Romney’s Problem

by Sean Hackbarth

A few conservatives have a visceral reaction to Mitt Romney. They think he’s a total phony molding his political beliefs to maximize votes in the same way the companies he re-engineered maximized revenues.

I don’t see him that way. Call me, “naive” but I accept his flip-flops on a number of issues. People can change, and I’m willing to believe he’s sincere. I also understand the concerns of others. Timing-wise Romney would be better off running in 2012. A few more years as a conservative leader would create more trust from the Republican base.

Romney has attempted to convince conservatives he’s one of them even though he doesn’t have the track record. The result of trying so hard is he looks like he’s trying too hard. He ends up looking stiff and not completely within himself. To compensate he launches contrast ads at other candidates. That didn’t work in either Iowa and New Hampshire.

There is a different Mitt Romney, one more comfortable in his own skin. Dean Barnett remembers that Romney:

The Mitt Romney I got to know was warm and likable. He had an electric intelligence. He was unfailingly decent. He was totally committed to his family. He treated everyone with respect and kindness.

If you’re like most politically attuned Americans, you probably don’t agree with my description of Mr. Romney. You may consider him to be the personification of political ambition. You possibly believe he will say anything to get elected president. You might even consider him one of the least honorable politicians in the country.

As a longtime admirer of Mr. Romney’s, it pains me that many Americans believe these things. Even worse, Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign has given them cause to feel this way. As a result, in the Michigan primary today, he is fighting for his political life.

Ironically the uber-manager has mismanaged his campaign. He’s going to need a turnaround more dramatic than the one he pulled off at the Salt Lake Olympics.

“Driving Mr. Romney” [via Soren Dayton]

Disclaimer: I work for Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

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7 Responses to “Romney’s Problem”


I don’t see him that way. Call me, “naive” but I accept his flip-flops on a number of issues. People can change, and I’m willing to believe he’s sincere.

You have got to be kidding me.



I’m with you, DJ.

Sean, you’re kidding, right? We ignored some of Souter’s rulings, and GWHB passed him off as a “conservative” and we got disaster on SCOTUS. Ignore a politicians record at your peril. It’s far, far more likely that the tiger doesn’t change his stripes.

We do NOT need a GOP version of John Edwards – pretty and phony. His record and rhetoric are incompatible, just like Edwards. I’d far rather have McCain or Fred; I’d even settle for Giulani, but I’ll never vote for Romney. Ever. If I’m going to vote for a liberal, I’ll at least vote for one who advertises themselves as one.


I didn’t say I was voting for Romney for President. My boss would not be pleased. Romney needs more years as a conservative in order to build more trust.

Reagan, Jean Kirkpatrick, and other used to be Democrats so Republicans are willing to accept converters.

Romney’s mistake has been his strategy of being THE ultimate conservative when he doesn’t have the track record. With time he could build up such a record.


Sean, I realize you’re all out for Fred. That’s not the point.

Willingness to believe Romney is sincere…well, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Conservatives have been burned on this before – the list is extensive; Souter’s merely the worst of a sorry lot. We can not – absolutely can not – risk voting for a guy who claims conservativism and political record is liberal to moderate. If I’d put liberal colored glasses on, I’d feel the same way about Edwards.

Give me the guys who at least come close to having their words reflect their voting records. Well…other than Ron Paul. ;)


As a liberal, i do feel that way about Edwards. What i’m wondering is if Sean was one of the many using the derisive “Flip-Flopper” label on Kerry back in ‘04? Despite the fact that Kerry more or less explained all of his changes of position (maybe not convincingly, but no more or less convincingly than Romney has)?

It just seems on the surface that Sean’s more willing to accept Romney’s changes of position because he’s a Republican. Weak sauce. His changes of position just happen to coincide with his entering the national stage in a Presidential campaign, and you give him the benefit of the doubt? Hilarious.


DJ, yes I’m sure I went off on Sen. Kerry’s flip-flopping. That is Mitt’s biggest weakness. Thus my point about him being better off running in 2012. He’s have that many more years to prove his conservative bonafides.


DJ – Good read on Edwards, and about flip-flopping. Kerry’s an amateur compared to the quantum changes Romney’s made – or, claimed to make – in his views.

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