Friday, February 08, 2008


The Exit of Mitt Romney

I've been stuck in court for most of this week (save Tuesday, when I blogged like mad), and that includes all but 25 minutes of Thursday's workday. In those 25 minutes, though, I was able to listen to Mitt Romney's speech at CPAC. I had heard the scuttlebutt that it was going to be his swan song, which was reason enough to listen, so I tuned in to Andrew Wilkow's radio show on Sirius Patriot radio.

Half-way though the speech, my question was: who was this man and what had he done with Mitt Romney? The speech was blistering where it needed to be, inspirational where it needed to be, and touched on issues that conservatives care about. It was incredible, and unfortunately should have been delivered in the summer of 2007.

As the speech continued, it sure didn't sound like Mitt was getting out. It sounded like Mitt was renewed, ready to fight on. Wilkow broke in and said, "It doesn't sound like Romney is getting out with this speech." I concurred. Romney went on about the importance of parental responsibility, how fathers needed to be fathers to help raise the next generation of Americans. He spoke about the economy, about how unions were the real culprit for the downturn in the American economy.

It was at this point that I became a Romney supporter. If this Mitt Romney had been around earlier in the campaign, I might have been there then. I was ready to write my check to the Romney campaign. Seriously. Those who know me know that 1) I'm not apt to give in to hyperbole, 2) I don't tend to switch from candidate to candidate, even in the longest of campaigns, and 3) I rarely give money to political campaigns. Taking that into account, you should be able to gage where I thought this speech rated.

Several times during this campaign, I have been urging for the candidates to inspire me. I've said that if one of John McCain's speeches inspires you, you probably are inspired by Baby Einstein videos and those 3-D pictures that were so popular in 90's. Seriously. John McCain couldn't inspire me to get off the couch and make a chicken salad sandwich.

But here I was Thursday in the parking lot of the Blount County Justice Center listening to Mitt Romney speak at CPAC - and I was moved. I was inspired. I was willing to write off the previous positions he had taken while running against Kennedy. I was willing to overlook his horrible attempt at socialized healthcare while Governor of Massachusetts. I was willing to believe that he would work with the NRA to protect our right to keep and bear arms. I was willing to align myself with Mitt Romney.

But then...

Wilkow and I were wrong. Mitt quit. Well, in retrospect, Mitt positioned himself with the inside track for 2012. He maintains political viability as he goes out on a beautiful high note. This speech will be long remembered - not the meager victories in Alaska, North Dakota, Utah, and the like.

I know I will remember it. It was the best address I have heard since Ronald Reagan left the White House. One tends to remember such things.

MORE: Wes Comer's comments mirror my own - plus he has the text of Mitt's speech. Bob Krumm, who supported Romney after Fred Thompson left the field, apparently liked Mitt's speech, as well, but believes that we need to unite behind McCain. (It should be noted that Bob wouldn't mind the GOP's support in a future campaign, whereas I realize that I probably won't receive that support because I'm not really a party guy - especially if that party sells out its values for the sake of being competitive in one election cycle. This isn't a slam on Bob at all, mind you, as he's probably making the smarter choice.) Mark Hemmingway at NRO loved it, as did Adam Yoshida, who thought that Mitt showed the qualities of a strong VP.


I, too, was sitting in a parking lot listening to Romney's speech. I was thinking, "Who is this guy? If he had given this speech all along, he would be the nominee by now!" It reminded me of Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech at the GOP convention.
Didn't you say you only tuned in because you heard it was a swan song? Mitt's been like this all along for anyone taking an honest look at him. Particularly if you actually looked into the flip flop / pandering charges his less-than-stellar opponents were launching against him. Now you know what all the fuss has been about :o)

Romney '12
Velda -

No, I didn't say that I only tuned in because I heard Mitt may be dropping out.

Read more carefully.


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