October 05, 2007

Ruminating on Romney

John Hawkins has a good piece against Romney for GOP nominee. Polls suggest that many Americans, especially Christians, especially Christians who'd vote Republican, will not vote for a Mormon. Mick's thoughts are here and I don't buy this poll just as I don't buy polls which suggest that Americans want to surrender in Iraq. It's contextually-manipulated polling, asking questions in a setting which suggests the preferred answer and then headlining that answer at the expense of other answers which would severely modify the policy takeaway from the poll.

Anyway the GOP nomination process is a narrow-mesh filter for the religious-test proposition that Mormonism disqualifies Romney from winning the general election. My instinct is that almost no-one who isn't a locked-in liberal has a problem with a man who follows his parents' religion, doesn't bring its specifics into his campaign, acts on general Christian principles, is personally tolerant, refuses to disavow his faith and has a great family. All religious sects have their cultish aspects, The Church of Liberalism most of all.

Hawkins is right that the MSM will love to mock Mormonism's absurdities, but they'll lash Giuliani's love-life. I bet if a distinguished US general were running for the GOP, they'd call him traitor. A non-RINO needs a rhino's hide whatever his background.

Hawkins deals fairly fairly with Romney's supposed flipfloppery. He concludes that Romney is probably a conservative but
The idea, I suppose, is that conservatives should get him into the White House and then we'll find out where he really stands.
Well Romney's policy statements are clearly conservative, his personal life is clearly conservative, his record as governor of a liberal state is clearly conservative. I don't really have a problem with a President who has evolved into conservatism - isn't that normal?

Hawkins notes that Romney trails in national polls:
Once you get outside of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he has been spending much of his time and campaign war chest, Mitt's numbers are frighteningly bad.
Another way to say that is that Romney appears to be the candidate who can campaign most effectively. If Romney is nominated he'll get the national exposure. If you believe like Hawkins that Romney's a great campaigner, you have to believe that's a winning combination with exposure.

My imaginary vote still goes to Romney over Giuliani because of his competence and stability, tho Giuliani as President sounds dandy too. I'd change my mind if Romney started to trim left.

An afterthought is that Giuliani is far more likely to have secrets in his personal life which are being hoarded by the media. This is a critical election (they all seem to be now that the Democrats have become so treacherous) and should be the dirtiest on record. Romney may have an important edge if you believe that a candidate's personal life can translate to votes. Tho I have many daughters, I'm a dunderhead on female psychology, but I'd have thought Romney's looks and demeanour would appeal to women more than Giuliani's and far,far more than Hillary Clinton's and without the preponderance of the female vote the Dems are sunk. I imagine I'm an expert on male psychology and I can't imagine any man, anywhere, ever voting for Hillary Clinton over Romney (or Giuliani) unless he's a member of some liberal group (government employee, racial identity group, lawyer, academic, student...), but that may be my wishful thinking.