Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Quick thoughts on potential presidents

I know, it's still 706 days until the next president is elected, but there are a couple of potential GOP candidates I've been thinking about recently:
  1. Newt Gingrich: the former speaker of the House may be an impressive policy wonk, good leader and inspiring speaker. His role in the 1994 Republican takeover cannot be ignored. But I pray to God that he doesn't run. From his involvement in the Clinton impeachment, to the many ethics issues, to the circumstances surrounding his two divorces (serving divorce papers on his hospitalized first wife, ending the second marriage due to infidelity), his positives would be hard-pressed to overtake his negatives. He'd probably be a good addition to any White House, but not as the occupant.
  2. Mitt Romney: A lot could change, but I should note that at this point, Romney is my favored candidate. That said, he's done a couple of things recently that leave me a bit dismayed, the evidence of which can be found in the press release archive of Romney's Commonwealth PAC website:
  • November 29, 2006 - Two top economists and President Bush’s tax cut architects have agreed to join Governor Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PAC the organization announced today. Glenn Hubbard and Greg Mankiw will act as co-chairs of the PAC’s Economic Advisory Council. Additionally, Cesar Conda has agreed to be a Senior Economic Advisor for the PAC . . . In 2001, Hubbard was appointed Chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) . . . Greg Mankiw followed Hubbard as the Chairman of the CEA from 2003 to 2005 . . . Most recently, Conda headed the domestic policy staff in the Office of the Vice President as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief advisor on domestic and economic policy issues.
  • November 27, 2006 - Governor Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PAC today announced that long-time South Carolina political strategist J. Warren Tompkins, III has joined the PAC in a Senior Advisor for the Southeast region . . . In 2004, Tompkins was the Atlantic Region Chair for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign. [And one other thing the press release doesn't note: Tompkins was a senior Bush strategist in 2000, when someone allegedly smeared John McCain as an adulterer, and McCain's camp suspected the Bush campaign.]
  • October 26, 2006 – Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PAC today announced Ann Woods Herberger is joining the PAC team as a National Finance Advisor . . . Herberger started the Woods Herberger Group whose clients included both Bush-Cheney presidential campaigns in Florida . . .
    Five people who have been deeply involved in the current administration. And that's just in the last month! Couldn't Romney find people without such strong ties to George W. Bush? Or is it the nature of the beast that the strongest people work with the current White House occupant, regardless of who that is?

    Either way, I wish Romney would make his own mark instead of bringing in a group of Bushies.

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    16 Comments:

    • At 11/29/2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous gullyborg said…

      I am pretty sure that, if elected, Romney would quickly establish himself as his own man, and not any sort of "heir" to GWB.

      Romney is simply trying to put together a team with a proven winning record. He needs to win South Carolina if he wants to be President. Although, with Giuliani possibly in the race, he needs to be thinking more about New Hampshire in my opinion.

       
    • At 11/29/2006 3:54 PM, Blogger Ken said…

      I don't doubt you're right about Romney, but I don't think he can win if his candidacy is perceived as a perpetuation of the Bush presidency.

      I think Romney has a good shot at New Hampshire, which is in his backyard even moreso than Guiliani's. If he doesn't do well in New Hampshire, his candidicy might be over quicker than a Howard Dean scream.

       
    • At 11/30/2006 6:17 AM, Blogger I am Coyote said…

      We should never ASSUME that any politician will "become his own man." Not after what we have witnessed over the past 6 years.

      Romney's appointments, as you have noted here Ken, should concern all Republicans. It shows that Romney may very well have the kind of tin ear that Ron Saxton had.

      I like Newt. I like the fact that he is driving ISSUES hard. I think that if there ever was going to be a Presidential cycle that would actually have people LISTENING to issues then this is the one.

      However... However his personal issues are a problem.

      The candidate you have missed is Sam Brownback. He may not register on your radar screen, however he has been working Iowa HARD for the last couple of years. I am hearing he has a great network in place there and since Iowa is a caucus state networking is key.

      I do not want this to be an issue of someone's personal faith, however personal faith may indeed also play a role in Iowa. I would have no problem pulling the lever for someone of the Mormon faith if I thought they were the better candidate, however I wonder how that will play in an Iowa Republican caucus election when you have someone like a Brownback who has been courting the faith community there for a couple of years already.

      Something that might make a great post (for someone who has more time than me) would be a demographic study of the Iowa REPUBLICAN caucus voter.

      McCain and Guliani will split the moderate pro-abort vote so the question will be whether Mitt can pull enough of the faith based vote away from Brownback.

      Finally I think you are right on bout Romney's candidacy being over if it is seen as a perpetuation of the Bush presidency. I had no idea of his Bush appointees but now that you have brought them to light it give me great pause.

      sigh

       
    • At 11/30/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger Ken said…

      I'm somewhat familiar with Brownback, but he hasn't registered on most radar screens. He's a 10-year senator from the huge media market of Kansas, and no one outside the Beltway knows anything about him. I have a hard time seeing how he could gain enough name recognition over the next year to be a factor. That said, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to find someone who said the same thing about John Kerry in late 2002.

      As for the faith issue, that's something I've been meaning to write about, but just haven't had time to delve into. I'm an evangelical voter, but I approach it mostly from politics -- if Romney is better on the issues than Brownback (or whoever else), I'll vote for Romney. Also factoring into it is the electability of the candidate. Romney's Mormonism (of which I have issues) is so far down on the list, it's basically not a factor in my voting decisions.

      People like John Podhoretz think that only McCain and Guiliani have a shot because they're so far up in the polls right now, but I think it's too early to make that pronouncement. Two months ago, many people thought George Allen was a front-runner...

      As Coyote said, Iowa will be interesting if Brownback and Romney are both viable.

       
    • At 11/30/2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      When Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, he wrote a letter to the Mass Log Cabin Club in which he pledged: “[A]s we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” During the same campaign, when he was accused of having once described gay people as “perverse” during a religious meeting of Mormons, Romney’s campaign issued a forceful statement decrying the accusation as false and reiterating that Romney respected “all people regardless of their race, creed, or sexual orientation.”

      I can't wait to tell my Southern Baptist friends the details about his little faith practices.

      *magical underwear saves you from that bad sex.
      *God lives exactly on a planet near the star what?
      *magical seer stones are real dude!

      As a liberal democrat... I am begging you... run Romney (or Gingrich for that matter, since either would lose in a walk)... please.. please I don't ask for much.

       
    • At 11/30/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger Ken said…

      Something tells me that if you have "Southern Baptist" friends, they wouldn't vote for a Republican any more than you would.

      Your first paragraph is fair game in the race for the presidency, but I think the rest of your post is an excellent example of the sort of substantive campaign that will be used against Romney if he runs. It's called desperation.

       
    • At 12/01/2006 7:46 AM, Anonymous gullyborg said…

      So... you are a liberal democrat trying to convince Republicans NOT to support the candidate who wants equality for all people?

      That says a lot...

       
    • At 12/01/2006 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      "So... you are a liberal democrat trying to convince Republicans NOT to support the candidate who wants equality for all people?"

      No, I am all for it. I want you to support Romney. Because it means that a REAL candidate who will ACTUALLY support equality for all people will win, i..e the Democratic candidate since the flip-=flop of Romney to talk out of both sides of his mouth, (previously about equal rights for all, including gays, now to the rabid-whack job right about how gays are perverse and do not deserve equal rights under the law).

      Please, I want you to support Romney as he can be decimated at the polls and someone who actually does want equality formal, and stands correctly on numerous other positions such as saying no to staggeringly stupid military adventure in the Middle East, saying no to warrantees wiretapping programs of americans, saying yes to restoring habeas corpus, etc. will win... i.e. the Democratic candidate.

      When will you Republicans learn? I long ago left the part which I was raised in because of the total 180 on core principles of traditional conservatism when the GOp lurched in the arms of the psycho religious-wrong and radical militarist loonies of the Reagan era. Goldwater (who supported equality for gays) and Rockefeller (who supported choice) are both spinning in the graves at what the GOP has become over the bankrupt assitude of the Lee Atwater school of divide and polarize, while at the same time throwing away core principles of conservatism with both hands. This has become the hallmark of the party I left over a decade ago now.

      Any moron who thinks outlawing or restricting abortion, shredding the 14th amendment and discriminating against gays, and the insane policies of neo-"conservative" radicalism is conservative, is intellectually full of crap.

      Wake up. You have bought into a plethora of policy and world view that has nothing to do with conservatism, and is harmful not only to conservatism (which has a legitimate role in public policy, as does liberalism) but the nation and the world.

       
    • At 12/01/2006 3:12 PM, Blogger terrance said…

      1. I don't have the same reaction you do to people who have served or are serving Pres. Bush. I think public service is honorable. Serving a president and our nation is something good. (I think that about those who served Pres. Clinton too, or Bush Sr. or Reagan.) If they served ineptly or have political views I disagree with, that's another story. But, the fact of service in itself gets a gold star from me.

      And, I think history will treat GW better than current polls--as happened with Lincoln (who took us through a much bloodier war run with extreme incompetence for much of the war).

      2. I remember the comments about JFK running. If we shy away from a candidate because of religious (or any other kind of) bigotry, we are not carrying out the ideals the country was built on. Instead of saying what will be the political fallout of a Mormon running (I'm not Mormon), we need to slam those who bring it up as an issue as the bigots they are--just as we would slam those who bring up race or gender as an issue. Remember, it was GW who first appointed blacks to the highest cabinet positions--and a black woman at that with Condi Rice. That's a record to be proud of.

      My two cents.

       
    • At 12/01/2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Ken said…

      Terrance -- I'm not dissing the service, I'm just hoping Romney will make choices that show he's his own man, not a Bush clone. I suspect you're right about history's treatment of GWB, but that's decades down the road; meanwhile, we've got an election in 22 months, and Bush's eight years will weigh heavily on the minds of the 2008 electorate.

       
    • At 12/05/2006 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Hello to all do you always copy Nw republican blog on posts like click and paste post.
      Think about the two worst events of the last century for the Republican Party. Where would Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton stand on that list?

      Its strange how things all work out. Mitt Romney's Dad, George Romney, lost the primary battle to Richard Nixon. Can we all agree that the country and world would have been a better place, if George Romney would have one instead of Richard Nixon?

      Think of how much better the world would be, if we never had Watergate. Think how much better the world would be, if we had never had Monica Lewinsky in the oval office.

      If Ross Perot would have not run, everyone says that George H Bush would have won a 2nd term. Why did people vote for Perot? It was a protest vote. A lot of conservatives thought that George H Bush was not conservative enough, and so they voted for Perot as a protest vote (My home State, the one party rule or Massachusetts for Republicans went, in this order, Ross Perot, H, Bill). Thanks a lot. If it wouldn't have been for the protest vote, we would have never had Bill, Hillary, or Monica Lewinsky in the office. We would have never had Kenneth Star. There probably wouldn't have been a backlash against Newt Gingrich (OK I don't know this for sure, but I'm trying to get you to think of all the changes in history that would have happened).

      People are talking about a protest vote against Mitt Romney already.

      If the American people would have been smarter, they would have voted for George Romney rather than Richard Nixon. If the American people, many of them republicans, had been smarter they would have voted for George H Bush instead of Ross Perot.

      If H hadn't had lost to Clinton , W wouldn't have had to restore his dad's honor. W would probably still be a much loved Governor in Texas. The son wouldn't have had to erase the so called wrongs of his father.

      Norman Schwarzkopf wanted to go into Baghdad, but H stopped him. W thought his dad had made a mistake in Iraq by not listening to his military leaders. Now things have come full circle, and people blame Bush (or Rumsfeld) for not listening to their military leaders.

      Now we have another son, who may be trying to fulfill the unfulfilled desires of his father. What would be going through your mind right now if you were Mitt Romney? His dad should have been president instead of Richard Nixon. Every day of his life, he has had to think about that. Think of what a better place this world would have been, if the Republican Party had never had Richard Nixon as president, and he would have stayed a popular Representative from California.

      Did Nixon ruin California for Republicans?

      Look at the similarities between Bush and Romney. Both children of individuals who lost the presidency, of course Romney never had it where Bush lost his second term.

      Looking for 6 degrees of separation, what about Mitt Romney and John McCain?

      "As governor, George Romney didn't always toe the GOP line. A champion of civil rights and a perceived moderate, he walked out on Barry Goldwater's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco in 1964."

      * http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200509/pappu/4

      Guess who took Barry Goldwater's position? John McCain.

      "Goldwater lost the 1964 Presidential election in a landslide to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. The Johnson campaign and other critics painted him in 1964 as a radical reactionary, while supporters praised his crusades against the federal government, corrupt labor unions, and the welfare state. His defeat allowed American liberals to pass their Great Society programs. However the defeat of so many older Republicans in 1964 also opened the way for a younger generation of American conservatives to mobilize; they followed Ronald Reagan not Goldwater."

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

      By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater's libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion and gay rights. Goldwater concentrated on his Senate duties, especially passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986.

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

      He would eventually lose to President Lyndon Johnson by one of the largest margins in the history of U.S. Presidential elections. Consequently, the Republican Party suffered a significant setback nationally, losing many seats in both houses of Congress. Goldwater carried only his home state and five (formerly Democratic) Southern states. Many Republicans at the time angrily turned against Goldwater, claiming that his defeat had significantly set back the party's chances of future national success.

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

      Some people think that Romney, who is undoubtedly more conservative that McCain, or Giuliani still think that is not extreme conservative enough. Some people would rather loose with Barry Goldwater than with Regan.

      And now look at what is going on With Romney and the Christian Right. Every chicken comes home to roost. Everything in this next election is going to be the culmination of ideological battles started years ago, involving the bushes, revenge for a father (think Shakespeare), Reagan's ideas, Barry Goldwater's ideas, the person who succeeded Goldwater's. We have another movie star actor in Hollywood. Everything is so crazy! If Romney runs, it will fly smack in the assumption of New England Liberals. Will it finally bring balance to the force? Will it bring balance to New England? Look. Who has Romney been fighting with in Massachusetts? Ted Kennedy.

      People are going to say that I am comparing McCain to Goldwater. I am not. I am saying, look at the culmination of history that will go into 2008. I'm not saying people are like other people. I'm just saying look at all that is going on around us. There have been examples that we can learn from in the past. We don't want to be seen as so extreme that we loose. Hilary will be seen as extreme. Mrs. New York liberal. Many democrats at my office have said that they will move to Canada if Hillary wins. There is a battle ax perception, and ask Al Gore, people don't loose their perceptions.

      If we follow our history and make the primaries about who is liberal enough from the democrats side, and who is conservative enough from the conservative side, then we have good news for Romney, because when it comes around to the general election, it is always about who is Moderate enough and Republican from Massachusetts Romney wins New York Liberal Hillary.

      But if the Democrats decide to send who they think will be the best president, not just who has kissed the most liberal butts, they will send Bakak Obama. Again, we need Romney. Romney is the only person who can stand toe to toe with Obama intellectually. Obama, who graduate magna cum laude from Harvard law, in 1991 will make, McCain who stood stood 895th out of a class of 900, look like an idiot.

      Can you ask for more drama than what is going to happen in 2008? What will happen with the religious right? Will they follow in the footsteps of Goldwater or Reagan? Will the son of Goldwater's and Nixon's nemesis rise to ascendancy as presidency after doing 4 years of battle with the nephew of a formerly assassinated president (wasn't Ted Kennedy the nephew of JFK)?

      Will we have two sons of jilted fathers rise to the presidency (Romney and Bush)? Will we have a Harvard Cum Laude, JD and MBA son of who should have won the presidency instead of Nixon, the War Hero following in the footsteps of Berry Goldwater, who stood up to the religious right, who is now apposing his main opponent, the Harvard Cum Laude MBA JD, or will we have the Jilted Wife of a previous president?

      As Romney would say, Holy Cow!

      Weather you like Chess, sports, or Shakespeare you have got to watch the fireworks as they unfold in 2008.

       
    • At 12/05/2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      hello
      WASHINGTON — When Sen. Harry Reid becomes Senate majority leader next
      year, he will be the most powerful Mormon in Washington.

      But that reign could be short-lived if Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
      makes a bid for the presidency in 2008 and wins. Romney is considering
      a run in what is expected to be a wide-open field.

      Reid is a Democrat from Nevada and Romney is a Republican. Though they
      have chosen different political stripes, they are bonded in a faith
      whose leaders encourage members to become active in public life.

      Mormons are heeding the call. Typically conservative, they are more
      politically active than average Americans, according to a recent study.
      And the 15 Mormons in Congress is a slightly greater representation
      than the religious group's percentage of the general population.

      "From the pulpit, they talk about the importance of being involved in
      the community, being involved in politics," said Dean Heller, a Mormon
      who was just elected to represent Nevada in the House. "They want
      members of the church to be integrated into society."

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the church is
      officially called, believes the nation's founders were men of God and
      that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired.

      But as politically active as Mormons may be, their faith is largely
      misunderstood by most Americans.

      Some evangelical Christians consider the faith a cult, and 35% of
      Americans say they would not vote for a Mormon for president, according
      to a recent poll.

      That presents a particular challenge for Romney, who so far has steered
      clear of any public discussion about his religion.

      "Because religion matters in politics, it represents opportunities and
      challenges for candidates," said John Green, at the Pew Forum on
      Religion and Public Life. "Candidates have to be very cautious when it
      comes to talking about their faith."

      A Time magazine story set to hit the news stands next week features an
      article titled "Can a Mormon be president?"

      Quin Monson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University
      in Provo, Utah, says Romney's faith would likely matter to only a
      minority of voters.

      "If a Mormon can be elected as governor of Massachusetts and a Mormon
      can be Senate majority leader, certainly a Mormon can be president," he
      said.

      A religious minority, Mormons represent less than 2% of the American
      population with 5.5 million members across the country. The church,
      which claims a total of 12 million members, is one of the fastest
      growing faiths in the world.

      Roughly 80% of Americans consider themselves Christians, with
      Protestants making up about half of that group. About a quarter are
      Catholic.

      Like Mormons, Jews and Episcopalians are also overrepresented in
      Congress. For example, Episcopalians make up less than 1% of the
      American population but 8% of Congress.

      John M. Haddow, a former legislative director for Utah Sen. Orrin
      Hatch, said the senator was always open about his Mormon faith. Hatch
      briefly ran for the GOP presidential nomination six years ago.

      Mormons have come a long way since Joseph Smith founded the church in
      upstate New York in the early 1800s. An angry mob killed Smith shortly
      after he announced his candidacy for president in 1844.

      Sixty years later, Utah Republican Reed Smoot became the first Mormon
      elected to the Senate. His arrival sparked congressional hearings on
      polygamy, a practice officially banned by Mormon leaders in 1890.
      Smoot, who was not a polygamist, served five terms.

      Mormons still face questions about polygamy — fueled in part by the HBO
      show Big Love about a Utah man and his multiple wives. Recent news
      coverage of a rape trial against the leader of the Fundamentalist
      Church of Latter-day Saints, has also kept the issue in the public arena.

      But church members and others say these associations are unfair.

      They point to John F. Kennedy, who overcame questions about his
      religion to become the first Catholic elected president in 1960.

      "He broke the ground for people like Romney to run without regard to
      their specific faith tradition," said the Rev. Bob Edgar, of the
      National Council of Churches and a former Pennsylvania congressman.

      Reid, who attends a Mormon church just outside Washington and keeps the
      Book of Mormon in his office, was not born into the faith. He joined
      the church in college and raised his five children in the church.

      "The church has been a wonderful thing in my life," he said. "It helps
      me try to always do the right thing, understand that what you do has
      consequences."

      Still, he recently drew sharp criticism from church leaders by voting
      against a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. He thinks gay
      marriage is a states' rights issue.

      Although Mormon religious leaders do not endorse specific candidates,
      the church has at times expressed its opinion on issues such as
      gambling and same-sex marriage, said church spokeswoman Kim Farah.

      "We believe we have an obligation as members of the communities in
      which we live and as citizens of the nation to engage in the political
      process in an informed way," she said in an e-mail. "However, church
      members are to make their own choices and affiliations in partisan
      politics."
      Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
      may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

       
    • At 12/05/2006 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Hello
      NPR said it... It must be true!
      “[Presidential candidate Mitt] Romney’s press secretary is a Southern Baptist and a graduate of Bob Jones University, and you don’t get much more ‘Kosher’ than that in the evangelical Christian world.” --on NPR All Things Considered today (on overcoming the “Mormon stigma”) [Can we mix our metaphors any more than that?]

      I looked it up. The press secretary is Jared Young, who holds a B.S. in financial management from BJU. Hmm. I’m not sure if adding BJU to the mix would really allay the public’s fear of wacky fundamentalism already attributed to Romney’s campaign. Just sayin’…

      I’m not sure what to think of the general perception of my alma mater. Sometimes I think the public is almost as ambivalent about it as I am. Other times I go back to thinking it's the kiss of death on any resume. Maybe it depends on the market (or constituency).

       
    • At 12/05/2006 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Hello I do not see how brownback can unseat Obama and westly clark.we will have losses just like the Governor races


      Liz Sidoti

      DORAL, Fla. (AP) - The sting of Republican electoral defeats still fresh, the GOP chairman suggested Thursday the party has strayed and challenged it to refocus on core principles and reform.

      'We work for the people,' Ken Mehlman, the outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a speech to a meeting of GOP governors. He reminded the crowd that 'good policy makes good politics - and, for Republicans, this must be a time for self-examination when it comes to our policy.'

      In a disastrous midterm election year for the GOP, Republican candidates lost races across the country and at all levels of government, prompting party leaders to do some soul searching as they seek a winning strategy for 2008 and beyond.

      Democrats captured control of the House and Senate, took a majority of governors' posts and gained a decisive edge in state legislatures as Republicans failed to withstand fallout from a sour national mood created by the war in Iraq and scandals in Washington.

      'Our nation is stronger and better when Republicans are the party running the government. But, ladies and gentleman, our party should never be the party of government, of Washington, of earmarks, of bureaucracy,' Mehlman said, implying that's what the GOP had become at times - or at least what voters perceived on Nov. 7.

      Three weeks after the losses, about a dozen GOP governors gathered in this Miami suburb for their association's annual meeting. The 2008 election loomed large, given that the outgoing RGA chairman is Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is considering running for president. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also weighing a bid, attended the meeting.

      Not to be forgotten, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is widely considered the one to beat and has created a presidential exploratory committee, held a reception for those attending RGA events.

      Despite the undercurrent of the presidential race, the focus remained on what went wrong in 2006 and how to ensure the GOP recovers.

      'To some degree, we've lost our way,' acknowledged Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, the incoming RGA chairman, who said the party must implement policies that are in line with its principles.

      Romney, for his part, suggested that lawmakers in Washington - not GOP governors - are the ones who need to get back on track, saying: 'If the Republican Party, nationally, is looking for a place where it can gain a bit of a guiding post, it would be by seeing the successes of Republican governors.'

      He also took a swipe at Republicans on Capitol Hill for promising to hold down spending but then beefing up budget bills with millions of dollars for pet projects. 'There's nothing that's going to yield a bigger swat - or a thumping if you will - than saying one thing and doing another,' Romney said at a news conference, using the spending issue as an example.

      Later, in a speech that was warmly received, Romney promoted more power for the people in what could end up being a campaign theme should he run for the White House.

      'If you believe, as I do, that our source of strength is our people, then when America faces a new generation of challenges, like we do today, you don't look to government,' he said. 'You look to make the people stronger.'

      Mehlman, who will leave his post when his term ends in January, said the party's most important task in the coming two years will be to rekindle a spirit of reform - changing its governing while staying true to the party's long-standing ideals of limited government, individual freedom and a strong national defense.

      'It must be our party that faces the new challenges of the 21st century head-on. It must be our party that recommits itself also to being the party of change. Because it's the Republicans who are the party of reform on all these issues - health care, job creation and the war on terror,' he said.

      Republicans, Mehlman said, must take power out of Washington and give it back to Americans, arguing that Democrats won't.

      'They believe that government and Washington has the answer to every question, the solution to every problem,' he said. 'We, as Republicans, don't believe that. But, if you think about it, sometimes over the past two years, we've behaved as if we do.'

      Liz Sidoti is a writer for The Associated Press.
      Mitt Romney can unseat Clark and obama

       
    • At 12/05/2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Mitt Romney can unseat westly clark/obama any day....

       
    • At 12/05/2006 1:37 PM, Blogger Ken said…

      Wow, what a treat -- I managed to attract three straight posts from our friends at Capital 3...

       

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