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I'm Tired (and I'm Just Watching)
11-29-2007
It must be intellectually exhausting to be Mitt Romney. At this point, it should be abundantly clear that his campaign is driven by the well-worn political dictum that to win the Republican presidential nomination, a candidate must run hard to the right on litmus test issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, and gun control. Given Romney’s political biography, this strategy has required him to cover much more ideological ground than most of the other Republican candidates.
 
Over the past year, I have seen Romney struggle mightily to prove his conservative credentials, while taking a beating from those who question his authenticity. Last night’s CNN/YouTube debate in Florida was no exception. Watching Romney once again defend his ideological transformation on a host of social policy issues (be it genuine or instrumental) was a draining television viewing experience.  His uneven performance only served to underscore the ease with which candidates like Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson glided smoothly around the same conservative ideological terrain. Ironically, it may be precisely because Romney is working so doggedly to prove his bona fides, that he now finds himself challenged in Iowa by Huckabee, a man who seems a lot more comfortable in his conservative skin.
 
Note: If you would like to hear more of my reaction to the CNN/YouTube debate, I will be discussing it further on Sunday morning, as a guest on WMUR-TV’s Close Up (Ch. 9, 10 AM).

Comments:


Posted On: 11-30-2007 01:29:47 by Lynn Vavreck
Just curious, Dean ... about your reaction to McCain's treatment of the torture issue last night. After everything we heard him say in 2000 and all the times we've seen and heard him since, I thought that exchange last night was one of the most powerful moments I've ever witnessed in American politics. McCain's emotional yet purposive stand against torture highighted for me his genuineness, and for lack of a better word, authenticity -- espcially compared to the others. Is this just me, or did you take note of that moment in the debate, too? Interestingly, I understand that people "hooked up" to dial group measurements during the debate rated McCain's response as the "lowest" moment of the entire evening. Really? You've got to be kidding me. Who ARE these people?


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