Monday, June 19, 2006

Candidates prepare for 2008 Iowa Caucus

Cross-posted over at Conservative Culture has an interesting article on the preparations of three candidates for the 2008 Iowa Presidential caucus: George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney.

Pro-choicer George Pataki is assembling a coalition “to help him appear more conservative to voters there.” He even got a board member of Iowa Right to Life to join his team.

Mike Huckabee hired Eric Woolson to handle his legislative and grassroots effort in the state. Woolson was a press coordinator for Governor George W. Bush’s successful 2000 primary. Huckabee recently spoke at the meeting of the Iowa Christian Coalition.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney (who, as Lifenews put it, “recently declared himself pro-life”) established a PAC and is beginning to lay the framework for a probable run.

I like Lifenews’s apt description of Romney’s shifting stances. As I mentioned in an earlier post over at Conservative Culture, Romney told NARAL in 2003: “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” He’s been trying to paint himself as pro-life since, positioning himself for a national race. His supporters argue that his statements when running for Governor should be ignored since he had to say that to win a pro-choice state. So what? If what he said then was just to get ahead politically, maybe what he’s saying now is also just to get ahead politically.

The last time I said that Romney is a RINO, one of his supporters called me a religious bigot. I’m not. He’s a Mormon and I’m a Protestant Christian, but that’s not why I oppose Romney’s candidacy. I oppose Romney because he’s a RINO.

But maybe that term is too harsh. After all, Romney might not really believe the liberal political views he espoused when running for governor. He might have run as a liberal then because it was popular and he might be running as a conservative now because it’s popular now. Maybe Romney isn’t a RINO. Maybe he’s just another Taft.


Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to give Romney the benefit of the doubt on life issues. He has been very solid fighting on some stem-cell research issues, and if no less a life absolutist than Kathryn Jean Lopez of NRO likes him (and she damn near worships him), I think he's probably doing all right.

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Romney would NOT get my support.

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Daniel J. Mount said...

Since Kathryn Lopez was mentioned, I thought I'd do a little googling on what she had to say about Romney. In a December 20, 2005 column, she said: "Romney is Mormon. He has other obstacles, mind you-like winning over conservatives after running and winning and governing in the bluest of blue states — but some have suggested that his religion makes him a non-starter." (

My point isn't about his religion. I've had enough of being called a relgious bigot for just mentioning that he was Mormon. (All that did was keep me going on this Romney research project.) My point is that even Kathryn Lopez is saying that conservatives aren't necessarily running over one another to accept him.

For what it's worth, this was the first article I came across where she mentioned him; I did not pick and choose between quotes.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Romney's Mormonism is a serious obstacle for him. People on the left who'd decry it will decry anyone who takes religion seriously. And I don't think there are enough politically active religious bigots any more on the right to hurt him.

As for I said, he's her clear early favorite for the Republican nomination. Most of her Corner postings about him are groupie-esque.

Daniel J. Mount said...

I wasn't denying that Kathryn likes Romney. She undoubtedly does. My point was that even she acknowledges he'll have a hard time winning conservatives' votes.

And I think I could bring myself to vote for a pro-life cult member over a pro-choice Episcopalian.

I think Romney might make some noise, but I don't think he'll take the nomination. That's why I can relax on this one, and even make a few jokes as I go along.