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Wednesday, January 9, 2008
posted by jason | 1:17 AM | permalink

There comes a time where we need to accurately assess where things are, and tonight is the night where I do that.



I have tried my best to not post anything I don’t honestly believe. I will tell you right now, upfront, that Romney is the best candidate we have to occupy the White House. I truly think he would be able to solve so many of our nations problems, and frankly restore a lot of confidence in our nation.



But things didn’t work out so well the last week or two. He lost Iowa, where he had a huge lead, and he lost New Hampshire where he had a huge lead. Any honest person who supports Mitt Romney should take the time to ask why this happened.



Frankly, Romney lost Iowa and New Hampshire due to negative ads. I am sure there were dissenting voices in the campaign, but frankly Romney is the executive, and he made an executive mistake. And it cost him what was a clear path to the nomination. I don’t hold it against Romney, one bit. He is governor, with no experience (to his credit) on the national stage. A mistake like this was not too improbable. But when you have a stack of accusations against you and have been effectively painted a flip flopper by the opposition, pointing fingers just doesn’t get you anywhere. Well it does, it takes you south in the polls.



I don’t think this is news to Mitt. Not at all. This last weekend Romney hit his stride, the same one he had back in the spring and summer, optimistic and confident. A knowledgeable Mr. Fixit.



Romney isn’t done. New Hampshire wasn’t his swansong, but it could be his penultimate measure. If he wants to win Michigan, albeit with slim prospects ahead of him, he needs to realize those facts. He can win, but it will be with tough medicine. If I was the consultant, here’s the prescription I would give to Mitt:




  1. Staff shakeup. Fire the people with the bad advice, the poor performers. Send a message you aren’t afraid to make big changes that are painful.


  2. It’s the Economy Mitt. Michigan is in a one state economic disaster that our whole nation faces. No other candidate has the credentials you do. You need to show optimism and knowledge and a powerful plan. We don’t need the power point, just the spirit of economic leadership, competence and passion that you showed us on Saturday night.


  3. Reach out to MI Dems. Trust me, they are hardest hit by the economic woes in Michigan. They want their jobs more than the Maverick. If you give them a reason, they will vote for you.



    Michigan Dems bear the brunt of lost jobs in the auto industry because they are the union workers who, when out of a job, end up foreclosing, and working as a night janitor. All the MBA’s without a job have moved to other states to make their money by now. You have two crowds to win: Union Democrats and the MBA’s who don’t want to loose their Ford employee discount. They are your vote, not Gary Glenn.



If Mitt takes this prescription, he can win Michigan. If he wins there, he will still be a viable choice in the minds of voters having beat the two guys he just lost to. He can then win Nevada, place a strong second in SC and probably win Florida. At that point he would be the front-runner.



If Mitt doesn’t win Michigan he needs a very strong second and a win in Nevada, then a strong second in South Carolina and hope for the best in Florida. He might shake it out at that point.



If he doesn’t win Michigan or Nevada, well I am afraid I see no viable alternative. He would be smart at that point to drop out, make a huge show of it, put his weight behind McCain and bargain for a top speaking spot at the GOP convention. He then should campaign his butt off for McCain. If by some odd twist of fate McCain offers him VP, he should turn it down. After all Mitt’s an executive, not an order taker from a crusty sea captain. Then the day McCain loses in November (he will), he should begin his 2012 campaign by doing these things:




  1. Work tirelessly for the GOP. Campaign for candidates in all 50 states.

  2. Work like a banshee for pro-life causes.

  3. Write a foreign policy book and try to broker some peace deal or something

  4. Do some assesing and restore the Mitt brand




Mitt there's a fork in the road, you need to grab it.

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18 Comments:


I really think Mitt had no choice but to go negative in Iowa. The media was completely propping up Huckabee and nobody was hearing about his many flaws as a candidate. It was just too little, too late. There was no way Mitt was going to beat a heavily propped up Huckabee in Iowa. However, I agree going negative in New Hampshire was a mistake. Mitt has let his opponents and a hostile media define him. What exactly he could have done about it, I'm not sure. I think Mitt still has hope for a strong second in Michigan (I'd say third if not for the baffling situation of Dems being allowed to vote in the Republican primary, especially when they are not having a primary of their own in that state) and a win in Nevada. I think he might be better off skipping ultra-negative, anti-Mormon South Carolina and let Huckabee and McCain turn on eachother while he goes toe-to-toe with Rudy in Florida.



Where are the negative adds? Can I see them online? I keep hearing about these negative adds but nothing I have seen is bad. Are candidates not allowed to debate positions and explain why one position is better than the other? I just don't get this negative add thing.

Second, who are the under-performers he would fire? He's been beaten by two one-trick ponies. The huge lead was before the ponies showed their tricks. I say second places clear until super-Tuesday is fine. Win a third of the super-Tuesday states and clean up after that.

Let the one trick ponies play their tricks and trust the Reagan coalition to come through. If after super-Tuesday Mitt is not at least second in the delegates, then drop out. Otherwise, stay in until the finish.

And for God's sake, don't give up on the adds. It's not like he's contrasting from the left, he's "going negative" from the right. On issues the electorate care about. The Sunday debate in NH was nothing other than a "negative" add live as Mitt contrasted his positions against all the other candidates.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 1:59 AM  


I think it's worth saying that right now liberals are determining the GOP nominee. Romney won the conservative vote in New Hampshire, for instance, and still finished in second.

But this could just get worse in Michigan. Michigan allows its voters to vote however they want--Republican---Democrat. Whatever. Well, the Democrats decided to completely pull out of Michigan after they moved their primary up. The problem? Pretty much only Hillary is on their ballot and no delegates are up for grabs. There has been some talk of writing in None of the Above in efforts to embarrass Hillary (having her lose to None of the Above), but what's worse, all the independents and all the Democrats are free to vote in the Republican Primary.

I'm not sure if I know exactly what that's going to mean, but you could see Democrats piling on voting for their "Glass Jaw," for instance. Or independents who would normally be voting for Obama voting for McCain.

With all that foreboding, I like Romney's odds in Nevada. The state is 44% Catholic and 12% Mormon. This ain't Huckabee country. And it's also a border-type state, making it far less friendly to McCain. Only Romney and Giuliani have been actively campaigning here.

I think Romney needs to make sure he wins Nevada. It would take some of the luster off South Carolina AND it has more delegates.

~CheyennePress

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 2:14 AM  


Jason,

Negative ads are not to blame for Iowa. Evangelical support for Huckabee just couldn't be stopped by a Mormon. Believe me if Romney wasn't a mormon he would have won Iowa.

New Hampshire was a big loss to Romney, but I think he lost to McCain because McCain branded himself as a man of integrity.

Your Michigan approach is spot on, however, the MLK march thing is going to come back big...

The problem isn't with the candidate, its not with his organization, although the negative ads in New Hampshire just gave McCain more integrity clout...the problem is America is simply not ready for an intelligent candidate.

I think your assessment with dropping out after disappointments in Michigan, Nevada, and Florida are incorrect...I think he should burn it out and go as far as he can, without adding his own bank.

Let's face it, the Mormon issue is a real issue, but not as big as the name recognition issue. I agree...you've got the formula for Mitt to be the nominee in 2012.

Mitt is a 2012 candidate, just like Reagan was a 1980 candidate in '76. The american people have to go through a heck of a lot more of the awful stuff before they realize they need someone like Mitt.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 2:31 AM  


Luckily for me, I am an “honest person who supports Mitt Romney,” but I’m also emotionally stable enough to handle the ups and downs of the primary season without taking it out on my candidate.

I also have enough respect for him and what he has accomplished up to this point in his campaign (and life) to trust that he knows exactly what he is doing, how to assess what has or has not been effective and in turn what to do going forward.

Lastly, Mitt did not run negative ads. They were, are and will continue to be comparative ads.

Pull yourself together; I think panic is setting in.



I agree, to an extent... I think it would have better approach to inply that Huckabee is an idiot directly, without coming across as being negative. Saying something like this "We need somebody in washington that knows how to read an income statement", obviously infering that Huck's a hick with no knowledge of economics, etc.



McCain won in NH due to the sympathetic war hero vote.If immigration and the economy are the top two issues it makes no sense at all to vote for McCain. Last night was a huge win for the illegal crowd. I've already read 4 articles this morning that promote Huck and McCain in Mich.for different reasons.

I agree Mitt needs to shake his staff up. His inner circle think too much alike and are out of touch with voters concerns. Mitts slide started with his MTP appearance. I don't know who if anybody advised him to to say what he did on there but it was horrible..Somehow he has to create a compelling reason to vote for him. If it was me advising him ,I'd start attacking the Dems. Washinton needs checks an balances.We can't trust the Dems with all 3 branches of government. They'll spend 100's of billions of dollars down the liberal agenda rathole.The liberals have been in charge of education and poverty for 40 years and they are both failures.The democrats don't represent real change,they are just going to expand old failed programs and taxpayers are going to feel the pain of their failure.

One last thing. I strongly disagree that if Mitt drops out he should back McCain. He should back Guliani. He's the best one to go toe to toe with Hillary and he puts big states in play.He can pick a strong pro-life guy as his running mate.



I believe that Mitt is our best chance to win in November. I do think we have a better chance against Hillary than Obama, but our chances are not good either way. Whoever we nominate and whoever is nominated by the dems it is essential that we fight hard to win under a united front. The problem is that we are so divided in this contest that it will be hard to unite. I myself am battling feelings of "I just don't care anymore." I've always vowed never to vote for a pro choice candidate. Can I break my vow now? It would be hard. I will never, never, never vote for Huckabee. He is poison as far as I'm concerned. He was my governor and I voted for him, but I will never cast another vote for him again. If he is our nominee the rest of you will have to get him elected, because there is no way I will. I know there are people out there that feel that way about Romney and each of the candidates, which is my point. Can we unite. But my hopes are still on Romney.



Methinks you folks need to listen to Mitt's "challenge" (as opposed to concession) speech again. It was exceptional. You also need to push back from those self-serving promoted weathercasters at FoxNews. They've ridiculed Mitt for the last 3 days and I'm royally pissed at them.

If I had the magic formula for helping Mitt win == I'd have given it to him months ago. I don't. But I believe in him. And your suggestion that he withdraw, support McVain yadayadayada is totally unacceptable.

If Mitt even comes close to withdrawing -- I'm turning my blog into a survival handbook.

Now let him lead, follow him or get the hell outta the way.

I've tried numerous times on numerous sites to get someone of influence to start a "generic" every-day-type-blogger blog list and network ---- no one's done it yet. Are we the only support group NOT to have this support-link????

Support John McCain????? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR That makes my skin crawl.


http://perishthethought.blogdrive.com AND
http://overthehilloracles.wordpress.com/



Found this article this morning:
Adviser: Romney to assume bigger role

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 7:54 AM  


We share disappointment about last night, but it's primarily based on expectations. Mitt was the favorite in NH? Not really he spent a lot of time and money there, and MA is next door, but such things do not trump the much greater name recognition of JM. You and I may be familiar with Mitt, but the average voter is not; nor are they familiar yet with the horrid policy aspects of JM.

Moreover, I disagree with you assessment. Hugh Hewitt's assessment, about Independents flipping strategically to McCain, and this being a momentum-less race is a lot closer to the mark.

Mitt lost by 5%, now has the most delegates, and as he sweetly puts it, the most "medals."

Michigan will be more telling than NH. And while MI has the same potential "independents strategically switching" dynamic, Obama not winning by 20% should neutralize that. A Mitt win in MI will be amazing; another strong second will be plenty good.

In any case, I salute you for this blog, and, chin up!

SRosenberg,
Brooklyn, NY



I agree with bigmo. Mitt is the only candidate who is trying to heavily contest every state. I think there's no way he wins SC; it's too much like IA. Make it known you're not trying too hard there and go to FL! They are more receptive.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 9:20 AM  


I don't think Mitt is going to drop out. If he does, I REALLY don't think he would endorse McCain. Maybe Fred if he wins SC, but more likely Rudy. But not McCain or Huckabee.



The negatives are needed to stop media driven advances by Mitt's opponents. They worked. Mitt stopped them from running away with it and then he began to advance steadily. They - together with the late positives - worked perfectly. That's how Mitt states his case. How anyone does. It's a rational approach. Act 2 is a re-play of Act One. Mitt will emerge again as the logical winner. This time with delegates!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2008 at 9:48 AM  


I agree Romney needs at least one more Gold, while continuing to do no worse than silver to stay in this race.

Throw his weight behind McCain?????? Absolutely no way!!!!!! Romney's only reason to throw support to McCain would be that McCain will be a one-term president (retire @ age 76) where Romney could make another run in 2012.

Rudy's main strike against him is is pro-choice, anti-traditional marriage positions. However, I'm much more willing to take Rudy's word for it that he will suppress those views as president than I am to nominate a "tax & spend / amnesty" candidate like McCain. McCain-Kennedy really pissed me (and the GOP) off...he won't get my vote under any circumstances.

I'd be very disappointed in Romney if he ever endorsed McCain (or Huck for that matter)...Romney would lose a lot of credibility.



I can't believe anyone here is even TALKING about who Mitt should throw his support behind when he loses!!! We're talking about Mitt here. Did anyone even read Turnaround? If anyone can turn this thing around, it's our guy. I say we stop talking about who Mitt should support, and start supporting him - make phone calls, send money, get out to the caucus, and post comments whenever and whevever you can.

By Anonymous Nevadagirl, at January 9, 2008 at 11:41 AM  


This analysis is wrong. It has some good elements, but the problem is that you are lost in the trees and can't see the forest.

First, NH is a liberal state. McCain is a liberal republican and Romney is a conservative republican. Observe that Barak Obama lost -- which means that his Iowa landslide most likely caused liberal independents who would otherwise supported him to vote for McCain because they felt Obama was bulletproof coming into NH. This is most compelling reason Romney lost.

Moreover, keep in mind that the liberals would like nothing more than to make it seem that the conservatives are not supported in their own party. They have a motivation to work hard to get Huckabee and McCain votes because both candidates are liberal.

It stands to reason that Romney has a difficult time carrying liberal NH, even when he had an early lead because he is the conservative candidate. A lead doesn't mean anything (in Romney's case Iowa and NH) until there is some serious competition and people start paying attention.

Second, the negative ads haven't hurt Romney. There is no evidence to buoy up this hypothesis. In Iowa he over-performed, obviously this is not indicative of being hurt by negative ads. It just so happens that Huckabee did a better job of motivating his base to vote. In NH, he lost a liberal state to a liberal republican, and still performed at about the expected level. Until I see proof positive that (1) the ads were really negative and (2) they somehow lost him votes he would have otherwise gained because of them, I don't believe they hurt him.

Does anybody reasonably believe that McCain will be the nominee? He is wrong socially and he is wrong economically. Don't write off Guiliani yet. He still commands leads in many states and has more or less sat back, saving his money and letting the other contenders inflict damage on each other. He is Romney's biggest competition, along with Thompson (even doing as poorly as he has in the first two contests). McCain has $$, but isn't likable and is not viable in most states that don't have a liberal electorate like NH, especially in the Republican party.

Iowa and NH in the end are strange beasts that are not representative of the national conservative consensus as a whole. Romney has received great focus lately, which is what he needs to win in the end (i.e., name recognition). People don't know him nationally, and therefore he hasn't polled too great nationally. But he has the right momentum going into states where conservatives (true conservatives) are going to be voting without liberal independents (NH), and weird voting confounding the results.

Moreover, make no mistake that Huckabee can't compete with the under 3M he has. At some point, he will not be able to counter the ads run against him unless he raises a lot of money fast.

Bring on the normal states!!

By Anonymous Cilantro13, at January 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM  


I think you need to be careful as co-chair for Mitt's Michigan campaign what you write. Whether you are aware or not, your comments were completely mischaracterized by www.schotline.com (See SunlitUpstate comment on front page). This is a dog fight down here and it hasn't played well that Mitt pulled his ads. The media misses the big key to SC - the Bob Jones University crowd. This group defeated McCain in 2000 and they could hand Mitt a major victory next Saturday if he can get passed Michigan. You should respond to this blogger on schotline.com - it would be helpful.

Jayhawker in Greenville, SC

By Anonymous Jayhawker in Greenville, at January 11, 2008 at 6:48 PM  



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