Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cruising the Web

Mona Charen has an explanation of why Mitt Romney comes across as so scripted.

However, Romney does sometimes demonstrate that he can be spontaneous. This time he seems to be channeling what he learned from campaigning with Chris Christie. These are lessons well worth Romney learning.

Josh Marshall has a theory as to why Romney isn't releasing his tax returns - he has a Warren Buffett problem. If Romney is going to win the nomination, I predict that he'll wait to some time after he wraps it up to release them and hope that they get swallowed by some other story. But it's still going to add up to the Gordon Gekko profile the Democrats are planning to pin on him.

Jon Stewart has a lot of fun ridiculing the Republicans who criticize class-warfare arguments of the Democrats and then turn around and blast Mitt Romney for being rich and working for Bain Capital. It's the only time you'll hear Mitt Romney referred to as the Kracken.
Just imagine this: Laurence Tribe is a complete hypocrite when it comes to his arguments in favor of President Obama's ability to make recess appointments even when the Senate is not in recess. Adam J. White points out that Tribe wrote a legal brief in 2004 against President Bush's recess appointments and how dangerous and unjustified by the Constitution they were. Now he's written an op-ed in the NYT arguing the exact opposite point when it comes to Obama's appointments. I know that a lawyer is supposed to be able to argue both sides of an issue, but they shouldn't be doing that in newspaper op-eds.

William Kristol makes a good point about Mitt Romney's claims to be more qualified for the presidency because he worked in the private sector.
One assumes Mitt Romney would agree that Chris Christie is a better chief executive of New Jersey than Jon Corzine, and that Rudy Giuliani was a better mayor of New York than Mike Bloomberg. But Romney’s biography looks a lot more like Bloomberg's or Corzine's (leaving aside Corzine's recent misadventures) than like that of Giuliani (pre-mayoralty) or Christie.
That's why I'd recommend that Romney drop that argument. He's made it often enough that it's just a rhetorical tic by now. Instead he could give specifics about what he learned from that experience that he would expect to apply to a potential presidency.

Jon Huntsman says he has a ticket to ride out of New Hampshire. If he couldn't come in higher than third in the state he's been camped out in for weeks, how is he going to do any better in other states? He'll never win a Republican primary by being Democrats' favorite program; those Democrats who voted for him today wouldn't vote for him if he were running against a real Democrat so it's a mystery as to what he thinks his real political appeal is. For this he left being governor of Utah or ambassador in Beijing?

Why is Newt Gingrich holding a rally
in South Carolina with Jim Clyburn, Democratic House leader? Its not enough that he's handing the Democrats attack lines to use against Romney? He might as well go back to sitting on the couch with Pelosi.

Though this did allow Drudge to have this great juxtaposition that Ed Driscoll notices.
* FLASHBACK: Rep. Clyburn: Gingrich Will Say ‘Almost Anything’…

Charles Lane has some good advice for Barack Obama on California's silly high-speed rail project: follow his own criteria for public policy.
In announcing the appointment of a new economic adviser last summer, President Obama emphasized his commitment to fact-based policymaking. It’s “more important than ever,” he said, to get “recommendations not based on politics, not based on narrow interests, but based on the best evidence, based on what’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country.”

If only the president and his political ally, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), would follow that advice regarding their pet project for the Golden State: high-speed rail. No matter how many times they tout the mega-project as the job-creating wave of the future, they can’t change the mountain of evidence that high-speed rail is, in fact, a boondoggle.
Sorry, those were just words.

While not endorsing anyone, Jim DeMint is sounding a lot more bullish on Romney than you might expect. He didn't like all the Bain-bashing.

Holman Jenkins does a masterful job of exploding
the phony statistical analysis that the Justice Department uses when it brings disparate impact racial cases.

Noemie Emery dispels the myth that the Republican base is united against Romney. To the contrary, they're divided up among unappealing opponents, none of whom can put together a winning coalition to dominate the rest of the crowd.
And, if they could fuse, merge or settle on one single figure, no one could give him a charisma transplant, an eloquence implant, a transfusion of vision, or the je ne sais quoi that adds up to leadership, an ephemeral essence on which the current contenders draw blanks.

If a strong man existed among them, he would have emerged on his own long ago.

The problem for the Republican base is less that it is divided than whom it is divided among, which is five different people unfit to be president. This is their fault, and not that of Romney. Not all of the GOP's problems can be traced to or blamed upon Romney.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Here's an interesting history of political endorsements that back-stabbed a former ally.