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Mr. Big Dog

A Silent Romney Would Be a Better Romney

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A Silent Romney Would Be a Better Romney

A Commentary by Gregor Peter Schmitz

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Presidential candidate Mitt Romney may be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, but he has developed a curious penchant for tripping over his own tongue. Particularly when talking about money, he has increasingly veered into Dan Quayle territory. His verbal slip-ups could ultimately doom his campaign.

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George Valentin, the main character in the Oscar-winning film "The Artist," has a charming smile, his dark hair is perfectly coiffed and his teeth are almost blinding in their whiteness. Valentin looks like a film star was supposed to look in the silent film era. But then came the talkies and Valentin was forced to speak. His acting career came to an abrupt end.

Mitt Romney is no film star. Rather, he will most likely be the Republican nominee for the most powerful political office in the world, particularly after his victories on Tuesday in the Michigan and Arizona primaries. But one can hardly watch "The Artist" without thinking of Romney.

He has the hair, the smile and the perfect teeth. He looks like a star; he looks like the perfect president.

But candidate Romney also has to talk, and that is a big part of his problem. He says things like "the trees" in Michigan "are the right height," in the apparent belief that such sentiments will inspire voters in the state. Instead, people just laugh at him, as evidenced by the extremely popular Romney parody aired by the liberal cable news channel MSNBC, which mashed up snippets from his campaign with scenes out of "The Artist."

The message is as clear as it is convincing: Despite holding poll position in the Republican race, there is not much to differentiate Republican nominee-in-spe Romney from the fallen film star Valentin. He would be a much better candidate if he didn't have to talk.

A Litany of Half-Baked Statements

Were this a silent film, Romney would look like the ideal candidate. He has the most money of any Republican candidate, has the most prominent supporters and possesses the greatest economic experience in an election cycle which is focused heavily on economic issues.

Furthermore, his Republican opponents are hardly heavyweights. They want to transform the US into a kind of monastery free of gays, abortion or contraceptives (Rick Santorum), or are so poorly organized that they couldn't even get their names on the primary ballot in important states (Newt Gingrich).

Yet despite his clutch of primary victories, Romney is having a hard time finding his voice. Even worse, the voice that he has found is one that many Americans don't like. The supposed dream candidate has allowed himself a litany of half-baked statements that are sure to follow him for some time.

Embarrassing utterances in which he claims to love trees, streets, songs -- pretty much everything and everyone -- are not even Romney's biggest problem. It is much worse when the multimillionaire, who is worth an estimated quarter billion dollars, talks about money. He sounds like he is "engaged in a discussion with his stockbroker," says prominent Republican speech writer Michael Gerson.

Candidate Romney has said that he likes "being able to fire people" and that he is "not concerned about the very poor." He challenged former Republican candidate Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet and claimed that his earnings from speaker fees amounted to "not very much," even though the total was $374,000 from February 2010 to February 2011. Formerly the head of the private equity firm Bain Capital, he has sought to remind voters that "corporations are people" and, in an attempt to find support in the American automobile capital of Detroit, he said that his wife Ann drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

All Downhill from There

Romney, wrote the Washington Post recently, is reminiscent of Dan Quayle, vice president to President George H. W. Bush and the undisputed master of verbal slip-ups. Quayle's impressive oeuvre is difficult to distill, but his perhaps most infamous flub was his attempt to add an "e" on the end of a grade-schooler's correct spelling of the word "potato" in 1992. It was all downhill from there.

The same expectation of error is now beginning to follow Romney, particularly when it comes to questions about his wealth. He badly wants to appear as normal as possible, but he constantly reminds voters that he is among the very richest.

Is it such a bad thing for presidential candidates if they suffer from verbal slip-ups? Not necessarily. It is bad, however, when such utterances magnify already held beliefs. The Democrat John Kerry, for example, said during the 2004 presidential campaign that he was in favor of the Iraq war before he reversed his position. It was enough to solidify the popular image of him as a flip-flopper. Republican John McCain tripped up over his inability to remember how many houses he owned (eight). Voters quickly came to see him as aloof.

Romney is now threatened with a similar fate -- of becoming known as "Mr. 1 Percent." Nevertheless, he remains the clear favorite to become the Republican nominee for the presidency, no matter how loudly some in the party complain about him. US conservatives are too disciplined to engage in a risky search for alternatives now.

But with a voice that continually fails him, Romney's approaching battle with the masterful speaker President Barack Obama looks like an increasingly insurmountable challenge. The silent film star Valentin from "The Artist" will likely be in our thoughts for some time to come.

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I always scan political articles for gems like this:

Furthermore, his Republican opponents are hardly heavyweights. They want to transform the US into a kind of monastery free of gays, abortion or contraceptives

Blindly patisan, inaccurate, and pure strawman fallacy. Article busted

I'll have to google this author to see if he has a similar piece about the braindead prattlings of the current president, who doesn't know his own daughter's age, or the number of states in the union.

Obama makes Quayle seem like Winston Chrurchill...

Edited by xebec

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I always scan political articles for gems like this:

Furthermore, his Republican opponents are hardly heavyweights. They want to transform the US into a kind of monastery free of gays, abortion or contraceptives (Rick Santorum), or are so poorly organized that they couldn't even get their names on the primary ballot in important states (Newt Gingrich).

Blindly patisan, inaccurate, and pure strawman fallacy. Article busted

What's inaccurate? That the non-Romney contenders aren't heavyweights? That Santorum is driving a religious, anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-contraceptives message? Or that Gingrich didn't make the primary ballot in important states? As far as I can tell, all of these assessments are spot-on.

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What's inaccurate? That the non-Romney contenders aren't heavyweights? That Santorum is driving a religious, anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-contraceptives message? Or that Gingrich didn't make the primary ballot in important states? As far as I can tell, all of these assessments are spot-on.

Of course you see these as spot-on. Care to demonstrate where any of these candidates have made any statement calling for a country "free of gays, abortion or contraceptives?" That means 0 gays, 0 abortions, and 0 access to contraception, btw. I would love to see your evidence.....


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Political commentary isn't trying to deliver unbiased news. If you watch Fox News, you'll understand.

Never said it was booboo.... Just pointing out to other readers that this is a simple (and amateurish) progressive hit-piece.

Plenty more like it on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, MSNBC.....


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Of course you see these as spot-on. Care to demonstrate where any of these candidates have made any statement calling for a country "free of gays, abortion or contraceptives?" That means 0 gays, 0 abortions, and 0 access to contraception, btw. I would love to see your evidence.....

Rick Santorum On Abortion

Rick Santorum is unequivocally pro-life and believes that "a child is a child" and that even if that child was conceived as a result of violence then it is at no fault of the baby. Therefore he argues that even in the case of rape and incest abortion should be illegal.

Rick Santorum On Gay Issues

Santorum is firmly against homosexual marriage and believes that activist judges should not decide on matters of defining marriage. He believes civil unions are a slippery slope in an attempt to grant homosexuals the right to get married. He said on civil unions, "it's a baby step -- Look, we'll take half a loaf now, and then after we've accomplished that then, you know, people will feel comfortable with it, and then we'll take the final step."

Rick Santorum on Contraception

One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, "Well, that's okay. Contraception's okay."

It's not okay because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

So, 100% anti-abortion (he wants to make them all illegal), 100% anti-contraceptives (he wants to rid the nation of all of them) and 100% anti-gay (Santorum believes that gay people should stop being gay - that would leave no gay people out there to worry about) and he wants to tear down the constitutional wall between church and state. As Santorum would put it, the separation of church and state makes him throw up. It's all there. Right from the horse's mouth.

Edited by Mr. Big Dog

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So, 100% anti-abortion (he wants to make them all illegal), 100% anti-contraceptives (he wants to rid the nation of all of them) and 100% anti-gay (Santorum believes that gay people should stop being gay - that would leave no gay people out there to worry about) and he wants to tear down the constitutional wall between church and state. As Santorum would put it, the separation of church and state makes him throw up. It's all there. Right from the horse's mouth.

1) So the man is anti-abortion. He, like nearly half the country, is against what they understand to be the taking of an innocent human life...... This is a perfectly legitimate political stance, and in no way equivalent to a return to some sort of medieval monasticism, a.p. the witer in the OP.

2) Where in your "evidence" is any indication that Santorum wants to "transform" the country into a place where contraception is unavailable (as alledged in your OP). He stated a personal belief. So what.

3) Once again- Where in your evidence does Santorum indicate that he has any plan to "transform" the country into a place where there are no homosexuals?

Edited by xebec

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Never said it was booboo.... Just pointing out to other readers that this is a simple (and amateurish) progressive hit-piece.

Plenty more like it on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, MSNBC.....

Hit piece? That's being a bit melodramatic. It's political commentary. We're surrounded by it, even on this forum, from all sides of the political spectrum. Your selective outrage is misplaced.

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he wants to tear down the constitutional wall between church and state. As Santorum would put it, the separation of church and state makes him throw up. It's all there. Right from the horse's mouth.

Completely out of context, in fitting with the article you posted:

Stephanopoulos questioned Santorum about a comment he made earlier in the campaign regarding a famous speech President John F. Kennedy made in 1960 to Baptist ministers in Houston. In October, the former senator told voters at the College of St. Mary Magdalen in New Hampshire that he "almost threw up" after reading the speech because he believed Kennedy advocated barring people of faith from discussing public matters.

[Critics Target Santorum's Voting Record in Congress.]

"Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, no, faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate…I will have nothing to do with faith," Santorum railed. "You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?"


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Hit piece? That's being a bit melodramatic. It's political commentary. We're surrounded by it, even on this forum, from all sides of the political spectrum. Your selective outrage is misplaced.

Not melodramatic at all. The writer's intent is clearly to generate a negative emotional response benefieting the president. No mystery.

Outrage? Hardly.... Your characterization of my response to this post is a bit melodramatic


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1) So the man is anti-abortion. He, like nearly half the country, is against what they understand to be the taking of an innocent human life...... This is a perfectly legitimate political stance, and in no way equivalent to a return to some sort of medieval monasticism, a.p. the witer in the OP.

2) Where in your "evidence" is any indication that Santorum wants to "transform" the country into a place where contraception is unavailable (as alledged in your OP). He stated a personal belief. So what.

3) Once again- Where in your evidence does Santorum indicate that he has any plan to "transform" the country into a place where there are no homosexuals?

Santorum believes that there should be no contraceptives, no abortions, no homosexuals and no separation between church and state. That is what the man believes and campaigns on each and every day. That being the case, it is perfectly legitimate to characterize him as a candidate that "want to transform the US into a kind of monastery free of gays, abortion or contraceptives" as the opinion piece I posted here did. You may disagree with that characterization as you may disagree with any opinion on any issue offered. The opinion is not pulled out of thin air, however, but based on what Rick Santorum professes to believe and what he professes to want to promote if elected President. Which, of course, he will never be.

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The writer's intent is clearly to generate a negative emotional response benefieting the president.

I think you should re-read the opinion. What the author discusses is Mitt Romney's clear inability to find a way to connect with voters. He fails even with the Republican base, let alone the general electorate. That's what the opinion is about. It has nothing to do with Obama. That's your obsession talking.

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Santorum believes that there should be no contraceptives, no abortions, no homosexuals and no separation between church and state. That is what the man believes and campaigns on each and every day. That being the case, it is perfectly legitimate to characterize him as a candidate that "want to transform the US into a kind of monastery free of gays, abortion or contraceptives" as the opinion piece I posted here did. You may disagree with that characterization as you may disagree with any opinion on any issue offered. The opinion is not pulled out of thin air, however, but based on what Rick Santorum professes to believe and what he professes to want to promote if elected President. Which, of course, he will never be.

I agree that he will never be selected as the nominee. I just don't see this, and I would not be very pleased if it happened.

I still see no evidence that he "wants to promote" a ban on contraception, or pogorom against homosexuals. Saying so is a clear attempt to muddle a man's personal beliefs with his agenda for a potential presidency.


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Not melodramatic at all. The writer's intent is clearly to generate a negative emotional response benefieting the president. No mystery.

Outrage? Hardly.... Your characterization of my response to this post is a bit melodramatic

Dude, take a deep breath. This forum is called Politics and Religion and is notorious for posts riddled with political commentary. Singling out the ones you don't agree with is being selective.

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