Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Mitt Romney Should Not Be The Next President" - Concord Monitor

Wow. This says it all. I agree, too!!

Romney should not be the next president
Font size:
Print article
E-mail this to a friend
Letter to editor

Monitor staff
December 22. 2007 3:00PM

If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit, imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit. You'd add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business career and just enough executive government experience. You'd pour in some old GOP bromides - spending cuts and lower taxes - plus some new positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped.

Romney's main business experience is as a management consultant, a field in which smart, fast-moving specialists often advise corporations on how to reinvent themselves. His memoir is called Turnaround - the story of his successful rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City - but the most stunning turnaround he has engineered is his own political career.

If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If you followed only his campaign for president, you'd swear he was a red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the cost. Pay attention to both, and you're left to wonder if there's anything at all at his core.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1994, he boasted that he would be a stronger advocate of gay rights than his opponent, Ted Kennedy. These days, he makes a point of his opposition to gay marriage and adoption.

There was a time that he said he wanted to make contraception more available - and a time that he vetoed a bill to sell it over-the-counter.

The old Romney assured voters he was pro-choice on abortion. "You will not see me wavering on that," he said in 1994, and he cited the tragedy of a relative's botched illegal abortion as the reason to keep abortions safe and legal. These days, he describes himself as pro-life.

There was a time that he supported stem-cell research and cited his own wife's multiple sclerosis in explaining his thinking; such research, he reasoned, could help families like his. These days, he largely opposes it. As a candidate for governor, Romney dismissed an anti-tax pledge as a gimmick. In this race, he was the first to sign.

People can change, and intransigence is not necessarily a virtue. But Romney has yet to explain this particular set of turnarounds in a way that convinces voters they are based on anything other than his own ambition.

In the 2008 campaign for president, there are numerous issues on which Romney has no record, and so voters must take him at his word. On these issues, those words are often chilling. While other candidates of both parties speak of restoring America's moral leadership in the world, Romney has said he'd like to "double" the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where inmates have been held for years without formal charge or access to the courts. He dodges the issue of torture - unable to say, simply, that waterboarding is torture and America won't do it.

When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we'll know it.

Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.

Dallas Morning News Endorses Barack Obama For President

U.S. Senator Barack Obama added another high-profile endorsement to his growing list of them, this one from the Dallas Morning News. Here's what the DMN wrote today:

We Recommend: Barack Obama
Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination
12:00 AM CST on Sunday, December 23, 2007

America is at a historic crossroads as a woman, a Hispanic and an African-American vie for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Two of those candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, were finalists for our recommendation – not because of ethnicity or gender but because they most closely aligned with our positions on major domestic and international issues.

Mr. Obama is our choice because of his consistently solid judgment, poise under pressure and ability to campaign effectively without resorting to the divisive politics of the past.

Race is not an overriding factor for us. But it is undeniable that America has failed to heal its racial wounds, including here in Dallas. We need a motivated leader capable of confronting the problem, and no candidate is better equipped than Mr. Obama. His message isn't about anger and retribution. It's about moving forward.

There's been lots of noise about his lack of experience. It is a legitimate concern, considering he's a 46-year-old first-term senator. But Mr. Obama's experience in elective office matches that of Abraham Lincoln before he became president. And he has served more time on Capitol Hill than four of the past five White House occupants.

If youthful inexperience were such a liability, it has failed to resonate despite his opponents' best efforts. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, flip-flopped over a plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Her campaign accepted donations from questionable sources. When Mr. Obama's support recently surged in early primary states, her campaign tried to smear him over drug use in his youth.

It's a tired ploy that has failed in four previous presidential elections. Bill Clinton twice won election after admitting he'd smoked (but not inhaled) marijuana. George W. Bush won despite an alcohol problem and drunken-driving conviction at age 30.

Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Obama "irresponsible" and "naive" for saying he would talk to leaders of rogue nations like Syria and Iran. Considering the current failed strategy of confrontation and diplomatic isolation, we think Mr. Obama is wise to include direct negotiations among his tools to reduce regional tensions.

Mr. Obama drew criticism for saying he would pursue terrorists, if necessary, by sending troops into Pakistan. The fact is, U.S. troops have been going into Pakistan for years in pursuit of terrorists. All Mr. Obama did, in effect, was to keep that option open for the future. To say otherwise is to declare Pakistan a sanctuary for America's enemies.

Mr. Obama, the son of a white American mother and black Kenyan father, spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.

His life experience gives him a unique perspective and a greater ability to build diplomatic bridges.

We don't always agree with his positions, but we recognize his potential to unite disparate political factions and restore cooperation between the White House and Capitol Hill.

Americans are tired of divisive, hard-edged politics. Democrats would inspire a refreshingly new approach by choosing Mr. Obama as their 2008 candidate.

Barack Obama Ahead of Clinton in NH; McCain Gains On Romney in NH

Just on the heels of a poll that had Clinton ahead of Obama in New Hampshire and which I stated was misleading , USA Today / Gallup has released a new poll that reports Obama is ahead of Clinton 30 percent to 28 percent, according to the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, John McCain is rising in the same state; he's only behind Mitt Romney by three percent, 28 percent to 25 percent.

On CNN, Jennifer Donahue Blasts Hillary Clinton For Playing "Race Card" On Obama; Clinton Advisor David Gergen Can't Stand Truth

Jennifer Donahue, who's a political pundit and Senior Advisor for Political Affairs at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, gets my award for a major act of courage.

Thursday night, on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, Jennifer Donahue blasted the Hillary Clinton campaign for using the race card against Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Race. She was on the show with Cooper, Clinton Advisor and Political Consultant David Gergen, and CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin. Whereas Toobin and Gergen were circumspect in their way of addressing the matter, Donahue was right on.

This seemed to rankle Gergen.

Gergen tried to hide his anger at the mere mention of race and Clinton campaign strategy, but he's angry because deep down he knows they've taken a path of trying to "Willie Horton" Barack Obama. Look, Gergen's a Clinton Advisor -- something Anderson Cooper didn't mention -- and this is the second time in as many weeks he's tried to protect or soften a person's attack of a Clinton campaign tactic, beit Carl Bernstein who claimed the Clinton's were being desperate, or now.

Gergen's openly using the CNN platform to help Hillary Clinton's campaign for president. Thus, he's fair game to be denounced.

The simple fact is that with the Clinton Campaign having both volunteers and paid campaign staffers who worked to launch a race-based smear campaign against Obama, starting with planting the idea that he's Muslim -- a total lie -- they have indeed played the "race card" and Gergen knows it.

For Gergen to argue otherwise is in itself advancing a lie. For CNN to allow Gergen to do this without revealing that he's a Clinton operative is just aiding and abetting the advance of the same lie.

I noticed that no one bothered to claim that Hillary Clinton was playing the "sex card" when she said the "boys were ganging up" on her.

Geez. David, you should know -- indeed, you do know -- that people make some views of others based on racial stereotypes and that the Clintons have been playing to those stereotypes.

To the woodshed with Gergen! His assertions to the contrary are an outrage! Thankfully, the main stream media, like the Washington Post , is picking up on this terrible approach.