Monday, December 31, 2007

HUCKABEE'S LATEST SCAM: AP WRITER SAYS HE "WENT TOO FAR"

I could not contain my shock (and laughter) when I saw the latest news from the Huck camp today. Huck actually called a press conference this morning with the advertised purpose of showing reporters a negative Romney ad. However during the conference Huck got all misty eyed and said that because he is a nice guy, he had decided not to run the anti-Romney ad. He said he'd thought long and hard about it, and it wasn't the kind of campaign he wanted to run. He even quoted scripture, saying "what profiteth a man if he gain the world and lose his soul."

BUT THEN...GET THIS...THEN HE TELLS REPORTERS THAT "SINCE I KNEW YOU WOULD DOUBT I HAD EVEN MADE THE AD" I'M GOING TO SHOW IT TO YOU ANYWAY.

What????!!!!! What a hipocrite. Are you kidding me? This is where Huck loses ALL credibility. He is once again following his pattern of smearing opponents while trying to come off as the "nice" guy. Huck knew darn well that the reporters would pick up the video and show it to everyone for free. This, of course, would not only accomplish his goal of smearing Romney, but it would help him air the ad to the whole country free of charge (remember his campaign is nearly broke). And if anyone still wonders about Huck's true intentions, the whole room was decorated with anti-Romney stuff, including a a big banner behind the speaker's pulpit with the words "enough is enough."

Talk about an ugly stunt that shows how DISHONEST Huckabee really is. Wow! This could be the scam that finally breaks Huckabee. People are sick of his dirty tricks. Yeah Huck, enough IS enough. Quit insulting the intelligence of the American people.

HERE'S THE FUNNY PART:

WHEN HUCK SAID HE WAS GOING TO SHOW THEM THE AD BECAUSE HE KNEW "THEY WOULD DOUBT HE HAD MADE IT" ALL THE REPORTERS IN THE ROOM LAUGHED AT HIM, AS IN, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS GUY WOULD THINK WE ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE HIM."

THE FALLOUT FROM HUCK'S JUVENILE STUNT SHOULD BE INTERESTING TO WATCH!

For a link to the New York Times article and to watch a video of the news conference where Huckabee LIED about his intentions click here. To read the analysis of an AP journalist who LAMBASTED Huckabee's stunt, saying he "went too far" click here.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

CHAIR OF IOWA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE WILL VOTE FOR ROMNEY

In yet another blow to Mike Huckabee, the Chair of the Iowa Christian Alliance, Morris Hurd, went on record yesterday saying he will vote for Mitt Romney. This good news for the Romney campaign comes as two new polls show Mitt has regained the lead in Iowa. To see a New York Times article reporting Mr. Hurd's rationale for supporting Mitt, click here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

According to Huck: Mitt is being dishonest

But would you care to be more specific? Please refute the ad Romney has put up to contrast your record with his. Please, Mr. Huckabee, if Mitt is being dishonest, please tell us how. Did you only pardon 1032...not the 1033 that Mitt claims? Did your budget only grow from 6 billion to 15 billion (instead of the 16 billion that Romney points out)? Please, tell us where he is wrong! Point out where Mitt has been dishonest.

If Huck cannot refute the facts that Romney has presented, then all Huck is doing is name-calling and slandering Mitt. I believe that candidates have an obligation to debate the issues and to point out differences. Just because Huckabee doesn't like what is brought to light is no reason to call Mitt dishonest!

see the complete story...that has no real substance or evidence that Romney has been dishonest.

Unless Mike Huckabee can produce some evidence that Mitt has had a dishonest campaign, then I do not believe that he belongs in a presidential race...and surely he must not be our nominee! Bring back Tancredo or Tommy Thompson...if Mitt is going to lose in Iowa, it had better not be to Huckabee!

UPDATE 12/30/07: This morning's interview on Meet the Press gave Huckabee an opportunity to refute the central claims made by the Romney campaign. The former governor did not specifically refute the central claims but instead went into specifics of other less known claims allegedly made by the Romney campaign. The problem? Not only did Mike try to lay a smokescreen, but he also got the facts wrong, again! See Romney fact check.

I am paraphasing, but my favorite part of the interview was where Russert says: Where has Romney been dishonest? Huck: How long do you have? ... Russert: but you did actually increase the spending in Arkansas, I have it right here... Huck: But I spent the money on roads and education...things that will improve the lives of the citizens of my State.

I wish the follow-up question to Mike was: "So was Romney's assertion that you had increased the budget for evil things...and since you increased spending for noble things we can now call Romney dishonest?"

Russert did not point this out...but still left not refuted is the fact that Huckabee's State budget went from 6 to 16 billion during his service. See reference

Is it possible that Mike Huckabee did not realize what kind of governor he was? Is that why Huckabee insists that Romney is being dishonest?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

McCain and Huckabee...the media darlings

by David Alvord

The latest NH poll shows Romney is up 14 points! Where is the huge headline: "ROMNEY SURGES IN NH"!!!? Or, "Romney Rises"? Can you imagine how the press would have reacted had McCain or Huckabee showed up that high on a poll. In that case of Huckabee, we don't have to imagine, because they did have a huge reaction to his temporary win in the polls of Iowa.

The press seems to have a narrative that Romney has got all of that money and organizational strength. But where did he get all of that money? From the American people! The press wants to say that Romney has the money, and Huckabee has the passion. I think that the press has got it wrong. Romney has inspired passion, therefore got the money. Think of the passion it takes to donate to a candidate! Would you donate to a candidate that you were not passionate about winning? So where is the passion for the McCain camp? The guy had to take out a loan to keep his organization afloat. Where is the passion for Huckabee supporters? I think that the two combined have raised only about 10M. Romney? He has raised somewhere in the ballpark of 50M. Sure, he has donated some of his own money too. Again, we are dealing with passion.

It is inaccurate to say that Romney has all of this money and is dominating the airwaves...and somehow that makes it all an unfair fight. Where did Romney get the money? It was donated by Americans who want to see Mitt win! If you look at the proportions of the money Mitt has used, you will admit that most of it has come from donors.

Huck, it is an unfair fight because Romney has more passionate supporters than you have! McCain, why has Romney raised so much more in New Hampshire than you have?

The other flaw to the money-buys-votes argument is that it doesn't always work. Just look at Obama. He is not doing as well as Clinton, but has raised more than her. All money can do is get a candidate's message out. If the voters like your message, it helps. If they hate your message, it won't help.

I believe that McCain and Huckabee are the media darlings because they are so much more liberal than Romney. McCain and Huck refuse to change their liberal stances, yet they want the republican nomination! Romney has really only changed on one position (abortion). The rest of his conservative credentials have been his all along. I think that a candidate should change his positions to conform to the party he wants to represent.

The media are salivating over the possibility of a Giuliani or Huckabee or McCain nomination. That way, they can't lose. Come this fall, Americans will be forced to choose between a liberal or a super-liberal. And they love the idea of a grumpy old man (McCain) running against a woman.
They would love to see a guy who wears his religion on his sleeve (Huck) go against a person who could "unite all Americans".

What the media does not want to see is an articulate candidate who knows how to deal with and defeat northeast liberals. The media does not want a candidate who will make conservative ideals sound sensible and, dare I say, cool.

So what is the strategy? Downplay Romney successes and spaz out over the success of the RINO republicans.

This January, I am praying that the "silent majority" will ignore the media bias. I hope that we won't be fooled by these "Republicans In Name Only". Not only is Mitt Romney the only one who can defeat the democrats this fall, he is also the only nominee that can do so while maintaining the integrity and core principles of the the Republican party.

Huckabee: The Republican Wedge

by Brent Moritz

I saw this article Huckabee's Rise Drives Wedge Between Wall Street, Evangelicals reported on Bloomberg.com by Matthew Benjamin 12/27/07. It has some of the same fears regarding Huckabee we have reported for some time. A few excerpts include:

The former Arkansas governor has surged in Republican presidential-preference polls, winning the support of Christian fundamentalists while peppering his campaign rhetoric with jabs at the financial industry... In doing so, he threatens the uneasy if effective coalition Republicans have counted on for three decades: abortion opponents and other social-issue activists supplying foot soldiers, proponents of tax cuts and business-friendly regulatory policies putting up the money and getting the biggest economic benefits.

"Huckabee puts this long-simmering feud between the social-conservative wing and the country-club and business crowd into starker contrast,'' said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report in Washington.

The (Club for Growth) says Huckabee's tax increases while governor from 1996 to 2007 far surpassed reductions, with the average tax burden for state residents increasing 47 percent during his tenure.

"Mike Huckabee is not an economic conservative,'' said Pat Toomey, a former Pennsylvania congressman and the club's president. "He's the only Republican in the field who really is truly a big-government liberal.''

What Benjamin notes is the same thing we have been worried about for some here at Mitt Rocks!: Huckabee may have gained support within the Republican Party, but his gains may come at the expense of Republican success over the long term.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney is well-positioned to unite both the social conservatives and fiscal conservatives within the Republican Party. More than that, Romney can bring this sort of leadership to the country, a strong counterweight to the tax and spend policies of big-government liberals.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

President of the United States: a job description

by David Alvord

A few weeks ago, I had a post up describing the talents of the each of the leading candidates, and which occupation would be most fitting for the particular candidates. I made the argument that Mitt Romney's background has prepared him for the office of president while the others would be more fit for other jobs. (see post)

With this in mind, I think that we should review what the office of President demands and what we as Americans could possibly expect from the POTUS; remembering that this election is different from American Idol or Dancing with the Stars.

So here is the Mitt Rocks! job description for the President of the United States:

1. The President will uphold and defend the Constitution.

2. The President is the Commander in Chief.

3. The President is the Chief Executive.

4. The President can veto a bill sent from congress.

5. The President appoints Judges.

6.. The President appoints cabinet members for the various federal organizations, and holds regular cabinet meetings.

7. The President can respond to a national crisis.

8. The President can issue criminal pardons.

9. The President negotiates with other heads of state on matters of national defense, trade, and environmental issues.

10. The President, along with the first family, set an example of moral living.

11. The President gives speeches to provide encouragement and counsel.

12. The President can use the bully pulpit to persuade congress and the American people towards praiseworthy goals.

By reviewing this list, one can see that the job of President requires a high degree of competence. Out of the choices we have, who can best fulfill the responsibility of that high office? Which of the candidates can we trust to hold the reigns on the largest organization on the planet? Well, we know the answer to those questions. I hope that we can elect the person based on the job description rather than on familiarity or emotion.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas!


Pictured above is a manger. Mangers were used to provide water to the cattle. Let us all remember the birth of Him who was born to such lowly circumstances and yet will one day reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A little analysis work...

By Brent Moritz

On Thursday, Fox News released a national poll showing all of the Republican candidates from December 15-16, 2007: Giuliani was in the lead with 20% of the responses, though McCain, Huckabee, Romney and Thompson all registered in double digits. You can view the article here: http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/2007/12/20/fox-news-poll-three-way-toss-up-in-republican-presidential-sweeps/ While the article makes a number of points, two are worth repeating: First, this is a tight race with no clear national leader. Second, 13% of the Republican voters are still undecided. Since Fox News was good enough to include a link to all of their data, I decided to look a little more closely at the data, doing a bit of meta-analysis to compare several polling periods from this summer with the most recent results.

Since mid-summer, Huckabee has surged from polling in the 3% range at 19% in the most recent poll, and in part he has caught that proverbial “lightning in a bottle” as evidenced by that unexpected increase. What is interesting is that the two candidates who have lost the most support are Giuliani (losing 7%) and Thompson (losing 6%). A few other marginal candidates (Brownback, Thompson and Hagel) have dropped out of the race since then as well. The rise of Huckabee and the relatively high number of undecided voters seems to indicate a lot of dissatisfaction with the initial slate of candidates.

However, it points to some of the challenges Romney has had to face in his quest for the Republican nomination. In the summer, Romney was running against McCain, Thompson and Giuliani and Huckabee was about as relevant as Dennis Kucinich. Yet as Huckabee rose in the poll, Romney’s support nationally has not decreased. However, Thompson and Giuliani have seen their support drop by one third.

What will be interesting is how this trend continues. Naturally, the folksy former pastor Huckabee has struck a chord with many evangelical conservatives, but can Huckabee win the nomination? As the primaries go forward, what will happen to the supporters of the candidates who are forced to drop out of the race.

It seems like we should look at this week’s decision of Tom Tancredo: While he was focused on immigration, it also seems to me like Tancredo recognized Romney’s strengths as leader and ability to win in November. The next major candidate to drop out is likely to be Fred Thompson, as a couple of third place showings are likely to be the end of his candidacy. It seems likely that at least some of the Thompson supporters will go to Huckabee, but the thought process for Thompson and his supporters now has to include Mitt Romney.

Then there is the question of the Giuliani supporters. As much as “America’s Mayor” can grab national attention, his support within the Republican Party is taking a nosedive. If this trend continues, Giuliani will be forced to drop out of the race, though it does appear he can maintain his campaign longer than Thompson. Those Giuliani supporters are far less likely to join Huckabee, and Romney or McCain are the best options for them. If either Thompson or Giuliani were to endorse Romney, it would be a real boost for his candidacy and it seems unlikely that Giuliani in particular would endorse Huckabee.

What is happening is that Romney’s ability to unite the party allows him to gain votes as each candidate drops by the wayside. His leadership and organization will carry him through the initial primaries and turn it in to a long-term contest. Over time, the enthusiasm that has spiked surrounding Huckabee is likely to moderate, especially as fiscal conservatives start to review his record. In the end, first the Republicans and then the nation must decide who we want to lead us in a new direction, and Romney has the leadership and experience to make it happen.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tom vs. Bob

by David Alvord

Here are two scenarios for you to judge between.

Scenario #1: Bob visits a homeless shelter for 1.5 hours on a Sunday. Ten years later, when recalling that visit, Bob says that he served at a homeless shelter "for a couple of hours on a Saturday a few years ago".

Scenario #2: Tom steals a car. When asked by the authorities, Tom denies the theft and then describes an elaborate alibi that is later found to be false.

So who is the one who has a lack of character? Bob or Tom?

Bob is generally an honest man, but in scenario #1, Bob got the details wrong. Perhaps he has made a mistake in his memory. Would it be fair to say that Bob is a LIAR and has a flawed character? Of course not. The overall picture we get from Bob is one of a decent man who showed some human weakness, but still deserves honor and praise.

In scenario #2, Tom was up to no good, and then he lies in an attempt to get out of any punishment. Tom's lie was used to cover a larger sin. The stealing of the car is more of an offense than the lie used to cover it up.

So who are Bob and Tom? Mitt Romney and Bill Clinton. But the MSM would rather demonize Mitt.

Mitt Romney's father had been a civil rights activist. He had marched in favor of the cause espoused by Dr. King. Mitt's Dad may or may not have actually marched with Dr. King, but the details are not now known. Mitt was on a mission for his church at them time, but undoubtedly had heard reports of his father's activism and his marching.
So on meet the press, Mitt says, "I watched my father march with MLK". He could have said in other words: "I had known of my father's activism for civil rights...etc."
But now it may seem that George may not have literally marched with MLK. So technically, Mitt may have gotten the details wrong. But at the heart of this story is a family who have served their communities, and have stood up for civil rights. Instead of being impressed with the Romneys, the MSM is trying to lay a snare for Mitt! It's like they don't have anything on the guy, so they are trying to lay a snare for him.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand, had an extramarital affair with an intern. Then to cover his lie said: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinski..." He then added several other lies to the list and had others lie for him. The MSM tried to make Ken Starr the bad guy!

So I thought I would make these two comparisons to put this all into perspective.

UPDATE:

Mitt's story is vindicated by several eyewitnesses! They saw, with their own eyes, George Romney and Martin Luther King marching together in Grosse Pointe, Michigan!

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1207/7524.html

Thursday, December 20, 2007

MITT SUPPORTERS UNITE--IT'S CRUNCH TIME!

As we enter a crucial stretch of the election cycle, Mitt Rocks would like to encourage all Mitt Romney supporters to help out with grassroots work in your local areas. To find your local Romney organization, please contact Romney for President headquarters at (857) 288-6400. If you would like to contact the Salt Lake City office specifically, please contact Jeff Adams at jadams@mittromney.com

Data from National poll shows some good signs for Romney

At first glance, Romney and Giuliani are tied in the latest poll. A look at the data reveals something even more encouraging. Among voters aged 65 and up, Romney is leading at 30% to Rudy's 18%. Also, among the retired, Romney is leading 26% to 21%. This is significant because retired folks are the most likely to vote. Also, our seniors are the most informed voters out there. I mean, all they do is watch the news. I think that all of these are good signs for the Romney campaign.

TIED!!! Romney tied for lead in NATIONAL POLL!

For the first time ever, a national poll shows Romney is tied for the lead Nationally! I don't think Romney has peaked just yet. WATCH FOR A ROMNEY LEAD BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUS!

Wall Street Journal/NBC

ROMNEY 21
GIULIANI 21
HUCK 17
MCCAIN 14

Link to Article: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/19/politics/fromtheroad/entry3633938.shtml

Link to poll data:
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/wsjnbcpoll20071219.pdf

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

HUCKABEE BOMBSHELL: DOCTOR SAYS HE'S LIKELY LYING ABOUT HIS WEIGHT LOSS



Normally Mitt Rocks would never publish something so seemingly frivolous as this. Even as avid Romney supporters, we couldn't find it in our hearts to do this to someone unless we felt it was justified. There is some extremely disturbing breaking news about Mike Huckabee. This news, if true, would be very damaging to his credibility. Huckabee has already faced accusations of dishonesty for his comments about Mormon theology, an alleged cover up of his son's dog abuse, and the "floating cross" in his Iowa Christmas ad. But if this new information is true, it could destroy all confidence in Huckabee.

The issue is whether Huckabee's 110 lb weight loss in a one year period was due to natural dieting and excercise, as he claims, or if it was the result of gastric bypass surgery. Huck has touted himself as a weight loss expert, even writing a book on the subject (see above). After he lost the weight he instituted a major anti-obesity program in Arkansas, citing himself as an authority. But now a medical doctor has researched Huckabee's health history, and he sees a high likelihood that his weight loss was not due to diet and exercise, but to gastric bypass surgery. The burden is now on the Huckabee campaign to substantiate Mike Huckabee's claim that he lost the weight naturally. Click here to access a summary of the doctor's research.

A Horse Race


Romney is back up in Iowa. But one poll shows McCain up in NH. This thing is a horse race...meaning that the polls go up and down every week. It seems that people haven't made up their minds on a candidate. It may come down to whoever has the best organizations and who can change gears as the elections roll through. The good news for Mitt fans is that Romney has several horses in this race. McCain only has one horse: New Hampshire. If that horse doesn't win, he may be in trouble. Huckabee has an Iowa horse. Thompson's horse...has yet to show up. Giuliani has a few horses as well, but may not get a win the first few races. Romney has horses in each of the early Races. He doesn't have to win them all...and the chance that he will win more than one is greater than any of the other candidates.

"Mike Huckabee: Playing Both Sides of the Pulpit"

Mike Huckabee is drawing even more scrutiny as he claims to be the one candidate capable of uniting the Republican party. However, a newly-researched article argues that Huckabee is not a uniter but a divider. Click here to read the story, entitled "Mike Huckabee: Playing Both Sides of the Pulpit".

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hold on...not yet!

Iowans hold your horses! The Caucus isn't for another two weeks. Don't show your cards yet. It has been good for Americans to get to know the Huckster. You can vote for Romney as planned, but don't tell the pollsters about your plans until the day before...or even after the caucus. Romney's win was supposed to be a surprise and you are RUINING THE SURPRISE!

New polls reveal Romney may have regained the lead in IOWA:

According to the latest insider advantage poll:

Romney 28
Hucklebee 25
Thompson 10
McCain 7
Paul 6
Giuliani 5 (OUCH...and this guy is the "frontrunner"?)

It's worse to be Hillary than Mormon...


There have been polls in the past that show that some Americans would not vote for a "Mormon". But it would seem that plenty of folks could vote for this "Mormon". If there are some Americans who aren't aware that Mitt Romney belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they aren't paying attention...and probably wont show up to the polls anyway. So, as the above graph shows, only 7% of Americans would want to prevent a Romney Presidency. (that means that 93% are open to a President Romney) That's opposed to 40% against Hillary. This low-level of negativity bodes well for Romney.

Clear Thinking on the Republican Candidates

by Brent Moritz

One of the unique things about our American system of politics is that to win an election, one must pass several hurdles. We have seen the criticisms of Iowa and New Hampshire as being too remote or not adequately representing a cross-section of the nation. However, these contests are the first hurdles for a candidate to pass to reach the nomination and ultimately the Presidency. Iowa and New Hampshire have a unique feature in that the campaigns are won or lost locally, as the candidates must get out and meet the voters. That has had some interesting effects in this race, a race where there is no incumbent or sitting VP ready to headline a ticket.

For the Republicans, for a long time many of the voters have been looking for an alternative candidate. If John McCain had the surge of 1999-2000 this cycle, he would be a breath of fresh air, but his national stature is somewhat of a liability in seeming fresh and new in 2008. Many in the party looked to Fred Thompson, but he has been somewhat boring and unenergetic, at least when compared to Arthur Branch. Rudy Giuliani has national stature and would clearly lead the party in a new direction, but there are a lot of conservatives who would never vote for him.

Again, this brings it back to Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. The reality is that their positions on many major issues are pretty close, so it is hard for any candidate to differentiate himself against his Republican rivals. While this is less true for Giuliani, it is clearly true of Romney and Huckabee.

So where does that leave our party? Huckabee has surged from nowhere to being one of the leaders in the polls. In part, that is a sign of the voters wanting someone, (anyone?) in whom they can be excited. Huckabee is a credible candidate, and he is also a very likeable sort of guy. He has done well in the debates, and I think almost everyone would like to have him as a neighbor. We each can almost picture him as a neighbor, the sort of guy who would invite you over for a cookout or waive to on Saturday morning while he’s out mowing the grass. For conservatives, most have a high regard for any Baptist minister. His folksy, personal demeanor is playing well with many voters, even if his recent surge has only recently turned the spotlight on some questionable decisions.

Romney, on the other hand, seems like a guy who would live a few miles away in an exclusive neighborhood. He is probably friendly with his neighbors, but he just seems harder to get to know for the average guy. In part, that is because of his track record: How many Baker Scholars (the top 5% of the class at Harvard Business School) do you know? How many millionaire ex-consultant / entrepreneurial capitalists do you know? How many are your neighbors? Then of course there is the religion issue: Many fine Evangelical Christians probably have never met a Mormon other than the formal missionaries, or if they did they didn’t know it.

Romney, to his credit, has put aside some of those issues. His recent speech on his faith has been a rousing success, well-received by nearly all of the listeners. This includes Republican and Evangelical leaders as well as many average voters. (It may have been better to do that much earlier in the campaign, but that was before a former Baptist minister was surging in the polls). Yet even before that speech, Romney has looked to serve the country. His work for the Salt Lake Olympics was exemplary. His service as governor of Massachusetts was probably a thankless job, as it had to be difficult being a conservative in one of the most liberal-leaning states in the nation, and clearly it was a pay cut from his time in the private sector.

These are some of the factors that will help Romney win. These initial votes are going to be interesting, but it is clear that not all of the candidates will survive to Super Tuesday, and this plays to Romney’s strength and experience. He has a very strong and well-financed organization in every state, with enough bandwidth to sustain a campaign. A win in Iowa would be nice, but a good showing is all that is required even if Huckabee carries Iowa. In New Hampshire, McCain is polling well, but Romney should do fine. By this time, Fred Thompson will be the first to exit the race and Romney’s organization will help bring those voters into his camp.

By mid-January, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina are in play. If Romney has not won one of those five, his campaign is in some trouble. But the stakes are much higher for the challengers: If McCain does not win South Carolina, his campaign is in serious trouble and the wheels will come off the bus. If Huckabee does not win more than one state, his funding dries up in a hurry. Giuliani has to show some strength before heading into Florida and Super Tuesday, or he risks coming up third in too many states.

My point is this: As the race slims from five major candidates down to one, Romney has to position himself as someone who can unite party and gain support from many circles. He has done this before, gaining election in left-leaning Massachusetts. While this is a unique race and a uniquely American process, now is not the time to panic. Romney has run a good campaign, has the best organization and is well-funded. The nomination will not be won in Iowa or New Hampshire, but the risks are higher for Romney’s competitors. What Romney has to do is rely on his strengths: His leadership, his organization and his funding. Yet more than that, he has to position himself as someone who can bring together all of the elements of the Republican Party for the good of the nation.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Iowa is a must-win for Huckabee

by David Alvord

Mike Huckabee has to win in Iowa or else he is done...and he'd better win big. A Romney win in Iowa would propel him to the nomination, but a loss could still eventually lead to a Romney nomination. But for Huck, a loss in Iowa would result in the headline: Huckabust!

The scenerio where Romney wins Iowa is obvious. He wins Iowa, then New Hampshire, then Michigan, then Nevada...and on to Florida.
The scenerio where Romney loses Iowa, while not preferred, is also OK because after a NH win... for the next few weeks, the contests are between Romney and Guiliani. Check Real Clear Politics and see for yourself! So if Mike gets an Iowa boost, he will have to wait for South Carolina to take advantage of that boost. Romney, on the other hand, will have his NH win to propel him against Giuliani.

Following is the primary schedule and the candidates who are polling well in the respective states:

Jan 3 IOWA: Romney-Huckabee battle

Jan 5 Wyoming: Romney win (no battle)

Jan 8 New Hampshire: Romney-McCain battle

Jan 15 Michigan: Romney-Giuliani battle

Jan 19 Nevada: Romney-Giuliani battle

Jan 19 South Carolina: Romney-Huckabee battle

Jan 29 Florida: Three-way battle: Romney-Huckabee-Giuliani

Feb 5 Super Duper Tuesday

See for yourselves, Romney is tied or leading in each of the early states. (see link to RCP)

The scenerio where Huckabee loses Iowa would be devastating to his campaign! If Romney ties Huckabee, it would also be devastating to Huck's campaign. But even if Romney loses Iowa, he can still win NH and Michigan...and then on to SC where he is tied with Huck. Who has the bigger bounce? The guy with one win, or the guy with three or four?

The only recipe for disaster for Romney is a loss in both Iowa and New Hampshire. But the only person for which Iowa is do or die is Mike Huckabee.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF!




A BEAUTIFUL FIRST FAMILY



Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Cult of Personality: Why "Liking" Mike Huckabee Isn't a Good Enough Reason to Vote for Him

I'll be candid. There's a few things I don't like about Mitt Romney. I wish he was more personable. I wish he had realized earlier that it wasn't enough to oppose abortion personally, but that it should be legislated against. Finally, I wish he had grown up in a middle class household so he could relate a bit better to people like me. But I've wondered how wise it is for me to focus on the few things I don't like about Mitt, rather than the many things I do.

Which brings me to Mike Huckabee. Huck's recent surge has shocked just about everyone: political pundits, the Republican establishment, probably even Huck himself. Here at Mitt Rocks we've shared in this shock, especially since Huck's rise has hurt our man Mitt, particularly in Iowa. My initial reaction was an emotional one: "How could such a weak candidate like Huck undercut a candidate of Mitt's caliber?" I've been thinking about this the last couple of weeks and I think I have an answer. I think this just might help explain what some are calling "The Huckabee Phenemenon," but which I'll call The Cult of Personality.

Humans are predisposed to what I'll call "liking." We naturally gravitate to people whose personalities we like. We do it at work. We do it at school. We do it with the opposite sex. In all these areas we enjoy surrounding ourselves with people who put us at ease. We seek out those whose personalities resonate with our own, people with whom we'd feel comfortable telling anything, people we really like. What's odd, however, is that we establish the same criteria for embracing political candidates. We want to align ourselves with politicians we like, those we think would make great personal friends, those who share our interests, religious beliefs, culture, and economic status.

The problem with this emphasis on "liking" is that it places a premium on personality, while ignoring that politicians are, first and foremost, professionals. Like doctors and lawyers, politicians are bona fide professionals, experts in civic affairs whom we expect to be skilled at their craft. Among other things, we expect our politicians to expertly balance huge budgets, lead large teams of people, negotiate compromise, and successfully manage the day-to-day affairs of a complex bureaucracy. These are all critical skills that a politician must have, and history has shown that those who don't possess them have failed.

Yet we persist in wanting to elect politicians we "like," often at the expense of electing people who have the real skills to succeed. I'd like to sketch a hypothetical scenario. If you were about to go into a high risk surgery, which doctor would you prefer to lead your operation? (A) the doctor who was not terribly personable but who stayed current on the latest medical research and whose surgical skills were first rate, or (B) the doctor who was very friendly but whose surgical skills were out of date and lacking? Which of these doctors would you trust with your life?

I'm concerned that Mike Huckabee is the equivalent of the friendly but unskilled doctor. His personality is charming, his wit appealing. But he has never managed an organization that lives or dies on its ability to produce results. He has never waded through billion dollar budgets or managed large teams of people. He has never taken over a struggling enterprise (like the US govt) and made it successful. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is the equivalent of the skilled doctor, a man who might not be as personable but who possesses all the critical skills needed to succeed. Mitt has done all of the above--in spectacular fashion. When you factor in that he is also a kind person and an outstanding family man, it's easy to see that Huckabee vs. Romney is not apples to apples.

I hope that Americans realize the difficult spot we're in right now. Our economy is slumping and our borders are insecure. Not only are we threatened by radical jihadists, but those in other countries have a negative view of America, perhaps more so than at any other time in our history. And if this weren't enough, the Republican party is in tatters, desperately needing a proven leader.

This is not the time to get caught up in a Cult of Personality. It is not the time to elect someone just because we "like" him. We are choosing a president, not a best friend. The person we choose as our next president needs to be someone with proven political skills, a person who has demonstrated excellence in all the areas that make one a good professional. This person needs to possess tenacity, a strong backbone, and a proven ability to cope with difficult situations. I believe Mitt Romney is that man. He is the only electable candidate of any party with the full skill set of the effective politician. He is the only one in whom I can place my full trust to lead America forward, competently.

MITT FLIPPED, BUT HE NEVER FLOPPED!

The liberal media and anti-Mitt Republicans have succeeded brilliantly in their smear campaign designed to brand Mitt Romney as a "flip flopper." Yet I wonder if all these people flunked geometry. A flip flop is a 360 degree turn. A flip, on the other hand, is a 180 degree turn. In Mitt's case, he never flip-flopped on abortion or gay marriage. But he did flip. And I'm glad he flipped. At one point Mitt believed it was not government's role to interfere in such decisions (although privately he has always disapproved of abortion and gay marriage). However, Mitt finally saw the error of his ways. And he was man enough to admit he was wrong. Can't we all identify with this? Haven't we all been firmly in support of something only to later flip to a more enlightened view, just as firmly held? And so it is I say: he who has never flipped, let him cast the first stone! Mitt should be commended for admitting he was wrong and changing course. Lest anyone forget, the great Ronald Reagan was once pro-choice. Yet, like Mitt, he realized he was wrong and he flipped! Of course Reagan went on to become one of the most effective pro-life presidents in history. If Mitt Romney is elected I firmly believe he will be the one responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade. He has promised to to do this. Given his record of fulfilled promises in Massachusetts, I have every reason to believe he will.

Is Mitt "Too Polished"?

It's shocking to hear people say they won't vote for Mitt because he's "too polished." C'mon folks, get real. Is it really possible for the chief executive of the world's most powerful nation to be "too polished"? This statement is even more shocking since so many criticize George W. Bush for not being polished enough! In fact, I believe most of us want a president who is polished, one who is intelligent, articulate, and fair. One who will reflect well on America at home and in the eyes of other nations. Mitt Romney is ALL of these things, and a lot, lot more. Go Mitt! And man you look good!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

America deserves Mitt


Dear Iowa,

If the Republicans want one of their own in the White House, then conservatives must be united! I was disappointed to hear Huckabee criticize our President concerning the Iraq war. (see story)

It appears that Gov. Huckabee's rise in the polls has come at the expense of Sen. Thompson. This also saddens me because Fred is a more true conservative than Mike. At least Thompson understands that we have to win the war on terror. And at least Thompson does not criticize the sitting president!

Now, it's true that Thompson may not have the energy to run a campaign. And it may be true that his lackluster performance as a candidate may not give him enough sparkle to win, but at least he is a conservative...in more ways than just one!

The more I get to know Gov. Huckabee, the more I realize that he is only a conservative on social issues. His main connection to fellow conservatives is his Christianity. What's most disturbing is that his religion may be his only connection.

But the Republican party is much more multi-faceted than Mike Huckabee. Our nominee will need to unite every brand of conservative: social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and military conservatives. Our nominee needs to be tough on crime and tough on immigration.

The editors of the National Review said it well:
"[Rudy Giuliani] and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives."

Shining through all of this is the candidacy of Mitt Romney. These are perilous times in which we live. The Democrats are on the move. They want to take our country in the direction of Europe. The Democrats will raise taxes and abandon the war on terror. They are not dedicated to seeing us through to the end in Iraq. Instead of keeping America in a position of strength, Democrats will bog us down with controversial social issues like gay marriage, gun control, and amnesty to illegals.

Now is not the time for conservatives to be divided. America needs conservative leadership. The Republican party will need to inspire every brand of conservative. The evangelicals cannot do it without the social conservatives of every religion. And the fiscal conservatives cannot do it without the social conservatives. When united, the conservative movement is the most dominant force in America. We saw that during the Reagan years. The Republican party will need Mitt Romney to unite us all. The Republican party deserves Romney and so does America.

This Jan. 3, please consider the candidate who can lead us to victory this November.

Sincerely,

David Alvord

Friday, December 14, 2007

Season's Greetings from the Huckabees & Romneys





Bye bye Huck, it was nice knowin' ya.

Mitt Rocker quoted in National Media

Today's Bloomberg article features a quote from Mitt Rocker David Alvord:


David Alvord, a dentist from South Jordan, Utah, said that in addition to agreeing with Romney's positions, he believes his candidacy will help clear up misconceptions about Mormons.

``When people see that our president has one wife, they can no longer wonder, `Are Mormons polygamous?''' Alvord, keeper of a blog about Romney, said.


See full story

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Again from Rush...

Rush has the most listened to show in America... so I think that his comments are important here.
This issue that was discussed was Huckabee's comment that Mormon's believe that Jesus and the Devil were brothers.

"Now, let's talk about Huckabee for a second here and this Lucifer and Jesus comment. Aren't Jesus and the Devil brothers in Mormons' belief? What I think Huckabee is -- you know, Iowa is one thing, but he's gotta take that beyond Iowa. And right now he's at 9% in New Hampshire. He's got a ten-point lead in Iowa and he wants to build on that. The audience he's shooting for is the evangelical crowd in Iowa, latest numbers I saw, 48, 49% of the evangelical crowd is for Romney. I saw another poll, I think yesterday, that said 17% of evangelicals said they would never vote for a Mormon. So I think what Huckabee is trying to do is really build that lead, not just win Iowa, but have a smoking win to give him some momentum to go elsewhere, because the evangelical crowd in New Hampshire is not as big a crowd, even if he got them all, he wouldn't move up. Romney is way ahead there. So I think he's just trying to capitalize on the strength that he's deriving in Iowa from the evangelicals. "

And here is the important part:

"It is an unfortunate comment, and Romney came back and said, yeah, these religious comments are over the top. It was what his speech was about last week, which I thought, as I said many times, I thought it was a fantastic, inspirational, and uplifting speech, and it wasn't so much about religion as it was about religion's ties to the founding of this country, and very, very important. I think Huckabee is showing us who he is, and he thinks this is what it takes to win, and he's a Baptist minister, and his religion is very serious to him, too. He's using it for all it's worth for him, and I think I understand why."

Then Rush continues with suprise that Huckabee got the endorsement of the minuteman guy:


"Huckabee, he got the endorsement of the minuteman guy. Do you realize what Huckabee's immigration positions have been in the past? That endorsement stunned everybody. I couldn't figure it out. I thought I was performing a service by staying out of this because I don't take sides against or for candidates during primaries. But believe me, this thing you said about Romney and Jesus and Lucifer, this is not the first time that statements have been made from the Huckabee campaign that you go, "What?" "

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Huck wanted the Title, but it was Romney who was the Moses of the final debate

by David Alvord

I love it when debates come on my lunch break. The focus group following the debate almost unanimously declared that Romney won the debate and looked "presidential".

One of my favorite parts was when Huckabee was asked about gov. spending. He said: "I may not be able to part the Red Sea, but I can cut red tape." After that corny line, Huckabee went on to speak in cliches and was non-specific about spending.

Romney, when asked, said like Moses to Pharaoh: "Let the programs go!".

"The sacrifice we need from the American people is saying, 'Let the programs go that don't work. Don't lobby for them forever"

Romney then went on to list several of the specific programs that would get the axe. I mean let's face it folks, the guy is ready to be president. He has done his homework.

Now kids, let's all sing along...

When Romney was in Egypt's land: Let those programs go!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More lift from the speech for the "full-spectrum conservative"


If only Romney could give another speech. He could call it "faith in America part 2". The numbers are just starting to come in and Romney is polling higher ever since he spoke in Texas. Where is the drudge headline: "Mitt-mentum"?

According to the latest ABC / Washington post national poll Romney has caught up to the Huckaboom in a statistical dead-heat. (if you count the margin of error)

Giuliani 25
Huckabee 19
Romney 17
Thompson 14
McCain 12

The editors from the National Review (see below) summed up the top three candidates nicely:

"[Giuliani] and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives."

"Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest."


Will Huckabee fall as quickly as he rose? Watch for a plateau this week and then a decline by the end of the month. (Huck will be Thompson part II).

National Review Endorses Romney: Iconic Conservative Magazine Calls Romney Most Electable



Today the editors of the National Review endorsed Mitt Romney. As their editorial so eloquently states, Mitt Romney is the most electable conservative in the race. In addition, they point out that his superior executive experience is exactly what America needs at this point in our history. Finally, they agree that Romney is the only Republican in the race that can hold together both wings of the party (the social conservatives and fiscal conservatives). It's refreshing to see American conservatives finally begin to realize what the Mitt Rockers have been arguing for months. Mitt Romney is the superior candidate in this election. He is our best chance to keep the Democrats out of the White House. He is the best candidate to advance the Republican agenda. Below please see the full text of the National Review editorial or click here to go to their website:

Romney for President

By the Editors of the National Review

Many conservatives are finding it difficult to pick a presidential candidate. Each of the men running for the Republican nomination has strengths, and none has everything — all the traits, all the positions — we are looking for. Equally conservative analysts can reach, and have reached, different judgments in this matter. There are fine conservatives supporting each of these Republicans.

Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization — none of the major candidates has — he supports enforcing the immigration laws and opposes amnesty. Those are important steps in the right direction.

Uniting the conservative coalition is not enough to win a presidential election, but it is a prerequisite for building on that coalition. Rudolph Giuliani did extraordinary work as mayor of New York and was inspirational on 9/11. But he and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives. A Republican party that abandoned either limited government or moral standards would be much diminished in the service it could give the country.

Two other major candidates would be able to keep the coalition together, but have drawbacks of their own. John McCain is not as conservative as Romney. He sponsored and still champions a campaign-finance law that impinged on fundamental rights of political speech; he voted against the Bush tax cuts; he supported this year’s amnesty bill, although he now says he understands the need to control the border before doing anything else.

Despite all that and more, he is a hero with a record that is far more good than bad. He has been a strong and farsighted supporter of the Iraq War, and, in a trying political season for him, he has preserved and even enhanced his reputation for dignity and seriousness. There would be worse nominees for the GOP (see above). But McCain ran an ineffectual campaign for most of the year and is still paying for it.

Fred Thompson is as conservative as Romney, and has distinguished himself with serious proposals on Social Security, immigration, and defense. But Thompson has never run any large enterprise — and he has not run his campaign well, either. Conservatives were excited this spring to hear that he might enter the race, but have been disappointed by the reality. He has been fading in crucial early states. He has not yet passed the threshold test of establishing for voters that he truly wants to be president.

Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor. At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill. He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception. He himself has shown impressive focus and energy.

It is true that he has less foreign-policy experience than Thompson and (especially) McCain, but he has more executive experience than both. Since almost all of the candidates have the same foreign-policy principles, what matters most is which candidate has the skills to execute that vision.

Like any Republican, he would have an uphill climb next fall. But he would be able to offer a persuasive outsider’s critique of Washington. His conservative accomplishments as governor showed that he can work with, and resist, a Demo­crat­ic legislature. He knows that not every feature of the health-care plan he enacted in Massachusetts should be replicated nationally, but he can also speak with more authority than any of the other Republican candidates about this pressing issue. He would also have credibility on the economy, given his success as a businessman and a manager of the Olympics.

Some conservatives question his sincerity. It is true that he has reversed some of his positions. But we should be careful not to overstate how much he has changed. In 1994, when he tried to unseat Ted Kennedy, he ran against higher taxes and government-run health care, and for school choice, a balanced budget amendment, welfare reform, and “tougher measures to stop illegal immigration.” He was no Rockefeller Republican even then.

We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, and those battles seem to have made him see the stakes of a broad range of public-policy issues more clearly. He will work to put abortion on a path to extinction. Whatever the process by which he got to where he is on marriage, judges, and life, we’re glad he is now on our side — and we trust him to stay there.

He still has some convincing to do with other conservatives. Romney has been plagued by the sense that his is a passionless, paint-by-the-numbers conservatism. If he is to win the nomination, he will have to show more of the kind of emotion and resolve he demonstrated in his College Station “Faith in America” speech.For some people, Romney’s Mormonism is still a barrier. But we are not electing a pastor. The notion that he will somehow be controlled by Salt Lake City or engaged in evangelism for his church is outlandish. He deserves to be judged on his considerable merits as a potential president. As he argued in his College Station speech, his faith informs his values, which he has demonstrated in both the private and public sectors. In none of these cases have any specific doctrines of his church affected the quality of his leadership. Romney is an exemplary family man and a patriot whose character matches the high office to which he aspires.

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates. A winning combination, by our lights. In this most fluid and unpredictable Republican field, we vote for Mitt Romney.

Huckabee is "EASY KILL" in the General Election

THIS IS A BIG ONE, FOLKS!

http://www.drudgereport.com/flashhu.htm

Quote from Drudge:

DEMS HOLD FIRE ON HUCKABEE; SEE 'EASY KILL' IN GENERAL ELECTION

Tue Dec 11 2007 10:27:53 ET
**Exclusive**

Democrat party officials are avoiding any and all criticism of Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee, insiders reveal.

The Democratic National Committee has told staffers to hold all fire, until he secures the party's nomination. The directive has come down from the highest levels within the party, according to a top source. Within the DNC, Huckabee is known as the "glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it." In the last three weeks since Huckabee's surge kicked in, the DNC hasn't released a single press release criticizing his rising candidacy. The last DNC press release critical of Huckabee appeared back on March 2nd.

DNC Press Release Attack Summary: (Who are the Dems the most scared of?)

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) – 37% (99 press releases)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) – 28% (74)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) – 24% (64)
Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) – 8% (20)
Governor Mike Huckabee – 2% (4)

In fact, as the story broke over the weekend that Huckabee said he wanted to isolate AIDS patients back in 1992, the DNC ignored the opportunity to slam the candidate from the left. "He'll easily be their McGovern, an easy kill," mocked one senior Democrat operative Tuesday morning from Washington.

"His letting out murderers because they shout 'Jesus', his wanting to put 300,000 AIDS patients and Magic Johnson into isolation, ain't even scratching the surface of what we've got on him," DNC insiders said. The discipline the Democrats have shown in not engaging Huckabee has earned the praise of one former Republican Party official: "The Democrats are doing a much better job restraining themselves than the GOP did in 2003 when Howard Dean looked like he was on the brink of winning the nomination." A close friend to Huckabee explains: "Look, Mike is Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare. They should be squirming." Developing...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mitt's Looking Good in Iowa

Okay, so Mitt has lost his lead in Iowa, but all this is a good thing, let me tell you why...

Remember when Huckabee won the Iowa Straw Poll? ...Oh yeah, that's right, Mitt won the Straw Poll! But you would have hardly known it due to the relentless news coverage of Huck's big (second place) finish. The reason for the media's breathless coverage of Huck's showing is because it was NOT what everyone expected. Most folks thought that Brownback would get second place and EVERYONE KNEW Romney would win - no news there. So when Huck beat Brownback, that was big news and he got showered with good press. So what does this have to do with the upcoming Iowa caucuses?

Over the next few weeks Huck's lead in Iowa will become common knowledge. The outcome of Jan. 3 will become a foregone conclusion - Iowa is Huck's to lose! Over those same few weeks Mitt, the other candidates, and the media will be hammering on Huck's horrid record on fiscal responsibility, crime, immigration, and religious divisiveness. So although he will maintain a lead in Iowa, it will soften and Mitt's numbers will inch closer and closer. Right before the caucuses, Mike and Mitt's numbers will be really close, but hopefully Huck will have a slight lead. That way, when Mitt's stellar ground game kicks in and provides him with a win, it will be a huge upset for Huck. The news will be that Romney is surging. He came from behind, against incredible odds, and beat the Huckster! The news will be everywhere! He will go on to dominate in NH and SC, and the rest is history...

Evidence That "The Speech" Helped Romney?

Real Clear Politics has just listed two national polls in a row that show Romney at 16%. Both of these polls are post-speech. What is the significance? Romney has rarely been higher than 13% Now we have two in a row at 16%.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Romney is now leading Fred Thompson and McCain in the last three polls.

Huckabee's surge does not seem to be hurting Romney's standing in national polls. Yet, all of the other candidates are dropping.

So the real question is: Is Huck's surge for real? Only time will tell, but as Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard has pointed out: As soon as the election comes back to the important issues like the war, immigration, and the economy, Huckabee will be left wanting.

CBS poll 12/9

Giuliani 22
Huck 21
Romney 16
McCain 7
Thompson 7


CNN 12/9

Giuliani 24
Huck 22
Romney 16


source RealClearPolitics

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Romney Presidency Portends a Bright Future for America

As I watched a very presidential Mitt Romney deliver his magnificent Faith in America speech, I glimpsed the future. And what I saw gave me hope. I saw Mitt Romney, a gifted communicator, reuniting the divided Republican party. I saw Mitt Romney, a financial wizard, restoring fiscal order to Washington. I saw Mitt Romney, the patriot, protecing America from dangerous threats. I saw Mitt Romney, the believer, fostering mutual respect among the religious and non-religious. I saw Mitt Romney, the tireless worker, giving every last ounce of his energy to his presidential duties. I saw Mitt Romney, the ultimate manager, assembling the most brilliant and effective administration in the history of this country. I saw Mitt Romney, the family man, held up as a shining example of what a husband and father should be. Finally, I saw Mitt Romney, the results getter, fulfilling his word on every single campaign promise. And the future was bright! Finally!

Romney's Faith Speech Draws High Praise From Influential Conservative Leaders

Well, it looks like Mitt Romney's big speech convinced a large number of America's most influential conservative leaders to take a serious look at his candidacy. These leaders were impressed with what Romney had to say, especially his ability to articulate the relationship between religion and government. Here are a few of their glowing reviews:

RUSH LIMBAUGH (conservative Methodist Christian):
"This speech, the kind of stuff he said today is the kind of stuff I've been dreaming of hearing in a presidential campaign in a long time in terms of what this country is and where we're headed. Do you realize how long it has been since a political person, a presidential candidate of either party, spoke extensively of the founding of this country and how crucial everybody's understanding of that is to maintaining American exceptionalism? Mitt Romney took the long view of this country, from its founding to its future, farther than we can see, and he described what it is that binds us together and defines us as Americans. It is crucially important that people understand this. This was a speech of the long view, a speech of leadership and of vision. It didn't attack anybody. It was optimistic. It was positive. It had reinforcement of American traditions and values."

DR. JAMES DOBSON (conservative evangelical Christian):
"You know, it was not a speech about electoral politics, presidential or otherwise. And it was also certainly not about Mormon theology. And if it had been, I would have written a very different kind of response. It was a magnificent speech...and I was personally moved by it. He was addressing...the issue of who we are as a people, and what the source of our strength has been. And it’s directly related to our spiritual commitment since the days of the founding fathers. He was passionate when he delivered it, and he looked into the camera, at one point, I think he choked up. And it was just a very well-delivered, well thought out speech about the American people. And I loved it."

HUGH HEWITT (conservative evangelical Christian):
"Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech was simply magnificent.... [It was] a brilliant explication of the American political theory of faith and freedom. Romney used the moment to defend not just himself but the American tradition of faith in the public square, of vigorous and valued religious plurality, and, crucially, why that tradition has allowed America's role in the world to be so unqualifiedly good. The unexpected but brilliant connection of our tradition of religious liberty with our ability to move in the world to save it again and again from evil and to rebuild it without demands for territory or treasure lifted the speech very far above the ordinary campaign speech, and in so doing lifted the Romney candidacy. Americans watching the speech were listening to a great communicator talk with pride and obvious skill and passion about America and its long history of freedom. This is a much loved and too infrequent thing: An American leader talking with unashamed love and reverence for the country and its shining tradition of tolerance and fierce attachment to liberty.

DENNIS PRAGER (conservative Jew):
"I thought it was magnificent, and I have not been in the Romney camp. I have not been anti-Romney, but I’ve certainly not, you know, been a partisan here. It was a terrific speech about the role of religion, about the role, what it means to be open, the role of religion in American society, what we are, how he takes truths, how he sees beauty in all of the religions, but he’s still deeply committed to his own. I had zero fault with it."

MICHAEL MEDVED (conservative Jew):
"I can’t believe that anyone would not be favorably impressed. This is not just the best speech of this campaign so far, it’s one of the best campaign themed speeches I can remember. It’s vastly better than the John Kennedy speech to which it has been compared.... I will tell you what impressed me about his handling this speech is how beautifully, how masterfully he handled what looked to be contradictory messages. Message number one was hey, don’t judge me based on my religion, don’t get my religion too much involved in politics. And message number two was we want a general involvement of religion in politics. And yet by affirming our common values, our civic religion, what Lincoln called our political religion, Mitt Romney hit a home run."

FOR THE FULL TEXT OF SOME OF THESE COMMENTS CLICK HERE.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mitt's two endorsements (that he didn't get)

There were two very symbolic endorsements today as a direct result of the big speech. They were from Bush 41 and from Rush Limbaugh. Each of them claimed that they weren't endorsing Romney (wink) but then each went on to heap lavish praise on the Governor.

Bush 41: He introduced the Romney family and spoke nostalgically of his relationship with Mitt's parents and the good example and mentor that George Romney was to him. Then he turned his attention to Mitt and his sons, naming each of them one by one. Folks, it looked like the red carpet was laid for Mitt by our good former President. Not an endorsement, but good enough... and perhaps better in some regard.

Rush Limbaugh: the most listened to host in America had this to say:

"This speech, the kind of stuff he said today is the kind of stuff I've been dreaming of hearing in a presidential campaign in a long time in terms of what this country is and where we're headed."

"Do you realize how long it has been since a political person, a presidential candidate of either party, spoke extensively of the founding of this country and how crucial everybody's understanding of that is to maintaining American exceptionalism? Mitt Romney took the long view of this country, from its founding to its future, farther than we can see, and he described what it is that binds us together and defines us as Americans. It is crucially important that people understand this. This was a speech of the long view, a speech of leadership and of vision. It didn't attack anybody. It was optimistic. It was positive. It had reinforcement of American traditions and values.

"So the criticism I'm hearing of this really does a disservice, I think, to the critics and the whole process here. Politics is dirty, I understand that, but this speech today that he gave was -- when I do speeches, when I do the Rush to Excellence Tour, I go out and I'll do two hours, sometimes an hour-and-45 minutes, depends on whether or not I run out of water. But that's a theme of every one of them: American exceptionalism; American greatness. How did we get here? Why are we here? Why are we who we are? What defines us? Why are we as human beings so much more advanced in any way you can imagine than other human beings? We're all human beings on this planet, what is it about us? Our DNA's not special; it's not better. We're not any brighter, smarter than anybody else. But there is an answer to the question. I've given the answer on this program, it's very simple. Freedom.

But it is the understanding and the documentation in our founding documents, by our Founding Fathers, that our freedom is bestowed by our creation, or our creator. It is the natural yearning of the human being to be free. Now you can destroy that, you can imprison a human being for so many years they don't know what to do when they get out of the cage, but until such time, the natural yearning of each human being is to be free. I don't care what some say, "Rush, some people just want to be controlled." No, they can be conditioned to be controlled, trade their freedom for security; trade their freedom for a welfare check, whatever, they can be conditioned to that, but that's not the natural yearning of the human spirit.

"All Romney was doing today was answering all these charges and criticisms that his religion makes him unfit to lead, and he was trying to, and I thought did a bang-up job, of defining this country. He gave a brilliant analysis of what he thinks the country is and where we're headed as a country, filled with optimism that's been sorely lacking in the campaign. This was not a speech that was designed to say to various members, "Okay, you want health care, I'm going to give it to you and here's my plan, and my religion is not going to get in the way. You're worried about the environment, don't worry. I'm going to make sure we cut our CO2 emissions and, by the way, my Mormonism is not going to get in the way. You're worried about these forest fires and the lead in the toys from the ChiComs, I'm going to make sure there's no lead in the toys from the ChiComs and I'm going to make sure my Mormonism is not going to get in the way." It's not what it was about today. It's not what he was doing. It was grander than that. "

Indeed it was.

Faith Speech Shows Romney's Sincerity

Mitt! Wow! Your speech was excellent! It exceeded my expectations. What I appreciated most was your sincerity and genuine love for freedom, the American people, and your religion. I'm glad America was finally able to see that you are a sincere individual and not a robot. The criticisms of you in that regard are unfair. You were finally able to give a speech without having to worry about the whirl of bullets that surround you in a formal debate setting. This more natural environment allowed you to be you be more relaxed. You were more yourself. I think this is what people needed to see: Mitt Romney--the man. I was very impressed with your human side. Your sincerity was evident, and the emotion in your voice as you spoke about human unity was touching. I'm also glad that you reached out to people of other faiths. As you said in your speech, if you become our President, you will need the prayers of all people. Bravo, Mitt, for a job well done! Thank you for your sincerity. You've earned my vote--again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Will America pass the test?

On the eve of the big speech, our thoughts are with Governor Romney. Even though the speech has already been written, there have been thousands of writers giving advice as to the contents of that speech. There are many who worry that Romney will fail. There are more who worry that he will succeed. It is as if a candidate, along with all twelve million members of the LDS faith will be on trial, with a single advocate: Mitt Romney.

But it is not Romney who is on trial, but America.

Is she willing to elect the best candidate? Even if that candidate belongs to a religion that is currently in the minority? Or, would she rather choose the candidate who shares a popular religion, but who is wrong on so many issues and is less qualified?
Romney will deliver a fine speech tomorrow. But it will be America who will be asked to pass the test this Winter.

David Alvord

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

For Me (and For Many), It’s a Two-Man Contest.

With my first post on the Mitt Rocks site, I have to say that if the election were held today, I’d vote Mitt Romney. The recent rise of Mike Huckabee has been surprising and has even caused me to consider him as a candidate, which is why I consider it a two man race. Before I compare Romney and Huckabee and talk about Romney's upcoming speech, let first explain a bit about my background and then mention why I would discount the other leading candidates.

I am one of those who might be classed as an evangelical conservative, though unfortunately it seems necessary to define both of those terms. By evangelical, I believe in and respect the Bible as God’s primary message to people on earth. While I do not discount the fact that God can and does answer prayers and speaks through individuals (such as pastors, teachers and ordinary people), all of these sources should be secondary to what has been clearly communicated in the Bible. Second, as a conservative, I have a lot in common with Kennedy’s vision of asking what each of us can do for our country rather than what our country can do for us. In that way, I am generally for lower taxes, smaller government and increased personal responsibility. Government should assist individuals where appropriate and do things such as build bridges, provide for national defense, fair trade and safety regulations that individuals cannot effectively do on their own. I should also make it clear that I am not a Mormon.

It would be tough for me to vote for some of the current candidates currently under consideration for the Republican nomination. I could not bring myself to vote for Giuliani for any reason, as his past support of abortion, gun control and other liberal ideals. Regarding Fred Thompson, it seems like the public was looking to be inspired by the fictional D.A. Arthur Branch rather than the real Fred Thomson who does not have the same charisma. John McCain has my respect for his service to the country in war and peace, but I do not believe he can win the election nor inspire the party, which is why I believe it is down to Huckabee and Romney.

America has a tradition of nominating and electing former governors, including Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Carter in recent years and both Huckabee and Romney have this executive experience. Both Romney and Huckabee have supported increasing heath care coverage for the most vulnerable residents of their states, factors that should assist them in the general election and appear to be the right course of action. In addition, both have solid conservative credentials though they have had to make some compromises with Democrats.

Huckabee can be considered a dark horse candidate, and that makes him a threat to a number of the other rivals, including Mitt Romney. As of mid-summer, he regularly had less than a single percentage of the primary voters and a miniscule campaign infrastructure. That allowed him to fly under the radar, and his record as governor is only now being scrutinized in depth. I really did not consider him as a legitimate candidate until the past few weeks. Still, I have some reservations about the appearance of some of his decisions, both in terms of raising taxes and illegal or improper benefits he may have obtained. Keep in mind some of those same sorts of questions were raised about another famous Arkansas governor who later became President: The nation came to find out that some of Clinton’s alleged past practices as governor continued as President. As a dark horse, we do not know enough about these issues and we may never know. Yet to his credit, Huckabee has performed well in the debates. He would be an interesting nominee for the Republicans and would be a credible rival to Hillary Clinton (and her famous husband) in particular.

Still, if the election were held today, I would vote Mitt Romney. Romney has good credentials as a leader, as a governor and as head of the Salt Lake City Olympics. His business experience definitely appeals to me as well, and Romney has built a large and comprehensive campaign organization. I also am not aware of any ethical questions regarding Romney, in contrast with some allegations against Huckabee. Romney also would be a credible candidate against any of the Democratic challengers, and he would put Massachusetts and Michigan in play for the Republicans for the first time in 20 years.

On Thursday, Romney is slated to discuss his Mormon faith. While I do not believe that this should be a campaign issue, it is important for Romney to address this issue in the same way Kennedy did in 1960. Both Kennedy and Romney have been victims of ignorance and bigotry. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge about a subject. Bigotry is an ill-formed prejudice or a lack of respect for persons or opinions different from your own. Unfortunately, many people in the U.S. are ignorant of LDS teachings. If you asked the average American if Mormons practice polygamy, many would answer yes even though polygamy has been officially denounced for more than a century. That is ignorance, not bigotry. Incidentally, many people would ignorantly say that Catholics worship Mary, though the official Catholic doctrine on the subject is far more nuanced on that subject. Unfortunately, many of those same individuals would have an unfair prejudice against a Mormon candidate.

Romney will not succeed erasing ignorance about what Mormons believe. I know that really learning about LDS teachings requires quite a bit of in-depth study, and this is not realistic for the average American. However, what Romney can do is provide a pathway that would allow people to get past their own bigotry. For example, Thomas Jefferson is regarded as a Deist rather than a Christian, yet he was one of our greatest leaders in part because his faith was a foundation for is worldview that treasured human rights. Romney can do the same, but he cannot do this by defending Mormonism: There are a number of fundamental doctrinal differences between Mormonism and the traditional Christian faith. Yet if Romney outlines some of the key formative and personal experiences of his faith and how these translate into his life, he may succeed in combating bigotry against his candidacy. People fear the unknown, and Kennedy had to assure a public that he would not take orders from the Pope. Similarly, Romney has to convince people that he would be a President who has a strong faith who shares the same foundational values as the average voter.

Regardless of our faith tradition, be it Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Mormon or any other faith, we all would do well to abide by the words of the Old Testament prophet Micah:

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

If each of us (and each of our leaders) worked hard for these traits, we would have a country that would be the model for the world. This is the country we should seek, both in the leaders we choose and in how we put our own beliefs into action every day.

Brent M

Monday, December 3, 2007

Introducing...The Huckster!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, sooner or later Huck's past will catch up to him...

From http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/op-ed/editorial2/20071203-9999-mz1ed3bottom.html

Quote:

Over the years, Huckabee has:

-Used campaign funds to pay himself $14,000 for being his own media consultant.

-Used campaign funds to pay himself $43,000 for use of his private plane while attempting to hide what the payment was actually in return for.

-Used an account set up to cover operational costs of the governor's mansion to pay such obviously personal expenses as fast-food and dry-cleaning bills.

-Set up a nonprofit organization that paid him $23,500 without disclosing the source of the money.

-Attempted to take $70,000 of furniture with him when moving out of the governor's mansion.

-Took more than 130 gifts worth more than $300,000 – while suing to overturn a law that made him disclose the gifts.

We could go on in this vein, but space is limited. The bottom line: Mike Huckabee has an awful lot of explaining to do. And neither voters nor the national media should let the man Arkansas journalists call the “The Huckster” get away with pretending that tough questions over his tawdry ethics record amount to mudslinging.

Huckabee Claims Endorsement from God

Huckabee has just claimed that he has been endorsed by God. And I thought that evangelicals didn't believe in living prophets. If Huckabee is speaking for God, then he must have the spirit of prophecy, and he must be a prophet himself. I suppose that the canon of scripture isn't closed and that there is continued revelation and a continuation of a scriptural narrative.

"Mr. Huckabee also said that Divine providence was responsible for his recent surge in the polls in Iowa..."

See story here

Be careful here Huck, because if you do not go on to get the nomination, then either you have done something to displeasure the Almighty, or your Divine providence is not all it's cracked up to be.

Romney to give speech he shouldn't have to give

“Governor Romney has made a decision to deliver a speech titled “Faith in America.”

“The governor has been invited to The George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas to deliver this address on Thursday, December 6.

“This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor’s own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected."

“Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation.”

“Governor Romney personally made the decision to deliver this speech sometime last week.

“While identifying a venue for this address, the campaign consulted with President George H.W. Bush’s office last week about Governor Romney’s decision. President Bush was gracious enough to extend an invitation to deliver the speech at the presidential library.

“The invitation to speak at the presidential library is not an endorsement of Governor Romney’s campaign.

I can only assume that the data-driven Governor is giving this speech as a direct result of evidence of anti-Mormon bigotry against his candidacy. It is sad that America needs a speech like this! But it was sad that America needed a Lincoln to address slavery. I suppose that sometimes you have to acknowledge evil and confront it head on.

I do like the fact that Romney is going to give a speech right before Dobson endorses Huckabee. Dobson may end up looking like a bigot.

Another highlight of the speech will be the introduction by former President Bush. His is not officially an endorsement...but close enough if you ask me. I am sure that the other candidates would love to have Bush introduce them for a speech three weeks before the first primary!

I think that Romney ought to quote Joseph Smith in his speech. Since you are talking about Mormonism, why not quote from its founding leader? The quote that I would use is the following:

The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren.
If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon," I am
bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the
rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination;
for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day
Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other
denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.