Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

Mitt Romney Not Likely To Run In 2012

November 8, 2008

Charley Manning, a longtime friend and advisor of Mitt Romney, had some very interesting things to say about the political future of the former Massachusetts governor today. Manning served as a consultant on Romney’s 1994 campaign for senate, his 2002 campaign for governor as well as the presidential campaign and remains close to him. For the last several weeks, I’ve been appearing with Manning on the Hank Morse Show on 96.9 FM-talk, WTKK.

Today’s show began with a discussion of The Boston Herald’s story implicating pro-Romney forces in the distribution of leaks unfavorable to Sarah Palin. After saying he would never hire the type of people who would leak negative information about a campaign they had just worked on, Manning gave his opinion on what Romney might do.

“I’d be surprised if Mitt ever ran again for president…I sure don’t think it was the best experience of his life,” Manning said. Manning cited the disappointment Romney experienced in hearing the level of anti-Mormon bias in the Republican primaries. “There are other things he can do,” Manning asserted.

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Personal Memories of Campaign 2008

November 6, 2008
I first met Barack Obama at a sparsely attended press conference for Deval Patrick in October 2006. I saw him electrify an audience at the JFK Library and witnessed his first big appearance in New Hampshire in early December. I was there in Concord when Obama stood by his vow to meet the president of Iran during his first year in office. “We don’t need Bush-Cheney Lite,” he said as the crowd erupted in cheers. Even when this became an issue in the debates with McCain, nobody told McCain Obama ever said that.
I heard him implore Massachusetts to vote for him with Caroline Kennedy and Ted Kennedy at his side the night before the primary. He lost but he did not lose his cool.
I saw his last appearance with foreign policy aide Samantha Power. Obama seemed to love her energy but his staffers kept reeling her in.
I was one of the few writers to spend an extended period of time with Joe Biden, who gave me time after a book talk at Borders in downtown Boston. In an odd juxtaposition from four years earlier, I waited for Biden with the BPPA’s leadership team.
I attended scores of Hillary Clinton speeches and watched her campaign of inevitability devolve into desperation. I saw her fight back as the NH primary approached. I was in the room when two goons got up during one of her speeches shouting “Iron My Shirt! Iron My Shirt!”
I covered the Pennsylvania primary before Obama had figured out how to capture the votes of blue collar whites (or before the economy entirely went south.) I saw a Bill Clinton, reduced to giving 25 minute speeches in out-of-the-way venues, rev up the crowd in Millvale, PA. I interviewed Senator Casey of Pennsylvania who assured me Obama would win over enough Catholic voters to become president.
On the Republican side, I began by following Mitt Romney around New Hampshire. I saw Rudy Giuliani take brief interest and lose it in the Granite State. While he started to resonate in July, his big tour across Southern New Hampshire was a bust. The lasting image is of his gaggle of stilettoed press aides shoeing away the media, including David Broder who subsequently slammed Giuliani in the Washington Post.
McCain began his presidential campaign in Portsmouth at a highly orchestrated event right on the river with just one problem. The t.v. cameras could not shoot over the big speakers McCain’s people had set up. I called around NH when McCain hit his low point. McCain would win NH on his own, his supporters said. And they were right. I was with McCain the night he won NH and killed the campaign of Mitt Romney. The campaign blared Chuck Berry’s “Go Johnny Go!” How is this guy going to compete with Obama and his U2 “City of Blinding Light?” I thought.
I was there in Denver when Obama made everything in his campaign bigger and pulled it off.

Second Thoughts on Sarah Palin?

September 24, 2008

Now almost a month after John McCain selected Sara Palin as his running mate, does it still seem like such a great idea? The latest polls show Barack Obama ahead of McCain by 9 percentage points, and the difference, no surprise, is the economy.

“More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.”

Even with the tremendous show of support that Republican activists demonstrated for Palin, the unravelling economy has exposed McCain on his weakest issue. Neither McCain nor Obama has been particularly strong in recent days — being forced to the sidelines by unexpected events. But Obama has the benefit of being from the opposition party. By definition, he represents a change in approach; McCain, more of the same.

Given those conditions, I stand by my earlier argument that Mitt Romney would have been the best running mate for McCain. Furthermore, I’ve heard the same thing — unsolicited — from committed Obama supporters.

Would Romney Have Helped More In New Hampshire?

September 4, 2008

Jeremy Jacobs of PolitickerMA has an interesting piece speculating on whether John McCain would have done better in the key swing state of New Hampshire with Mitt Romney as his running mate.

And, since McCain passed over former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney, some are questioning whether Palin will help McCain more in New Hampshire, a potential swing state, than Romney would have.

Several said that while Romney is the former executive of neighboring Massachusetts and came in second with 31 percent of the vote in this year’s primary, McCain’s fate in New Hampshire is in his own hands.

He also quotes me:

“Given the rigorous time demands on a presidential candidate’s time, McCain will need surrogates,” said Seth Gitell, a Boston political analyst and author of Gitell.com. “Romney will be an important one for McCain in New Hampshire.”

Giuliani’s Valedictory

September 4, 2008

Where Romney’s speech hurt him, Rudy Giuliani’s soared. His tone was on, and the former New York mayor, who is also an opera aficionado, was theatrical in his critique of Barack Obama. Where was this guy back in November and December when the nomination was there for the taking?

The Romney Speech

September 4, 2008

I’m very surprised by Mitt Romney’s speech tonight. He was way, way too hot for television, which, we all know, is a cool medium. I don’t think in my 8 years of covering Romney and watching him as a close political observer, I ever saw him shout. He’s best when he slowly builds a case and uses logic and facts to marshall a case.

It’s not that Romney delivered a conservative speech. It’s that he delivered a dumb conservative speech filled with unwieldy metaphors to “steroids” and “weed wacker[s]”. Some of his comments in New Hampshire critical of the House and Senate leadership were sharp as was this attack of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: “In the case of the three Democratic front-runners, none of them has managed a corner store, let alone a state or a city or an enterprise of the nature of the United States.”

I’d go so far as to say that Romney dumbed his speech down for his audience. That doesn’t explain his hollering, however. He’ll have to do better if he hopes to be the 2012 nominee should McCain lose.

Palin Problem

August 29, 2008

I’ve just gotten off a plane filled with many members of Boston’s political scene and am just now able to give my reaction to the Palin pick, which I learned about on a bus filled with delegates this morning.

To me, it’s a desperate and reckless pick. The Republicans seem to be ready to throw away their best argument, experience, for the novelty of somebody new. While I acknowledge that it’s a change election, I still believe somebody ready to president, such as Mitt Romney, would have been a better decision.

Other than the two nominees and a couple others, I’m wondering who the GOP can put forward next week to promote their candidate. As for the politically-toxic President Bush — whose remarks will come dangerously close to the Hurricane Katrina anniversary — I would have had him speak at around 7:15 ET, just after the Mayor of St. Paul, not on prime time.

Best Republican Ticket: John McCain and Mitt Romney

July 15, 2008

Mitt Romney’s tenacity coupled with the increasing focus on the economy lead me to believe he’s the best choice as John McCain’s potential running mate — even though McCain obviously loathes him. I write the following in my New York Sun column.

“The answer to many of Mr. McCain’s problems is looming in plain, uncomfortable sight: He needs a running mate who can immediately infuse the campaign with energy, a fluid surrogate who can hammer away at Mr. Obama, stay focused, not lose his cool, and, most of all, an economic expert, who can negate, if not reverse, the Democrat’s perceived advantage in the areas of jobs and growth. The man who possesses those qualities is the same person who got under Mr. McCain’s skin during the primary fight — Mitt Romney.

To suggest that Messrs. McCain and Romney present an unlikely team is obvious to any observer of Republican politics. Mr. McCain speaks his mind and is even caustic in public; the former Massachusetts governor is smooth to the point of being slick. Mr. McCain, in both actions and appearance, is gritty, gutsy, and courageous; Mr. Romney, with his telegenic hair and shirt and tie ensembles, evokes a 1950s anchorman-like android quality.

Mr. McCain spent much time abroad in the 1960s as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese prison camp; Mr. Romney attempted to proselytize on behalf of his Mormon faith in the French countryside during the same period. Mr. McCain is a self-described computer “illiterate” who relies on his wife to help him online; Mr. Romney’s preferred method of presentation is computerized power point. These disparate qualities, when fused together in the odd alchemy of ticket politics, add up to a notable combination.”