Romney Big Speech Fail . . .

Romney forgot to come clean fully in his Big Speech today. The Babbling Class is tripping over itself tonight to praise Romney’s speech.

We were up on and around the Hill today. Not everyone seemed impressed. For example, we sat down with a long time social conservative Movement activist. We trust this person as an unusually good bell weather for where ‘mainstream’ Movement thinking lies. Underwhelmed with ‘uuuuuuuuuu’.

It’s undoubtedly true Romney understood these Movement segments will be ‘ungettables’. And crafted the speech for the more casual drive-by ‘middle’ of the electorate. Yet as our friend above sardonically reminded us, Movement tends to control the agenda and momentum in Iowa though South Carolina. We’ve yet to meet a conservative impressed with Romney’s performance.

We later saw footage of Rudy’s response to Romney. We looked closely for cues based on our past interactions. He certainly did play the gentleman by praising the Romney speech. We actually agree with that in spirit. It has the added benefit of being smart politics.

Rudy’s body language conveyed a different message. Our take? It vividly screamed out his unhappiness that Romney did so well. Understandable. But interesting dichotomy. Rudy the candidate, for good or for ill, hasn’t yet mastered the Big Dog’s ability to turn from smile to a tear on a dime. Hey may never do so.


The Babbling Class is kicking their horse race coverage up a gear. We’ve been involved a bit with some campaigns before. So we get that all this is a fact of life. We remain appalled to see how unusually unctious and self-important these ephemeral people can become.

Naturally they missed the big story of the day — a huge gaping hole in the speech. A hole so big that even Bush 41 could say “wouldn’t be prudent” to leave unfilled.

Once again the Stiftung must step into the breech. Put simply, “Governor Romney, brushing aside the alleged secret cult aspects of Mormonism, don’t you think the American people deserve to know where you really stand on 9 ft., 1000 pound Psychlos? And why is Jonnie Goodboy Tyler’s freedom campaign to unearth their 300,000 year old teleportation mastery so important for our Time?”

If only the Concierge of the Situation Room could summon the courage for this kind of investigative journalism. At least we’d know he was in on his own joke.


  1. Comment says

    John Edward campaign commercials come on next – We are somewhat surprised by how unimpressed we find Edwards campaign. Technically we agree with many of his points, but there’s something about his delivery – Maybe we have a regional bias against NC speech, but we don’t mind his wife. Anyway – now Oprah comes on the tube to introduce Barack, our candidate. We have been a bit disappointed with Barack’s debate performance – but there’s still time …

  2. Comment says

    We’re now watching a comprehensive Rudy interview on c-span. It’s a shame we disagree with Rudy on so much now – We recall being elated when he was Mayor in the first term. Anyway – in this interview, Rudy comes accross as a fascinating personality in a way that Romney lacks. Rudy is very complex and there are many contradictions – Certainly, we don’t have to tell you that. But what those of us who are more removed see is someone who reveals his strengths and weakness on and off in rapid succession when he talks about things in general.
    We did not see Russert’s interview save in clips, but we assume Russert asked faux tough questions about Judith and the cars and the Kerik etc. But IMO the real way to interview a complex character like Rudy is via seemingly unrelated topic where he feels comfortable to let his guard down. We would focus on his admiration w/ Laguardia – real questions (not cornball) about the Yankees and his views on a variety of players. His decision not to enter the seminary. His positive view of criminals that he prosecuted – like Fat Tony or some of the insider traders, his take on NY history in the 20s and 30s, his love for Opera and food, and why he fired Bratton for eating at Elaines ….

  3. Comment says

    Kimberly Kagan was just interviewd by Brian Lamb on c-span – She was impressive in many ways. The interview was light on substance, but heavy on Kaganology – lots of questions about Fred et al and the surge. She denied being a neocon and seemed sincere in that denial – This was kind of funny because it may be true for all we know, but it seems so many people who get Olin funding, work for AEI, support invading Iraq, etc deny the unpopular neocon label. That’s just what Leo would recommend. No? LOL.

    On a practical note – we question the practical applications of reading classics with a program in mind. She spoke of reading Caeser and Thucydides et al. Very well. But those books can be instructive lessons on the importance of avoiding Empire – Rather than get lost in the weeds debating Greek and Roman tactics, one should consider the larger effect – Caeser’s campaigns and the decline of the Republic – The decline of Greece in pursuit of Empire.
    Intellectuals often get lost in the ‘big picture’ – but with the Kagan’s it seems the opposite – They get lost in the micro detail, forgetting the concern the Founders had about this course –

  4. Comment says

    George and Cofer were talking tough and there was lots of crackin’ about ‘taking off the gloves’ ( a duel use metaphor that can be meant literally – that should be banned by international anti-cliche agreements) and being grown up and serious and all that stuff. But the videos likely show appalling sadism for little or no gain,

    We recall a a tax attorney once recalling how appalled he was during a college reunion to be reminded via a video tape that he once led his fraternity’s power barfing team to victory at Padre island during spring break. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time – he figurered, but it sure looked bead and now he would have a tough time explaining it to his wife and colleagues. … So maybe these spring break tapes , we mean interrogation tapes – Scratch that.

  5. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    The Agency is always in this kind of bind as been since 1947. As the loyal dog of presidents, the Agency is asked to bend the rules and usually take the hits. Here, W and Gonzales and Addington and Agency lawyers drafted memo after memo for Agency personnel and their contractors to ‘protect’ them should the public mood swing from immediate post 9-11. Which it obviously has.

    Asking Perrino about anything is largely a waste of time.

  6. Comment says

    Do you think McCain will stress his opposition to waterboarding in the S. Carolina primary?

  7. Comment says

    re Tapegate – Shocked! Shocked! – One mystery remains – why no reporter bothers to ask Dana Perino or anyone else what kind of tape was destroyed – The make, the brand – Analogue? Digital? It matters – there may be a trace copy somewhere. No?

  8. Comment says

    We turned back to Morning Joe – Arianna is one pushing the the Waye Dumund story – Arguably this is a Baptist related story, since Huckabee freed that killer, in part, on the advice of a fellow Preacher – But Romney can’t point that out – Huckabee’s rancid populism will doom him eventually. The WSJ would probably actually endorse HRC or Barack, over Huckabee – Maybe not, but it would be close. Fair tax – Yeah, whatever. Huckabee should just admit he freed Dumond to appease the Clinton haters and then say he learned a lesson.

  9. Comment says

    Couple of more points – Romney’s speech lacked Kennedy’s literary quality – No big deal there, but it was just inferior along those lines. Kennedy’s speech was also must more secular in tone and content – But the Tweety-media wants to meld the two. Often they edit out the more aggressively secular sounding sections of Kennedy’s speech.
    Also – everything in Kennedy’s speech rang true – He did not play games and he engages his audience in a spirited Q&A afterward and fended off hostile questions from rustic preachers.
    Romney’s false note was when he played that Fox style “some people say” game – Romney kept saying “some people” want him to distance himself from his faith – His faith of his fathers. Tweety was barfing with joy over this line – But the problme is – no one is telling Romney to back away from Mormonism. It would be politically ridiculous to do so, as Mormonism is his funding base, and people would see it as insincere. Maybe someone in his own family or some hired Dick Morris type told him to back away- But this was a false note – A great speech cannot contain false notes and transparent insincerity. Sorry.
    So his full of himself – sticking up for his Fathers and his Faith was a pose. Poseurs lose.
    IMO – Americans generally admire Mormons for extoling a clean and healthy life and admire their work ethic and business culture. Romney would haveen better off being a Mormon superman than trying to mimic the “superman comes to the supermarket” (Mailer) JFK.

  10. Comment says

    Tweety just came on Morning Joe – time to change the channel. But he had to describe Gore’s campaign in 2000 as “petty fearmongering” – Gore ran a pretty bad campaign, but it was not fear-based. Bush’s was.\
    The Bush campaign used fear, as a tactic, in a number of cases – That’s just a fact. Gore did not.
    IMO – Romney’s speech was middle to good. Not close to be great. But it’s interesting now that Tweety has to pretend it was so. Tweety is nothing like Romeny –
    Romney would probably regard Tweety as a bit of slob, so here you have Tweety’s ‘recipe for sadness’ showing again – sticking up for people who probably privately scorn him, whilst dumping on Gore out of ill whiff fear and envy.
    Comment was never a Gore fan, but was under no illusion that the media went after him unfairly for complex reasons having littel to do with Gore actions or views.
    Jon Stewart should see if he can take Tweety down a notch or two when the strike is over.

  11. Comment says

    Joe Scarborough quoting David Brooks without irony about Romney – OK – one more point – Romney has so far gotten a pass from the supposedly culturally liberal mainstream media when it comes to his choice of Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth.
    Can you imagine the scorn they would heap upon Hillary if she answered a similar question by saying her favorite was some sort of classic like “To The Lighthouse” from Woolf, or other novels with modern feminist themes that skew upscale tastewise like Flaubert’s Bovary or Kate Chopin’s Awakening?
    Maureen Dowd would flash her Colleem Smile, get out her Cliffs Notes, and mix in her signature wit and tell all the mainstream media how to respond in a fury of class self hatred.
    Recall Gore as Stehdhal’s Julian Sorel?
    Rudy also gets a pass liking Opera – The media discounts that as an urban Italian thing.

  12. Comment says

    One more point – attacking one the Founding Fathers has generall not been a good movie in GOP politics, but it’s not unprescedented – TR used to attack Jefferson all the time and called him a terrible President etc. So if Rudy did this, he could expect Romney to pounce. This is how Rudy could lead Romney into a trap = Because any defense of John Adams is an implicit rebuke of John Adams enemies at the time, including but not limited to Jefferson.
    The media would love this debate – though they would never let the Dems get away with it.
    Think about it, Rudy could say,
    “It was no accident that Mitt chose John Adams – Not just because Adams attacked Catholics in those essays … Adams defended the Crown in the Boston Massacre, he did not defend Crispus Attics. Adams attack Jefferson … His Rotundity ….

  13. Comment says

    Converting John Adams into good anti Romeny spin would be a tall order, meme wise – But Rudy was pretty good at making the line item veto sound like some sort of Clintonian freak show move. But with Adams, it should be simple – Everyone was comparing Romney’s speech to JFK’s Catholic speech in Houston. So roughly speaking, the Catholic issue, has been implicitly resurrected in the Romney moment. Romney conspicusly quoted Adams. While Adams is just an oil painting for most people, the media puts up a pretense of being knowledgable about Adams – In light of this pretense, Rudy could say that Romney was well aware, the press was aware, that John Adams often attaced the RC church in the context of discussing religion. So he could say that was why Romney chose Adams – a coded slap at Catholic Rudy.
    It’s all a stretch, but Rudy could pull it off if he rehearsed it and was able to bullet point it in a media friendly way. Romeny is not a deep man and he just quoted Adams in Bartlett’s way, but who know?

  14. Comment says

    It might be tough to pull this off – but maybe Rudy should tell the press that Romney made a semi-cryptic attack against Catholics in his speech – The press would expect some sort of comparison to the JFK speech, but Rudy could go on to point out that John Adams often singled out Papists for scorn in some of those essays that Romney alluded to in his speech. For example – if a candidate quoteds something Karl Marx said about the American Civil war, the press would be open to the idea that the candidate was a bit of a Marxist in other areas as well. So Rudy should try to pidgeonhole Romney as being a modern John Adams, but in a bad way. Incidentally – Adams would probably be too secular to run in the GOP today.
    It’s amazing , in retrospect, that Nixon did not have to explain his Quaker upbringing. Unless, you look at the Christmas bombing as a form of explaination.

  15. Comment says

    Not to pick on Olberman, but we figure if someone like us – opposed to Warlord and enjoys political attacks – cannot dealin with listening to his whole Special Comment without changing the channel so as not to miss the promo before a Daily Show re-run, then he must have trouble convincing undecided viewers – This was the opposite of Murrow. Murrow was liberal but aimed his spare words at voters in the middle.

  16. Comment says

    re Just tuned into Olberman delivering a Special Comment – Though we generally agree with the gist of his critique, we are sad to report that he is just flailing and offering spittle. Yelling at Bush comparing him to Grant, Hayes, Arthur, and Garfield. This is not gonna convince any undecided voters.
    Olberman needs an editor and it now seems obvious no one on his staff feels comfortable telling him not to say x, y, z for his own benefit. Moreover – he can’t keep screaming at the camera and mix that Paddy C. move with his Murrow swivel.

  17. Comment says

    re: Romney Goodboy: = We have not seen the speech save clips and some sneers from Olberman. But we recall feeling like the only ones that seemed to notice Romney declare BE his favorite novel. It struck us on several levels – We have not read the novel, just saws some clips of a bad looking movie.
    What immediately struck us was Romney’s sincerity and earnest enthusiasm when he relayed that data. He obviously did not script that and it seemed like he did not forsee the downside political implications. We think it’s very difficult to abstract the meaning of a novel from the writers overal point of view – In other words – BE is linked to Hubbard’s philosophy as Screwtape is linked to CS Lewis or Pullman to his POV.
    So a while ago — in the 90s, we recall a Mormon also listing this Hubbard novel as his favorite. This was out of the blue. WTF? So no one seemed to be on to this – Then we noticed Kurt Anderson wrote about how he saw these connections.

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