Friday, December 15, 2006

Why Support John McCain Over Mitt Romney?

Liz Mair wrote a very interesting article on about why she likes John McCain. She was responding to a question she received as to how she could like John McCain and not like Mitt Romney. I think she did a good job in documenting her position in this article.

In her article Liz discusses why she supported McCain in 2000 and why she still likes him today. It was interesting to follow how her reasons have changed a bit since 2000. Not only does Liz make some very good and well documented reasons for supporting John McCain, but she also does a great job in clearly articulating the differences from a conservative view between John McCain’s conservative principles and record and those of Mitt Romney’s.

The article is a bit long, but it is well worth a read.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Obama Draft Ad to Air in NH

While most of my attention is now focused on the republican nomination for president in 2008, I of course like to keep an eye on the other side of the aisle’s process as well. For many people, Hilary was the odds on favorite to capture the nomination. Personally, I think she would be easier to beat than others. She will have to move to the left to win the nomination which will impact her ability to win more moderate voters. However, recent events are having some revisit those odds.

Following an announcement in the Union Leader that a draft Obama group will air a television ad in NH, John Distaso’s column in the has followed that with the interesting question about how Hilary tops the Obama coming out party in NH last week. Personally, Obama looks like on OK guy. Young, energetic, and articulate. But where’s the beef? I don’t see it. Can anyone clearly articulate his qualifications? Do stints as president of the Harvard Law Review, a state senator, and two years as a U. S. Senator give someone the needed experience to be president? I don’t think so. Where is his leadership experience? Where is his executive and operational management experience? Where is his diplomatic experience? Does he have any military experience? None that I can see. At lease governors have most of the experience needed to be president. Even the last serious draft driven candidate, Wesley Clark, had proven military, executive and operational management, diplomatic and leadership experience.

It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, Obama has on the democratic field. Even more interesting will be to see how Hilary fares in an expected crowded and tough field.

Monday, December 11, 2006

McCain Picks Up Endorsement of Massachusetts College Republican Leaders

John McCain picked up an interesting endorsement right in Mitt Romney’s backyard. Several leaders of Massachusetts conservative college republican groups came out and endorsed Senator McCain for his “authenticity and straight talk.” The press release urges McCain to run for President and commits to forming a youth advisory committee to support his candidacy.

The timing of this endorsement was very interesting. A lot has been written lately about Mitt’s inability to move up in the polls and now we see college republican leaders from his own state endorsing Senator McCain. The NY Times coverage of Mitt’s Gay Rights statement during his failed senate bid where he stated “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern” has now created a challenge for Mitt in how to rationalize that statement with his current campaign statements.

A second interesting aspect of the timing of this endorsement is that Illinois Senator Barack Obama received a lot of press from his first visit to NH this weekend and drew a lot of college age students to his events. Having young republicans support his candidacy can help McCain demonstrate his ability to draw support not only from both conservatives and moderates, but the young as well.

I hope the Senator is listening and accepts the call to run.

I don’t have a URL for the release so I am reprinting the full text of the release below.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Miltenberger

Massachusetts College Republican Leaders Endorses McCain for President

Boston, MA – Today state leaders from across Massachusetts including the Chairman of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain as their candidate for the next President of the United States.

“Conservative College Republicans in Massachusetts appreciate Senator McCain’s authenticity and straight talk and urge him to run for President,” said Michael Miltenberger, Chairman of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans. “We look forward to building a strong youth organization for him in Massachusetts and helping in neighboring states and across the country.”

They released the following statement that represents their respective opinions and not necessarily the opinion of the organizations in which they belong.

As leaders in the conservative youth movement, College Republicans across Massachusetts urge Senator McCain to finalize his run for the presidency and pledge their support to his election effort. We are forming a Youth Advisory Committee to help organize youth activists across the state to fight for Senator McCain’s election as the next President of the United States.


Michael R. Miltenberger
Chairman, Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans
Chairman, Northeast Caucus
Harvard University

Michael Sinacore
Political Director, Boston College
Executive Director, MACR

Brian Gwozdz
Vice President, UMass Amherst
Executive Vice Chairman, MACR

Amanda Short
President, Boston College
Secretary, MACR

Steve Johnston
Vice President, Harvard University

Matt Smith
Former President, Westfield State
Former Chief of Staff, MACR

Brittany Kademian
Secretary, Boston College

Tracy Danner
Publicity Director, Boston College

Kelly Smith
Vice President, Emmanuel College

Kevin Aldred
President, Westfield State

Michaela LeBlanc
Executive Director, Smith College

Benjamin Brookman
Treasurer, Northeastern College

Briana Gutfinksi
Vice President, Mount Holyoke


Thursday, December 07, 2006

McCain Continues to Build Campaign Team

Chris Cillizza at The Fix is reporting that Senator McCain has added some more big named talent to his still unannounced presidential campaign team. Chris reports that former President Bush national political director Terry Nelson will serve as campaign manager, and Republican National Committee Communications Director Brian Jones has committed to lead the press effort.

McCain on the Iraq Study Report

Senator McCain issued a statement on the Iraq Study Group. You should read it. While supportive of their effort, he addresses his concerns with the recommendations around the roles of Arab-Israeli peace and the regional conference with Iran and Syria. He also questions setting a date for withdrawal by positioning their recommended troop buildup as ‘short-term’. All of his concerns are legitimate ones as McCain continues to look for realistic solutions to problems rather than what might be politically expedient.

McCain Stands By Principles on Iraq

The Iraq report is out and no surprise, winning is not an option. What’s most amazing to me is that there are apparently intelligent people who actually think we can talk (negotiate) with the president of Iran. What don’t they get? What don’t they see? Do they not understand that Iran can’t be trusted? Do they not see that Iran wishes us harm?

In anticipation of the report, McCain stood tall for his convictions and principles. Larry Kudlow’s article covering John’s comments does a great job in summarizing my opinions previously expressed about the Senator. McCain’s concept of you win or lose wars is right on! His belief that you don’t compromise for national security is right on! The concept of you kill them before they kill you is right on! The concept that you stand on principle despite national polls is right on!

On this issue I agree with McCain. But whether you agree with him or not, you must admire the man for his courage and leadership, and his willingness to stand by what he thinks is right. All of these characteristics are much needed for someone to lead this country and bring people together. McCain continues to stand above the rest.

Monday, December 04, 2006

McCain Courts Republican Governors

Last week Senator McCain made an early campaign stop at the Republican Governors Conference in FL. The NY Times reported that McCain spent time meeting and courting nine republican governors and held a reception. The interesting angle taken by the article was whether McCain was “invading Mr. Romney’s territory”. According to the article, Mitt is likely trying to use the governors conference as the springboard to his campaign just like President Bush did in 2000, and John’s visit complicated the issue. I think it is great. McCain built up a lot of capital campaigning across the country for other republicans, so no one should think that his visit is intruding on Mitt’s turf.

Patrick Hynes, on his website, points out that “some Republican Governors have already stated publicly that they will support McCain if he decides to run in 2008, including Jon Huntsman of Utah, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and, according to one source, Haley Barbour of Mississippi.” Mitt should not assume that he can count on the same level of endorsements that Bush received in 2000.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Romney Team Clarifies Falwell Endorsement Comment

This past Thursday, Laura Hipp of the Jackson, MS Clarion-Ledger, wrote an article that attributed Romney to making a statement that he had the endorsement of the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Laura’s article stated: “Romney said he has the support of leaders like the Rev. Jerry Falwell.” Mitt was in Mississippi courting the evangelical vote for his possible presidential run. It was really a very small statement hidden in the middle of her article.

Small maybe, but picked up by the media and Falwell. The following day, Scott Helman of the Boston Globe quickly reported that Falwell “immediately distanced himself from the remark” saying that he had not endorsed any candidate at this time. The article quotes Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, with the following clarification: "What he said was that Jerry Falwell has said in the past that he could support a candidate of a different faith if that person agreed with him on moral and social issues."

This explanation was apparently confirmed. So what is the issue? One can question whether Romney’s record is agreeable to Farwell’s moral and social issues. Prior pro-abortion and pro gay statements certainly are not issues that Falwell would agree. So Mitt can clearly be accused of stretching Farwell’s willingness to support him.

I think the real issue is that everyone knows that Romney is not a real conservative. The media knows this, especially the Boston media. And conservative groups know this. The harder Mitt tries to prove himself a true conservative, the more true conservative groups will actively point out his record. There will be a concerted effort to paint Romney as he is, before Mitt has the chance to paint himself as a true conservative.

All this makes me question just how successful Romney can be in running as a true conservative. It will be interesting to see if he can successfully run away from his record.

Romney Is A Liberal?

As you know, I have been questioning Mitt’s conservative principles. I thought you all might get a chuckle at a website that tracks Romney’s stand on abortion, gun control, and other typically conservative proof point issues. Check it out.