December 4, 2007

Romney to Roll Out ‘The Speech,’ As He Questions His Own Timing

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:30 am

So Mitt Romney is giving his “I am (insert name of his religion here), hear me roar” speech on Thursday.

Hmmm.

In a meeting with the editors of Human Events, the results of which were published on November 21, there was this answer to a question about the timing of such a speech (bolds are mine):

I listen to people’s perceptions, and I will weigh that in my own analysis and my own decision-making. But I have not made a decision at this point about whether and when to give such a speech.

….. You know, in the case of Senator Kennedy — and later President Kennedy — as you point out, he made the speech, I think it was in September prior to the November election. And so, if I were to do so now, I would be nine or ten months before he did.

It’s just something which, you know, I have to take a look at. I do get the chance, of course, to take a look at a number of people’s articles about this. There’s a whole book written about it. By Hugh Hewitt, saying, “Don’t dare give such a speech. You can’t possibly satisfy the critics.” And of course no one could compare with the landmark address that was given by Senator Kennedy, so, it’s not something that I’m ready to announce any change on.

Seven or so business days later, questioning his own previously stated timing, he’s apparently rarin’ to go with it.

My, that was a briskly done switch.

Why?

And get a load of what Hugh “Don’t dare give such a speech” Hewitt is saying now:

The Romney plan continues to roll out. Even the Huckabee pop has helped by lowering Romney’s expectations in Iowa, even as Rudy has to fight off bad headlines and a McCain Campaign buoyed by the Manchester Union Leader’s endorsement.

….. When he set out to run for president, he knew the anti-Mormon fanatics would be there every step of the way, and that religious bigotry on the left and right would be a handicap. We won’t know until after the campaign is over, but I suspect in the headquarters of Team Romney there is a timeline drafted long ago that has on it an entry –”a week before the first absentees are cast, give speech on religious liberty.” I will be surprised if the speech Romney gives on Thursday will have much to do with theology, but I expect it will have a great do to do with political theory.

The ability to anticipate events and especially difficulties is among the greatest attributes of leadership. Romney has it.

In your dreams, Hugh.

If there’s a more obvious example of ROTFLMBO (Rolling On The Floor, Laughing My Butt Off) self-parody deteriorating into monumental absurdity in America today than Hewitt’s head-first, principle-abandoning plunge into the tank for Mitt Romney, I’d like to know what it is.

As to Romney, it seems to me that he probably had “such a speech” planned for the GOP convention upon accepting the nomination, or perhaps shortly thereafter. But I suspect that, like a heavily-favored football team caught looking ahead to next week’s game against a hated rival, but down in the fourth quarter to Podunk U, he’s having to pull the speech — his “big play” — out from under the wraps much earlier than he anticipated. It may be that the campaign’s internal polling shows the SS Romney taking on water much more quickly and forcefully than in the info we get to see.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann would appear to agree:

This is not a good time to be Mitt Romney. After almost a year of having the Iowa and New Hampshire airwaves to himself, he is now facing a challenge on the right from Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson and on the left from Rudy Giuliani.

Pressed from both sides, he is leaking votes. Where once a sweep of the table of the early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina) appeared in the cards, he is now looking at a possible defeat in Iowa, derailing his plans.

….. If Huckabee beats Romnney in Iowa, it may imperil the rest of the four-state sweep which Romney is anticipating.

….. But, if one-third of the primary voters are backing Romney in New Hampshire, what about the other two-thirds? Universally known because of his Massachusetts governorship, Romney may have hit his ceiling at a third of the vote. And, should he lose Iowa, he may drop into the high 20s.

….. If Mitt doesn’t win either Iowa or New Hampshire, he is finished.

Giuliani, on the other hand, could lose both early states and live to fight again down the road. With a national lead and a 50-state presence, Rudy, like Hillary, cannot be knocked out in the early going.

Just wondering — The Romney regression couldn’t have anything to do with THIS, could it?

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UPDATE: Testy Hugh Hewitt (see his Update 2) is saying that he isn’t backtracking from his “don’t give such a speech” stand, because Romney’s speech will be about “religious liberty” and not “theology.”

Zheesh, Hugh — Kennedy’s “such a speech” in 1960 wasn’t about “theology,” it was about “religious liberty,” religious tolerance, and ultimately national loyalty.

Romney’s “such a speech” was NEVER going to be about “theology.” Who do you think you’re fooling, Hugh? Thursday’s speech will be the speech you didn’t want to see given. All that’s remains is to see if your original fears are justified.

UPDATE 2, Dec. 5: Jonah Goldberg must not have gotten Hewitt’s “religious liberty” memo –

Washington is atwitter. Mitt Romney will give a “JFK speech” Thursday accounting for his Mormonism the way then-Sen. John F. Kennedy dealt with his Catholicism in 1960.

….. Such are the dangers of political nostalgia, which often drives candidates to repeat history as farce.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (120407)

They said if George Bush was re-elected president that powerful people would dig into your past to see what you were doing in the third grade, or even kindergartenand they were right.

And this is really dumb:

New polling shows Hillary Clinton may have dropped to second in Iowa behind Barack Obama, so now the pro-abortion New York senator has decided to go on the attack. She’s blasting her Illinois colleague on the issue of abortion and claming she’s done more to advance the pro-abortion cause.

In an Iowa stop on Monday, Clinton sought to portray Obama as someone who talks a tough game on promoting abortion but hasn’t advocated it to the same extent as her.

I realize the link is to Life News and that it’s not a quote, but it’s nonetheless clear that Mrs. Clinton has embarked on an “I’m more pro-abort than you” strategy. Even the most ardent pro-aborts have to be uncomfortable with that, as it easily conjures up a vision of who can stack bodies up the highest. What ever happened to the “safe, but rare” formulation?

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Chavez lost his grab for permanent power by a 51-49 margin. If it weren’t for fear, he would have lost by more.

The New York Times failed to note that point, even as it quoted one such fearful person near the end of its “analysis”:

For Mr. Chávez’s followers, meanwhile, the outcome of the referendum has forced some to take stock, uncomfortably, of their own loyalties.

Pedro Luis Urbina, a 33-year-old bus driver from the gritty district of El Valle who described himself as a loyal “Chavista,” said he had voted in favor of the proposals, despite disagreeing with them. The reason, Mr. Urbina said, was that he feared losing a government loan he had received to start his own small public transportation business.

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This IBD editorial is the anti-CAIR:

In 2006, a whopping 66% of religiously motivated attacks were on Jews, while just 11% targeted Muslims, even though the Jewish and Muslim populations are similar in size. Catholics and Protestants, who together account for 9% of victims, are subject to almost as much abuse as Muslims in this country.

Last year’s anti-Islamic hate crimes totaled 156. While just one hate crime is one too many, that’s a 68% drop from 2001.

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Ford broke a string of 12 consecutive months of reduced unit sales, and eked out a 0.6% increase in November vs. a year ago. The company, which was number 2 in the US just a year ago, saw ts 183,000 in unit sales trail Toyota’s by over 14,000. Still, give the folks in Dearborn a little credit, as both GM and Chrysler were down.

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Apple’s newest operating system, Leopard, is described in less-than-glowing terms by PC Magazine’s Oliver Rist. Considerably less than glowing:

Leopard is the new Vista. All the way.

Ouch.

Rist comes up with five pretty convincing reasons why. Informal conversations with several people who have upgraded give me the impression that Apple has a real problem on its hands. I for one am not upgrading for a while.

Positivity: Willis’ death is a history lesson for today’s football players

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From USA Today last week:

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Sean Taylor wasn’t the only football player who died Tuesday.
Bill Willis passed away, too.

Yet unlike the tragic death of Taylor, the 24-year-old Washington Redskins safety who lost his life to a gunshot wound after intruder stormed into his bedroom, it is apparent that the passing of Willis, who was 86, barely registers with players in the NFL.

It should strike a nerve.

Willis was one of four men who broke pro football’s color barrier in 1946 — a year before Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Willis and Marion Motley broke in with the Cleveland Browns under Paul Brown in the All-America Football Conference that eventually merged with the NFL. Kenny Washington and Woodie Strode joined the Rams the same year, the franchise’s first in Los Angeles.

Before that, the NFL was lily-white for 12 years with an “unwritten” policy, urged by then-Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, that barred players of color.

Now, more than 70% of the NFL’s players are black. And the Redskins’ owner, Dan Snyder, rushed to Miami and showed tremendous respect to Taylor’s family.

Times have changed in many regards.

But it’s also a shame that you could walk into the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room on Thursday and one player after another had no clue about Willis’ significance.

Willis, honored with a U.S. Senate resolution last year, was the last survivor of the four pioneering black players who reintegrated pro football. He went to the emergency room after suffering a massive cerebral stroke on Thanksgiving, then expired Tuesday afternoon with his family at his bedside.

“I saw something on ESPN the other day, where they said he passed,” said Ravens receiver Derrick Mason. “Did he play for Buffalo?”

Not quite. Willis played both ways, but the former Ohio State All-American was best known as an outstanding middle guard. He was so quick off the snap that during his first day at the Browns’ training camp at Bowling Green, the legendary coach Brown got on his hands and knees along the line of scrimmage to see if Willis was jumping offside.

No, Willis was fair and square, smacking Otto Graham before the quarterback could get set on his dropback. It forced the Browns to change their blocking schemes — and later wreaked havoc for opponents as Cleveland won all four AAFC titles.

This much I know because Mo Scarry, a onetime Don Shula assistant, told me.

Scarry was one of the Browns’ centers the day Willis showed up to play for Brown, his old coach at Ohio State.

Eventually, Willis’ position morphed into today’s middle linebacker. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.