Sunday, February 10, 2008
Dear Gov. Romney,
This is a difficult letter to write, one that I had earnestly hoped would never be written. Rather, a congratulatory letter upon your pending Republican nomination was what I had hoped and planned to write. It is extremely difficult for me to let go of the desire to see you elected President in 2008, as I am sure it is difficult for you and your family to let this dream go. I have been on the Romney bandwagon nearly a year and had absolutely no doubt from very early on that you were the best candidate.
That said, the time obviously is here to move on to the next stage. I am making this an open letter to you and intend to post it on my blog www.okromney.blogspot.com and other Romney sites in the hope that this increases the likelihood of it actually reaching your eyes or those of close family and/or advisors. As I said, I wish it were a congratulatory note and a vow to support you as the GOP nominee this fall.
You have fought a hard, but honorable fight. I am fully confident you will conduct yourself with equal dignity after leaving the race. I did want to toss out a few points – points of which I am sure you are already well aware. While I realize Richard Nixon may be a name that draws very mixed emotions in the Romney household, I cannot help but think of both Nixon in 1964 and Barry Goldwater in 1960 when I think of your situation now. Nixon’s case especially strikes home to me. Obviously you know the background. After his 1962 gubernatorial loss, Nixon’s career seemed over. He did everything he could for the party, however, campaigning for Goldwater and then showing his party loyalty by being probably the GOP’s hardest working campaigner and money-raiser during the next three years. I won’t bother getting into 1968 for obvious reasons, but Nixon, like Goldwater, later had his shot.
I hope you will not consider this a one-shot effort. I hope Sen. McCain wins in November. I will vote for him and urge others to do so. I am confident that both you and Gov. Huckabee will do likewise. With a united front I think we stand a good chance. I do hope that, should Sen. McCain offer you the vice presidential slot, you will take it. This would not only boost the ticket’s chances of winning, but would obviously give you a national bump in name recognition as well. Even a loss as the No. 2 man has not seemed to diminish future presidential hopefuls’ chances.
Whatever happens this fall, I really believe you are Sen. McCain’s natural successor as the GOP standard-bearer. If the senator wins, I would imagine he is unlikely to seek a second term. Obviously, if he loses, a door is open – although I know we would both prefer you being able to take a different route.
I fully believe that simple lack of name recognition and the confusion of social conservatives as to which way to go did you in this time. I fear that too many voters who had not followed the race closely merely knew the candidates as “the ex-president’s wife,” “the black guy,” “the Mormon,” “the preacher guy” and John McCain. I really believe that the vast majority of voters who actually heard you speak in more than a sound bite were tremendously impressed.
The more I saw of you and your family, the more I admired you. Those of us who lived on Romney Web sites and blogs the past several months got to see sides of you that probably 95 percent of the electorate didn’t, from helping storm victims remove a tree trunk, to the rescue of an associate’s daughter, to the charming footage of you and Ann dancing barefoot in your living room as your grandchildren observed all they will ever need to see for role models in the two of you. I have almost come to feel like a part of the Romney family myself, as I imagine many of your staunch supporters have.
If people like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and (by opposing Sen. McCain) Dr. James Dobson had done their thing earlier, it might have been very different. Be that as it may, you leave 2008 as potentially the darling of the conservative crowd, which is quite a nice base to build upon.
I hope you did not find this full-fledged plunge into politics distasteful and that you will begin right away laying the foundation to put Mrs. Romney in her rightful place as the lovely First Lady of this land.
As a Missouri Baptist now living and voting in Oklahoma, who hopes to be wrapping up a Ph.D. in history at the University of Kentucky by the 2012 election, I stand ready to support any future endeavors you may choose to pursue. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours and thank you for some wonderful memories during the past year.
A loyal supporter,
Sunday, February 3, 2008
I have not seen any polls for Oklahoma. In my former state, Missouri, it appears that Gov. Romney, McCain & Huckabee are in a virtual three-way heat. I'm glad I took time to e-mail all the GOP leaders I could think of in Missouri (and Oklahoma). I don't know if the e-mails swayed anyone, but at least I gave it a shot.
I urge other Mitt backers to do all the can during the remaining time between now and the close of polls on Tuesday. Some polls (like the Fox News poll) makes it sound like Mitt will be lucky to be in second place after Tuesday. Many, like the Rassmussen Poll, show he & McCain in a virtual tie overall and Mitt leading in California. And, of course, polling has been very, very off the mark this time around.
Let's be sure and get out to vote and make one last surge.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram has said that Gov. Romney has their vote. Rush Limbaugh has supported him, as has Ann Coulter. Ann, for those of you who missed it, provided one of the most amazing pieces of television theatre last night on Hannity & Colmes. She said that if McCain gets the GOP nomination that she will vote for Hillary Clinton, because SHE is more of a dependable conservative than HE is!
I hope she recants this if McCain DOES get the nomination, but her point was crystal clear: When stacked up against Sen. McClain, even Team Clinton appears conservative!
Another anti-endorsement has the Rev. James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family Ministries, saying that he could not support McCain if he is the nominee. Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has endorsed Gov. Romney.
We are past the point of merely collecting endorsements, though. Super Tuesday is just a hair's breath away and Oklahoma has 41 delegates in the offing. We need to do what we can to get behind Mitt.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
We need to dig in and realize that some misguided conservatives (or at least misguided registered Republicans) WILL vote for McCain if we cannot help them see the folly of their ways. Oklahoma is one of 22 states to cast their ballots next Tuesday. Sen. Coburn surprisingly endorsed McCain recently and we saw how endorsements by Sen. Gonzalez and Gov. Crist helped boost McCain in Florida. Let's make sure we rally behind Gov. Romney and don't let another state slide out of his column.
Our candidate is still very much in this ... and not JUST because of his money, as the media will no doubt say. He has the best positions and handles himself extremely well. Plus, as volatile as Sen. McCain is, one never knows when he may blow his top & implode completely.
The main thing is, we can't spot McCain another big score. We can't let him get too much momentum going. Oklahoma going for Mitt would be a very, very big key on Super Tuesday.
Let's win one for the Mitter!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The charge appears to be misleading. The McCain campaign pointed to remarks Mr. Romney made last year in which he said he believed that President Bush and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq should have “a series of timetables and milestones” that they discussed among themselves but did not announce publicly.
But Mr. Romney has not called for setting a date for withdrawal. Mr. Romney has said he supports the president’s current strategy, although he has said he anticipates more and more American troops moving into a support role in Iraq in the next year — similar to what Gen. David H. Petraeus outlined in his testimony before Congress last year.
By Bruce Wilson
I like Mike Huckabee. He is the candidate whose values are most like mine. His ommunication skills and ability to think on his feet are remarkable. His ascendance from truly humble beginnings is compelling and inspiring. And, unlike most ocnservatives, I even agree with Huckabee's charge that Republicans in recent years have been overly kind to Wall Street while turning a tin ear to Main Street. But I won't be voting for Huckabee, and I hope that most evangelical voters in Florida and beyond reach the same politically pragmatic decision.
First, even the most ardent supporter has to face the reality that Huckabee will not win the Republican nomination. His marginal victory in Iowa and close second in South Carolina were only possible because 60 percent of the voters in those two states were evangelicals who voted heavily in his favor. Nationwide, only around one-third of all Republicans are evangelicals. The proportion of evangelicals participating in upcoming primaries will average about half of the Iowa and South Carolina levels. More tellingly, Huckabee's level of support from non-evangelical Republicans has been almost miniscule, averaging less than 9 percent in all primaries to date. Huckabee may score well in the few remaining states where evangelicals exist in large numbers, but in most states it's not mathematically likely that Huckabee will finish any better than third or fourth.
And if you think Huckabee can significantly increase his proportion of non-evangelical support, think again. Primary results to date prove that he can't seriously compete with McCain or Giuliani for voters most concerned with national security, and because of his somewhat populist economic views, cannot compete with Romney, McCain or Giuliani for voters most concerned with economic issues.
Secondly, one has to recognize that a vote for Huckabee is likely a vote that would otherwise have gone to Romney. It's true that many evangelicals have significant heartburn over Romney's religion and his recent pro-life conversion, but any concerns evangelicals have with Romney pale in comparison with the heartburn caused by Giuliani and McCain. Giuliani openly supports abortion and gay marriage. McCain has refused to support constitutional amendments to ban abortion and gay marriage, is the author of the infamous McCain-Feingold Act that stifles evangelical political advocacy and not so long ago repeatedly expressed his extreme displeasure with the influence certain evangelical leaders have in the Republican Party.
Conversely, though many evangelicals reject Mormon theology, they recognize the Christian values Romney tries to live by are the same Christian values they try to live by. And though many in the pro-life movement – including this writer – have taken Romney to task for not being pro-life from the start, they recognize it's better to work with a convert than someone who ignores or even works against the cause. Romney's 100 percent pro-life record as governor of Massachusetts is a good indication that it's highly unlikely he would revert to his former position. It's probably more likely that Romney will be like many converts to new causes who are anxious to prove their fidelity and make amends for past mistakes.
And finally – and most importantly – if Romney can't significantly increase his share of the evangelical vote, the survivor between McCain and Giuliani will consolidate the national security vote and pick up enough support from the fiscal conservative faction to win the Republican nomination.
Many Huckabee supporters will conversely argue that Republicans should coalesce around Huckabee and not Romney. But that idealistic argument doesn't align with reality. Huckabee has been and will continue to be soundly rejected by fiscal conservatives. If Romney recedes, those votes go to McCain or Giuliani, not Huckabee. That's why evangelicals who vote for Huckabee are almost certainly aiding the nomination of either McCain or Giuliani. Hopefully, evangelicals will pragmatically recognize the very real danger of such an unintended and undesirable outcome and coalesce around Romney before it's too late.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I think conservatives should keep three points in mind. One, what candidate has the best positions on the greatest number of important issues? Two, what candidate has the best chance of winning the general election next November, while sufficiently representing traditional conservative values? Three, which candidate has the best overall experience and background to actually be president?
I hope we in the conservative base – especially the conservative Christian base – do not fall into the trap of merely going with the candidate whose faith appears to be most like our own. This is tempting, certainly. Yet we are voting for commander-in-chief, not pastor-in-chief. I urge readers to step back, watch, listen and read, seeing just where each man stands on issues and how each one answers questions about his record and his plans.
I will also address the second of the three points very quickly. The 2008 election will be a crucial one. For conservative voters, I strongly believe that having a strong social, fiscal and national defense conservative in the White House 2009-13 is the real goal. If the Democrats retake the White House, I see no way that this will happen. The party that fields some conservative candidates therefore must nominate someone who is electable outside of a handful of very “red” states. I strongly believe that the Judeo-Christian beliefs of this country make up its bedrock of support and that God has clearly been present throughout our history. Yet as a graduate history student, I have seen no apparent cases of the Lord directly intervening in a presidential election. Therefore I would not necessarily count on a miraculous divine hand lifting a candidate to a totally unexpected victory in 2008 just because he has been a pastor in a denomination we feel is close to the Lord’s heart. In fact we already see Rev. Huckabee starting to fall by the wayside.
In my mind a person of faith and integrity, with impeccable family credentials, outstanding leadership, management and organizational skills who has grown and matured in his positions on positions as an adult is our best hope. This sentence may well describe more than one candidate. I leave it to each reader to do his or her homework and see which one it really describes best.
For me it is clearly Mitt Romney, family man, devout religious man, social, fiscal and militarily conservative and an apt leader and manager. To me, anyone who votes for or against a candidate merely based on his/her denomination is not using the vote wisely.
Please check out Evangelicals For Mitt (evangelicalsformitt.com) for more on this topic, or get hold of Hugh Hewitt’s outstanding book, A Mormon in the White House?.