Mitt Romney: the conservative candidate?


I don't know how many of you watched the Presidential Forum on Fox News Sunday night in New Hampshire.  But if you did, I am sure you had the same impression that I and the "independent focus group" run by Frank Luntz did, which is that Romney won it running away. 

Not only did he dominate the debate, but he presented himself as something more than Mr. Smooth.  Indeed, he appeared as a tough, gritty, focused, impassioned, and very knowledgeable candidate on top of his game and without a doubt the smartest guy in the room. 

He is also a youthful and attractive individual, which, in this day of 24/7 media coverage, offers not insignificant advantages, especially if running against a youthful Obama.  Appearance, sometimes, does matter.

Yes, I am aware he has shifted his positions of late, perhaps in anticipation of a Presidential run, but where is the crime?  Better late than never and at least he is shifting to the right position.  He is now pro life, anti tax, and strong on illegal immigation when in the past, perhaps he has not been.  Give him credit also for winning as a fairly conservative Republican in the uber-liberal state of Massachussets.

But go down the list and you will find him strong on every issue that matters to conservatives: and in all three legs of the conservative coalition: fiscal, social, and defense.  Among the current crop, he comes closest to being the ideal full range conservative.

He wants to cut spending and lower taxes.  He understands both ideologically and from personal experience as a successful businessman the importance of supply side Friedmanesque economics. 

He speaks eloquently of the importance of family and religion, the crucial role of a strong marriage culture and intact traditional families in a healthy, thriving, and prosperous society: both philosophically, and, again, in his case, from personal experience - something some of the other candidates skirt over because of personal history. 

He is strong on defense and understands the threat of Islamofascism.  He also appreciates the underfunding of the military that occured under Clinton and that was inadequately addressed by Bush, despite his rhetoric and involvement of the country in two wars. 

He is committed to building an overwhelming military capacity (like Reagan), a force for peace and essential to protecting American interests.  He recognizes that lurking behind the Islamic fanatics are far more formidable threats in the form of Russia and China who continue to invest heavily in their own militaries. 

He realizes the threat of illegal immigration, as issues both of national sovereignty and security.  But beyond illegal immigration, he understands that legal immigration as currently construed, based on family reunification and not national interest, is every bit the threat to the nation's fiscal and cultural integrity that illegal immigration is only more so. 

He has at least waded into the matter of chain migration where most Republicans (save Tancredo and Hunter) are still reticent even to address properly the more obvious issue of illegal immigration.  Some Republicans, most notably McCain, have been unapologetic supporters of amnesty and open borders. 

It should not go unnoticed that Tancredo, the most outstanding proponent of secure borders and clamping down on both illegal and illegal immigration, threw his support behind Romney upon his withdrawl from the race.

He is glib, quick on his feet, smart, dynamic, and difficult to trip up.  One on one, he is tough to beat.  Nor does he backdown.  He is unafraid to come right at you.  He is intensely analytical.  He breaks down problems, dissects them and comes up with solutions.  He is a wonk but also possessed of a transcendent moral vision as he demonstrated during his speech on religious freedom when he sought to quell concerns about his Mormon faith thought by many, especially some evangelicals, to be something of a cult. 

He would be vigorous and competitive in any debate and campaign, and, I believe, could chew Obama or HRC up and spit them out.  He is a first rate talent that the country very much needs.  He would represent the nation internationally well and be seen as something of an interesting anomaly but effective.  Here, his youthful good looks and slick demeanor would serve him in good stead.  He is also a proven executive and problem solver with a conservative vision, successful in both the public and private sectors.

I know in the past I have preferred Giuliani, and I am still favorably disposed to the mayor.  He has obvious strengths,  is a proven leader, with a solid record of achievment in turning around the basketcase that was NYC.  But questions are beginning to surface and he has been somewhat lackluster in the campaign.  It would be good if he could just become the President and not have to run a campaign but unfortunately that is not the way it is.  There are nagging concerns about his dedication to resolving the immigration problem and promoting traditional family values.  He is pro choice and pro civil union.  These are not conservative positions.  When you see him or anyone for that matter against Romney, it just seems that Romney is the talent, the smart guy, the intellect and class act who stands head and shoulders above his opponents.  

Being smart isn't always an advantage - if associated with poor ideas.  There are plenty of "smart" people on the left who also happen to be wrong. 

But being smart along with conservative, grounded in religious faith and family, endowed with an inspired vision of man and his place in God's universe, possessed of an uplifting belief in the potential of humanity unfettered by an overbearing nanny state, knowledgeable, aware of the critical issues, sharp, quick, and attractive - is a tough combination to beat.

Let the games continue, but I am leaning towards Romney.   


  • Randy Rogers

    January 16, 2008

    Well here you go. Romney has got a break and if he can capitalize on momentum he may have a chance. I dont really like they guy, but he has a chance now. Overall it looks like McCain will come away with the prize, I am not really sure he can win either.

  • dr moss

    January 19, 2008

    Hello Randy. Bush is deeply unpopular and has hurt the Republican party. The Republican controlled Congress also shares in the blame. But at least Bush is not running. I believe a Republican can win in November.

  • Gunnar Bruun

    January 23, 2008

    As a foreigner I probably have a different outlook on things. In the rest of the world USA is considered the greatest threat to World peace. For a while none of the candidates seemed to appeal to me, that is until I heard about Ron Paul.

    His view on USA's role in the world is for me the right one. Second, his view on government eases my worries about the evergrowing power the goverment seems to have and want over people.

    I'll be interested to hear your view on him, Dr.Moss.

  • dr moss

    January 27, 2008

    It is unfortunate that some hold to the view that the US is the greatest threat to world peace (usually Israel places second in those that believe as such). It is a commonplace generally among the left and in certain Arab/Moslem quarters, although perhaps not exclusively.

    But try to imagine a world without the US: China would have by now invaded Taiwan and probably elsewhere. Communist North Korea would have overrun the south and threaten Japan. Saddam Hussein would have kept Kuwait and then invaded Saudi Arabia and the other nations of the Arabian peninsula giving him control over much of the world's oil supply. The Soviet Union would be on the march and unopposed with all of Europe, including western europe, in its grasp.

    It would be a dark and dismal and oppressive world indeed with nary a squeak of freedom, liberty, and prosperity as we know it today. Surely no room for something so indulgent as blogging and internet surfing or, for that matter, deriding the greatest liberating force in history (the US).

    As far as Ron Paul, I don't know him beyond seeing him at the debates. I know he is a libertarian and there is much that he says that resonates with me. Most conservatives would find his unsullied insistence on limiting the scope of government and increasing individual liberty (and responsibility) refreshing and very much needed, especially at this time when both parties are conspiring to expand its reach.

    I believe his foreign policy prescriptions at this time are unrealistic. I don't agree that we should withdraw our troops from Iraq, especially as we are now seeing clear signs of success. I believe he is a free trader but I wonder if he recognizes the importance of American military muscle around the world in maintaining the current international system of global trade, free markets, and expanding freedom - and how quickly it could unravel if we were to shrink our role.

    Regards and thanks for the comments. dr moss.

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