarborough  7) Hayley Barbour  8) Newt Gingrich  9) Mitch Daniels  10) Rick Perry

22a5597df53a8174For more details and to see who is on the WATCH list go here.

Give Romney the defibrillator, America!

(High-five to Luke.) 

Our Fourth Day of Christmas video is featured today because the artist is listed on Romney’s Facebook page as one of his musical favorites. So, Mitt – this one’s for you! Here is Alan Jackson singing Let It Be Christmas:


Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Video – Mitt Romney on ‘The Kudlow Report’

Former MA Governor Mitt Romney appeared yesterday on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report. Larry Kudlow questioned Mitt on Obama’s economic stimulus plan, lowering marginal business and personal tax rates, the flat tax, the Pelosi health care plan, and his Massachusetts health care program.

A ‘Mitthead Nod’ to MRC commenter Frank for bringing this video to our attention.

Governor Romney, thank you for your unwavering work on behalf of conservative candidates everywhere. As 2012 draws nearer, we hope to return the favor for you!

Mitt Romney… Missing From Election NY-23?

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While the votes are being counted (as I type!) for Conservative Doug Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, some have questioned Mitt Romney’s stance on Mr. Hoffman. Keeping in mind that no conservative politician has done more across the board to help conservatives get elected than Romney and that Mr. Hoffman wasn’t a known candidate four weeks ago, Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review Online) offers thoughtful insight regarding Governor Romney’s position on NY-23. She concludes that if Mitt Romney runs again for President of the United States, it will be on his own terms:

In October, everybody seemed to be doing it — getting into the campaign in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, that is. It was a three-way race among Republican Deirdre Scozzafava, Democrat Bill Owens, and Conservative Doug Hoffman to fill the seat that had been left vacant when President Obama tapped Republican John McHugh as secretary of the Army. Endorsements became such a popular sport for out-of-state Republicans that the special election came to seem a litmus test for conservatives looking at the 2012 presidential race.

If it was, Newt Gingrich didn’t come off well among conservatives. Perhaps the biggest news was when the former Speaker of the House endorsed the Republican candidate. On the face of it, that doesn’t sound like news. But Scozzafava is a Republican who supported President Obama’s stimulus package and who won the support of NARAL Pro-Choice America in the NY-23 race. When she announced on Halloween that she was suspending her campaign, and then went on to endorse the Democrat, Owens, Gingrich declared himself “deeply disappointed.”

Among other prominent Republicans, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was caught off guard during a Washington, D.C., fundraiser, but once alerted to this race he quickly endorsed Hoffman and has been talking about him ever since (and has been subsequently pressed on what being a Republican means). And Sarah Palin Facebooked her enthusiastic endorsement of the same. Mike Huckabee showed up to deliver a paid speech at a New York Conservative party dinner but did not actually endorse Hoffman — that is, until Scozzafava withdrew. He’s been Tweeting for Hoffman ever since.

But notably missing from the endorsement mix was former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Less than a week before election day, while campaigning for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, Bob McDonnell, Romney announced: “I have chosen not to endorse the Republican in the 23,” indicating that he thought that sent a message in and of itself.

His spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom elucidated: “Mitt Romney is a Republican and he tends to support the Republican candidate in races — and when he can’t, because there are too many differences on the issues, he stays out of the race altogether, and that’s the course he’s following in the New York special election. He doesn’t plan to make any endorsement at all.”

By not endorsing anyone in NY-23, the once and presumably future Republican presidential hopeful avoided the Gingrich problem — endorsing the Republican-who-could-comfortably-endorse-a-Democrat (and would!) — while avoiding the problem of opposing the candidate put forth by the party he would probably be approaching before long to support his own candidacy.

One could argue that Romney did what you would expect the establishment Republican candidate to do — and this suggests a different Romney from the one who ran in the 2008 primaries.

It looked for a while in late October as if everyone who wanted to prove his or her conservative bona fides was talking about Hoffman. Romney could have very easily joined in — in a press release, in a Fox News appearance, even on National Review Online. But Romney didn’t really see a way he could be constructive in the race. Palin’s “Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman” wouldn’t have come naturally to Romney. And could you really see Romney teaming up with country singer John Rich to kick off a Hoffman rally, the way Fred Thompson did? Self-aware, Romney couldn’t see it either. And so he declined to play any prominent role — although NRO has learned that since Scozzafava officially exited the race, the Romney camp has reached out and provided help to Hoffman.

Romney’s role in NY-23 tracks with Ramesh Ponnuru’s analysis of his role in the political world right now in his recent piece “Romney Reboots.” “He has been detached and analytical rather than angry,” Ponnuru observed.

This time Romney could follow a different path. There are no prospective McCains or Giulianis, no heavyweights from the left or even the center of the party. Instead of running as the movement conservative in the race, Romney could run as a party-establishment candidate who is acceptable to the Right. That strategy wouldn’t require him to move left on the issues. But it would entail, among other things, taking fewer jabs at the other candidates for not being conservative enough (jabbing them for having bad ideas would still be in season). It would entail advertising Romney’s conservatism less. The policies could still be conservative — but he would promote them as good ideas more than as conservative ones.

Romney seems more naturally an establishmentarian than a conservative insurgent, so this strategy would be a better fit for him than his last one. He is not a man to be swayed by the momentary passions of his party’s base; pretending otherwise adds to his reputation for slickness. If he ran as an establishment candidate, the fact that he used to take less conservative positions would still matter. But it would not matter as much, because he would no longer have to prove himself as a true-blue conservative.

The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato agrees there was something establishment-leaderish about Romney’s approach to NY-23. “Romney played it like a frontrunner,” Sabato says, “or perhaps a Solomonic king, splitting the baby. Problem is, he’s a weak frontrunner and definitely not king.”

“This is why frontrunners are often vulnerable,” Sabato continues. “They are expected to make the ‘responsible’ choice and take some hits for the party without responding. Meanwhile, challengers are under no such obligation and have greater flexibility and maneuverability in situations like NY-23.”

Differing from the Ponnuru analysis, Sabato warns: “Being the preferred candidate of the Washington party establishment is not necessarily going to pay off in 2012.”

From the looks of Romney and those around him, he’s comfortable with how he handled the 2009 election. He campaigned for McDonnell in Virginia (and also for a handful of down-ticket Republicans, incuding Ken Cuccinelli for attorney general and former aide Barbara Comstock for delegate) and for Chris Christie in New Jersey. And in New York’s 23rd, he didn’t support the Republican who would drop out and endorse the Democrat, thereby throwing a political pie in the face of every Republican who had endorsed her. Romney stands out without pie on his face. And he knows there are plenty of tests to come, far beyond upstate New York. He has already been campaigning for Senate candidates Rob Portman (Ohio) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), among others; his Free and Strong America PAC has contributed $190,000 to federal and state candidates in 2009. He’ll move in and out of such races as he deems constructive.

Romney’s main challenge if he is to run in 2012 may be to rise above the consistent snipes (and anyone who has ever said a positive word about him knows it’s a snipe-rich environment) and make a compelling case that he has the ideas and ability to do what Rush Limbaugh, on Fox News Sunday this weekend, said is essential for Republican candidates: If they can let all Americans know that they intend to lead in such a way as to “strengthen them, give them the tools, get out of their way and let them make this country work, the Republican party can attract a majority like they haven’t seen since the ’80s.” If nothing else, NY-23 may have been Mitt Romney giving this signal: Gone is the electoral cycle where conservatives say “Jump!” and I ask “How high?” I agree with you on a lot. A lifetime of experience in the corporate, government, and political worlds have brought me here, and this is why we should work together toward similar goals.

If he runs again, it’s going to be on his own terms. It’s the Let Romney Be Romney cycle. Which meant skirting the who’s-more-conservative? tug-of-war this time around.