Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An associate and I attended the Ask Mitt Anything rally at the OU HSC Student Union today at noon. It was well attended- 4-500 people were there. Romney gave a creditable, standard, run-of-the-mill stump speech covering immigration, health care, terrorism and energy to the largely Republican crowd. He then took questions and after four "softball questions" we left. So did lots of others. The whispering in the crowd was "this is a set-up." It was so apparent the whole affair had been a carefully scripted campaign stop designed to get his message out. There is nothing wrong with that, but when you bill it as ASK MITT ANYTHING, that is disingenuous.
Romney certainly knows he must address two issues with conservatives- his flip-flopping stand on abortion and Mormonism. But, whenever either of those issues come up, Mitt gets defensive and visibly angry like he did in an Iowa radio interview. You can watch the video at http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/08/romney_gets_angry_about_mormon_questions
I guess Romney subscribes to the old adage- YOU DON'T DISCUSS POLITICS AND RELIGION! What truly defines a person is religion and politics, so when you dodge those core areas, it sends a message that openness and transparency are not who you are. The Governor's unwillingness to address those issues head-on will not endear him to conservatives. Staying with that strategy will result in a quick exit from the Presidential race. Contrary to what his "handlers" are telling him, if Mitt addressed the hard issues FIRST, instead of attempting to dodge them, Romney might be able to overcome the flip-flop and his polytheistic religious views. Romney is an attractive candidate. He's an effective communicator, has strong values, understands what is needed to lead America. It's true that being a Mormon hurts him with certain Evangelicals., but by ignoring or misrepresenting what he believes theologically, Romney insures he will not get their support. His campaign theme is TRUE STRENGTH FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE. Mitt exhibited none of that today. Playing defense only wins football games, not elections. Romney should have come to Oklahoma willing to address the two issues he knew people wanted addressed. He missed a great opportunity to define who he is- but then again, perhaps he did.


grapevine said...

Appreciate your insight and coments. Hope all voters will become well aquainted with the candidates before they vote November 2008.

Steve Fair is a political activist. said...

Thanks- I appreciate Cheryl's comments as well. Romney doesn't identify with the average person in the street. When you are born with money- and his dad had plenty of it- it's difficult to gain a proper perspective.

Love the Grapevine blog.