And Then There Was Mitt

July 10, 2007

The house was packed for the YR awards ceremony, more than half the crowd were complete strangers to me, there only to see Mitt Romney speak. Florida Governor Crist gave Romney’s introduction and like all candidates, Mitt’s speech was well rehearsed.
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Just prior to the commencement of the awards ceremony, I caught up with one of Mitt’s handlers and told him that I would like to get a picture with Mitt for LouisianaConservative.com, since I already have a picture of Thompson and Hunter. His response was “We’ll see if we can do that”, to which I responded “I know you will.”

Now, that may have seemed arrogant on my part when you read this, but I assure you that it wasn’t. Simply stated, all politicians know just how important blogs are and since I might have been the only blogger there, and since it was obviously a conservative blog, one would think his handlers would make sure I got the picture.

After the speech I saw one of his other handlers and told him that I wanted a picture with Mitt for the blog and he seemed to understand the importance of it, or at least so I thought. Right before I posed with Romney, his staffer ordered us outside the doors, which I obeyed and caught up with Romney again. Mind you, this is all happening in less than five minutes.

I get set to pose with Mitt again and I look at Mitt and say, “Governor Romney, I want to get a picture with you for Louisiana Conservative.com.”. He looked at me and said “A blog?” and stopped to take a picture. Now, if you’ll notice the separation between Romney and myself is greater than Hunter, Thompson, or Matalin. That’s because Romney’s people pulled him away as the picture was being taken.

If Bobby Jindal will take the time to thank me for my online presence, as did Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter, one would think that Romney’s people would understand just how important blogs have become in the last three years. Perhaps they are just out of touch, who knows. In my humble opinion, if Romney’s inner circle is that out of touch with today’s society, what kind of people with he hire if he becomes President?

What’s worse is that there was a straw poll that was supposedly for the Young Republican attendees and nobody else. However, many of those folks who were there only to see Mitt Romney speak, and were not members of the Young Republicans were also allowed to vote. Mind you, this was in Broward County, home of the controversy that surrounded the 2000 election.

I admit, I am not as upset about those people voting in the straw poll as others were, but disappointed nonetheless.

Overall impression of Mitt Romney? While Hunter and Thompson rose greatly in my book, Mitt Romney’s stock dropped significantly. I had Mitt Romney at the top of my list on who to vote for, but after that he fell down to about fifth, behind Thompson, Paul, Hunter, and Huckabee, not necessarily in that order. Mitt’s people need to get their heads screwed on right and get with the program. They need to understand the importance of bloggers and they don’t need to stuff the straw polls. Romney’s a fine fellow, but I’d give him a C- for this past weekend.

To see Romney supporters voting in a Young Republican straw poll, click here.


32 comments
Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

Jeremy, The problem with the Republican Party is that it doesn't bicker enough about what's needed to beat Democrats. We sit here and we talk about liking somebody because he's the TRUE Conservative with no platform to win and he's not even in the race yet for that matter. Like we're all supposed to just sit there and say "oh okay, he's here - now we can relax." Why? This is the same mentality we get into when we get into arguments with Liberal Democrats. We get weak as time goes on. We don't have the will to keep fighting for what's right and we don't want to argue or fight after a while because they beat us up over and over again with falsehoods that until 2006 became truths and ammo solidifying and undoing anything that we've done in the past. Our message was lost and mixed with their message. To the general public we don't look any different than Democrats. The problem is that now the Democrats aren't the ones that look like hypocrites and sneaky people...we do! It's time to raise the bar in a candidate for president in EVERY aspect and I believe that Mitt Romney is that person. If you think different please let's bicker about it. Let's sift and sift until we get what we need and please tell me why I should as an American, Conservative Republican who believes in a Stong Military, Strong Economy, and Strong Families and Values should consider someone outside of Mitt Romney.

Jeremy H. Bol
Jeremy H. Bol

If this bickering is what has become of the Republican party. When similar conservatives go to each others throats like they have been I don't think there's much hope. We need to stop looking at the negatives of each candidate and look at their strengths. If we don't the Liberals won't need to attack anybody because we'll have laready torn them down ourselves.

Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

I know that I'm going to offend some on the right when I say this about Fred Thompson. Before I go there, let me say that outside of politics, I like Fred Thompson a lot. I know enough about him politically through his small and bleak record as a Senator to know that he's not the right guy. As an actor he's awesome. I saw him first in Hunt for Red October and a couple of other roles and everytime I saw him I thought "wow, he looks like a cool guy." He has that down to Earth grandpa look about him. One that for sure makes me feel like he knows you when he meets you but I'm sorry, it's not going to work in Presidential politics. Now to the offensive part for some - Religion, the GOP, and Fred Thompson. I think Fred Thompson provides cover for two groups - Southern Evangelical Christians who just can't find it within themselves to vote for a Mormon and mainstream GOP politicos who think the same way only from a political bent that a Mormon can't win. I mean why else would someone who has no platform, no message, and no real executive history be rolled out as the TRUE CONSERVATIVE? Before Fred, Rudy someone who is staunchly a Social Liberal was polling high against someone who has been married for 38 years, doesn't drink, smoke, or seem to have any extraordinary vices. Has 5 sons all of whom are very family oriented like their Dad and still he doesn't poll well among CHRISTIANS...what gives? The Draft Fred movement for me is not that big of a mystery. Now I read today on Politico, that realistically Thompson may be inclined to announce somewhere in August after the debate because as his people are saying, "they (Thompson advisors) realize how searing the scrutiny will be and want to be ready. And they want to have more of their staff in place. Thompson has to convince skeptics he’s ready for the race and ready for the job . . ." Was this "Draft Fred" movement not prepared for this? As I remember it, before Romney jumped in they were already labeling him a "Flip-Flopper" then after he announced, they put a video out about his being essentially "Pro-Choice", he jumped on it to say "yeah I was wrong and now this is where I'm at." Didn't see a Draft Romney movement after that. Again it's all about message. Thompson will fade and we'll see who the mainstream GOP pols and Evangelicals run to after that. Do I hear a Draft Gingrich movement? Evangelicals and the mainstream GOP pols are going to have to eventually face the reality that Romney is the one to get behind...the question is will they?

CheyenneP
CheyenneP

kender, your comments are offbase. Romney is by far the most eloquent, most well-spoken candidate speaking on the cuff. Thompson has bumbled more than a few interviews and was borderline incomprehensible in one regarding Tort reform on CNBC. You may have a point about Romney in the south. It annoys and disappoints me to no end to see him polling at 5% here. I say that as a Tennesseean who would choose Romney over Thompson in a heartbeat. We shall see. I don't really put much weight in any poll outside of the early primary states. Elsewhere, peope aren't really paying attention.

Susan
Susan

Keep up the great work Avman.

kender
kender

CG, it boils down to this: The average IQ is 100; Half the people are stupider than that level; Those people vote; They don't care about issues as much as who will make them FEEL safe; Romney doesn't have that ability. You can call people bigots all you like, the fact remains that the majority of people in the South will not vote for a Mormon. (BTW I am in Southern California, just in case you think I am in the South) The media will play up whatever they perceive as good points for the democrats nominee and try their best to make the republican nominee look as bad as possible. We need a candidate that can come through on the television in a way that will counter this situation. Romney is not that candidate. Giuliani is not that candidate. The rest of the filed may as well go break rocks for all the chance they have of getting the nod.' Only FDT has the charisma to pull this off. Only FDT has the balls to toss out plain english and say what the candidate should say. The rest of the field are all polished POLITICIANS, and the American people are not responding to that right now, as all of us are tired of the crap being pulled by career pols. That fact that you can't see that worries me. What worries me more is you call yourself a conservative but don't seem to grasp that your candidate has no realistic chance in this race.

Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

Jeremy and everyone else who thinks like him, I spoke negative? Tell me where I didn't tell the truth about 1) Fred Thompson and his performance thus far and please don't tell me that he's not in the race yet 2) campaigns and organizations 3) about other candidates and they're knowledge of policies and their own platform 4) about the purpose of a straw poll and 5) about Mitt Romney being Mormon. Please tell me what your opinion and anyone elso who wants to join in is about these things and tell me what the message and platform is of each of the candidates you mentioned outside of Romney's which again is very clear. Again it is head and shoulders above everyone else's platform Republican or Democrat. If you choose to NOT vote for him that's your choice, I like a lot of other people will conclude that you're not considering him has more to do about what you think of him personally, which if you're like our friend (owner of this blog) it doesn't take much to sway you rather than ideas and policy. Again that's your choice but you've got to tell me who's equal to or superior to Romney in message and platform. If you can't think of anyone then please keep your personal opinions to yourself. I spoke negative? I gave my opinion based on what I've seen and heard regarding a strong conservative message and platform not on whether Mitt Romney likes this blogger or the personal opinions of others for that matter. Let me tell you what I hear from each of the candidates messages that you mentioned. 1) Huckabee - I'm more conservative than...and I propose a Flat Tax and...nothing different from anyone else in what I think...policy talk or platform on the War = None 2) Brownback - I'm most conservative because abortion should be illegal in every case...and by the way I have Terri Shiavo's family campaigning with me and...nothing different from anyone else in what I think except in the War I think that we should split up Iraq and get out, after that what??? Policy talk = None 3) Thompson - I'm the biggest conservative of all and I have no platform but vote for me anyway cause I'm going to announce in a minute...wait in a minute...wait a couple more minutes...wait...policy talk = None 4) Hunter - I like him he's made sense in his defense of the war has a platform that is stronger than the others for sure in the War on Terror but no policy talk or platform on Domestic and social issues. Duncan is also a Washington insider and doesn't have enough of an organization or personality to be "Presidential". Those you didn't mention: Guiliani - Flawed platform for a Republican...12 points that includes a weak social conservative agenda...light on policy talk. McCain - Soon to be done...done in by a weak platform filled with "Maverick" solutions to real world problems, willing to give in on core conservative principles with the left because he's a Washington insider, lack of ability to change when wrong. Look I came to this blog because the owner of this blog thought too much of himself as seen by others who've visited and blogged about it as well. Nothing of substance to his reasoning for putting a candidate for President, in this case Romney, from first to fifth. What am I worried about? That this is the way that America as a whole thinks when they're deciding who they want to be President of the United States. On the Democrat side you have a junior Senator that is being hyped up and being given millions of dollars by hundreds of thousands of people to be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! For goodness sakes what have we become? He to me is the Britney Spears of politics and everyone following him are a bunch of pre-teenage girls. I'm tired of hearing how people like this person or that person based on "liking" somebody and nothing more. I'm even more bothered when it's something as petty as what I read in this blog. This to me is white noise that blocks out what's important. I'm not voting for someone to like me and by no means IS like me. I'm voting for someone who believes the same way that I do and has the 1) track record of doing things and is exceptional at it 2) lives a life that is free of scandal and problems and is exceptional at and 3) has a platform and message that is STRONG on conservative principles. A message that will crush liberal socialistic ideals that does nothing for anyone except hurts many in the end. Is this too much to ask?

<ADMINNICENAME>
<ADMINNICENAME>

Akbar, Come back and read again tomorrow, I have a lot more to say about this subject

Jeremy H. Bol
Jeremy H. Bol

Mr. Gladiator, As of yet I am undecided who I should be supporting for the Republican nod. Huckabee, Thompson, Hunter, Romney and maybe a couple of others have been on my radar. You alone have assisted in reducing the field by yet one more candidate. You are solely responsible for one person (and maybe more) not voting for Mitt Romney. So what did you say that sent me to this point? You took jabs at other republican candidates. You insulted people who thought negative of your candidate. You spoke like a friggin liberal whacko. You are a bad representation of your candidate. You failed miserably. ================================================= On to the topic of individual candor with people. This early in the game one should realize that an individual's personal convictions matter very little in the White House. It only really matters if they were brought in by a donkey or an elephant. Sure, you can create a couple pet programs which may or may not help people out, but it's congress that creates, not the President. All the president does is veto things that won't fly for his party. Individual convictions are quite possibly less important than one's ability to rub people the right way. Is this the way things should be? Absolutely no, but they're the way of the world as we know it. If a politician can't get his staff to recognize what needs to be done with individuals should we really be trusting him to run a country? (So he can rub other countries the wrong way.) Gaffes like this could be a sign he'll do things like shake arab hands with his left instead of his right. Walk into asian homes with his shoes on. Give italians the devil horns at a party (The devil horns in italy mean to tell someone their significant other is cheating on them.). The list goes on and on but they're all indicators that your inner workings, the heart of your organization is a failure. I support Jeff on this.

Akbar
Akbar

I stumbled on to this post via the Mitt Report and I must say it is ridiculous. You won't vote for Romney because he didn't get close to you for a picture! Yes, blogging is important but does the next president of the U.S. have to pander to all of us? By the way, who are you?

travis
travis

i have been blogging at all-encompassingly.com for several years. once, i asked john stossel to sign one of his books for me, something to the effect of "keep of the good work at all-encompassingly." he said, cynically, "i haven't seen the website." and instead he signed, simply, "keep it up at [he proceeded to butcher the website name]" he was reticent to endorse me or my site without having seen it. i'm sure mitt's people felt the same way. can you imagine the scandal if, later, you turned up on the dc madame's client list or something?

<ADMINNICENAME>
<ADMINNICENAME>

Yeah, but Jack I'm not even mad here. I'm simply amazed that these guys give a so called "Small time blog" so much attention. If they think I'm so unimportant, why are they spending so much time criticizing me?

kender
kender

I meant to say before you say the people that don't like romney being a mormon are bigots go talk to some former mormons

kender
kender

before you say that people that don't like the fact that romney is a mormon go talk to some ex mormons.

Jack
Jack

Jeff, I sympathize with you, man. I recently had a mugshot taken with Hugh Hewitt and my state House Rep., and I never saw it afterward. Nobody seems to know what happened to all of the pictures taken at that County GOP function. No wonder we lost in 2006! On a more serious note, I want to make a short comment that might rile some of your readers regarding those who oppose Mitt because of his religion. THEY ARE BIGOTS. No,I am not PC, far from it. Nor am I a Romney supporter (yet). Just check out the blog. The Drum and Cannon

<ADMINNICENAME>
<ADMINNICENAME>

If I'm such a whiny small time blogger, then why do these over zealous pricks keep bothering me? Nobody's going to see this, right?

jon
jon

your reasoning is not so convincing. You don't support him becuase they don't know who you are? Seems a little superficial. I actually read up on the speeches, although I wasn't there, and it sounded to me like Romney's speech was full of specifics and policy goals, as opposed to some of the other more general platitudes the other candidates were spewing. I like the other candidates as well, but it seems that if you thought he was great until he was hesitant to take a picture with you, is a little strange, if not arrogant. If they knew who you were, i would imagine they would have hopped right on board with the picture, but when people are out to get you at every corner, i can understand that they were being a little hesitant. I was at cpac, and romney was one of the only candidates to go all the way down blog row. He understand how important blogs are. don't hold it against him that they weren't familiar with your lone blog. there are hundreds of good blogs out there.

Todd
Todd

>folks, Romney being a mormon is going to hurt him in the south. If this is true, it says a lot more about the type of people in the south than it says about Mitt Romney. Assuming that Mitt gets the nomination, if the south can't bring themselves to vote for the Mormon candidate, then they deserve whatever liberal president they get! (Hillary? -- oh please, No!)

GM Roper
GM Roper

CG, no, unfortunately the PC was here for a long, long time. There were people that wouldn't vote for JFK ONLY because he was Roman Catholic. When Romney first announced I said that the MSM and Dems would try hard to make the issue his being an LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - the official title) Mormans is a term they are not particularly fond of. At any rate, the MSM has done exactly that and so have the Democrats. Kender, if he does get the nomination, I believe that he will be able to put that issue to rest and the folk in the south would vote for him, rather than some lying scurolous democrat. Heh!

Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

The Romney being a Mormon thing is getting old as well...I'll take the candidate over bigotry in this country anyday. You probably couldn't think this way before 1998 when being "PC" wasn't the norm...I guess we can thank political correctness for something - then again it still bludgeons one way more than the other.

Admin
Admin

Call it petty all you want, I'm not mad, I don't have my feelings hurt, and I did not promote this post. Would you guys like me too? What bloggers in truth are, is not an alternative to the MSM, we are voters with a bullhorn, get used to it. Also, to say that I am just bashing Mitt Romney... http://louisianaconservative.com/?p=122 Everybody else understands the role of Bloggers in the elections, Romney's people need to get with the program. I didn't ask for 15 minutes, I asked for less than thirty seconds.

kender
kender

folks, Romney being a mormon is going to hurt him in the south.

Daniel
Daniel

Your so called support seems disengenous based no your reasoning. Anybody that fickle was never a supporter to begin with. I doubt that you were ever close to considering him. His background in his personal, private, busines, public and volunteer sector speak for themselves

Slick-Willy
Slick-Willy

This post was petty. It seems like you got your feelings hurt because Romney and his staff were in a hurry and they didn't stop to give you a hug. I'm not saying they shouldn't have been more considerate or that you should vote for Romney at all. But your post is comical and unpersuasive. You drop a candidate from 1st to 5th because he didn't give you enough man-love? Have Republicans dropped so low? For Pete's sake, you're voting for the best Commander in Chief, not the guy that always makes time to chat w/every chubby guy asking for a picture.

Foobar
Foobar

Dude, wake up and smell the hummous. You're a little fish in a little pond with a pretty little fin you want everyone to look at. Louisiana politics? Paaalease. "Oh, he didn't give me my 15 minutes of fame!" Look at Mitt's calendar, you're lucky you even got the pic you got. Go shine your fin buddy.

Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

One thing I think is important for everyone to understand. I am putting my hat in for Romney as the campaign stands. He is head and shoulders above the others in organization. He is head and shoulders above everyone in knowledge and policy...period. What is left to look at? Fred Thompson? I've seen the guy interviewed and speak and I can honestly say that I'm unimpressed by his answers to questions that seem fairly easy to answer. He doesn't have a handle on current policy. So far no one has been able to articulate a vision for the future more powerfully than Romney. If any of you can do this for another candidate please let me know. It's about message and Romney's message is simple. Strength. Strong Military, Strong Economy, and Strong Families. The other thing is that a conservative should be able to see another conservative based not only on what they "hear" but especially on what they do and see. For Romney this message is not merely a reflection of his staff but of him. It is a reflection on his actions. It's not hard to build a team around that. A team can't work without its leader being consistent in all facets of politics and vice versa (see John McCain). Guiliani and Thompson will soon follow. This is why the MSM and people who dislike Mormons more than the candidate, or want to win in this campaign try to find the pettiest of things to attack Mitt Romney on. Because all they finding are petty things to attack him on. Mistakes? What mistakes? Please point them out and let it not be about being a hunter or not being nice to the family dog. The flip flop label is getting old as well. If you claim that creating a strong conservative platform that includes being Pro-Life a mistake then I know we're on different pages. What's very interesting to me are individuals who blog and claim to be alternative sources of media. Blogs big and small are alternative sources of opinion. This is the problem that the MSM is having. They think that they're giving us what we NEED to hear based on objective analysis. They aren't and people are getting tired of it. Can you claim the same? Sure you may say that you're fairly beating everyone up but is that really being objective and honest? I don't think so.

GM Roper
GM Roper

CG, I might remind you of the verse: "WHATEVER YOU DID UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE..." I've known Jeffery for a long time, he is very active in Louisiana politics, he is well known in the state and he carries a lot of weight (besides his girth of course - see, I known him so long, I know he won't throw a cyber bomb at me for that comment). I have a lot of Respect for Mr. Romney, and was glad to see him get into the race as I believe he has a voice that needs to be heard and I'm sure, who ever captures the nomination will take a little something from all the "gladiators" in this particular arena. However, Mr. Romney has made some mistakes, as one can expect from someone with little or no experience in running for NATIONAL office. You might ponder on things Mr. Romney and/or his crew could have done BETTER, than bitch about Jeffery's concerns. You just might help Mr. Romney more that way. Hmm, seems you are making the same mistake the libs make... casting stones at anyone who doesn't buy your schitick. Perhaps you need a name change hmmmm?

<ADMINNICENAME>
<ADMINNICENAME>

CG, In a crowded field of Republicans, and being as undecided as to who I will vote for, moving from first to fifth is very easy for a candidate to do. Secondly, if you would read Louisiana Conservative more often, you would see that we do talk ideology rather than petty stuff, and you would also know that I believe that a Conservative without character does more harm to the cause than a Liberal with character will ever do. Now, while you are talking about "Fred Thompson Zombies", let me be perfectly clear that this blog has on more than one occassion been critical of Fred Thompson and I am in agreeance with those "Zombies" on this issue. Fred Thompson's non Young Republican supporters were not invited to here him come speak and could not have voted in the poll. The only non-young Republicans that voted in that straw poll were Mitt Romney supporters. It was a sham and completely undermined the straw poll. Haven't you noticed that that straw poll failed to get much media attention? And, while you are concerned about the numbers, like all blogs, numbers fluxuate, but this blog has been in existence for just over three months. Each month we have increased our numbers and have had to expand our bandwidth twice. We have a writer from North Louisiana, SouthWest Louisiana, New Orleans, and 2 from Baton Rouge. This site is getting more and more attention and will be, if not already, one of the most read blogs in the state. Why don't you go back to Captains Quarters and defend Mitt Romney there?

Conservative Gladiator
Conservative Gladiator

You're one blogger out of how many??? Give me your numbers...how many hits do you get a day? Bloggers are important but come on man maybe two elections from now bloggers will be close to the top on the political food chain. Instead of talking about how you didn't get 30 seconds extra or compare how much closer someone stood to you in pictures and talk policy. Talk about how you like a specific candidate based on the specifics of their message not this petty stuff. By the way. You putting Romney 5th on your list from 1st because of this reasoning above doesn't give you much street cred. And to the Fred Thompson zombies...Straw polls are a way to show the strength of your organization. Every candidate who attended and their campaign knew of the Straw Poll and to sit there and cry after the fact is weakness. Next time you know there's a Straw Poll (this goes for Fred Thompson's people) then get your people energized to go AND VOTE. You all sound like Kerry people in '04 when Bush bused people to the polling booths in Ohio. You don't win cause you're popular, you win because you get the people who support you to the place they need to be to vote for you. Liking you and staying home is different from actually different from liking you and voting for you - one requires action hence the group "ACTION Committee" of a campaign. Get a clue.

<ADMINNICENAME>
<ADMINNICENAME>

Didn’t I state that *I* wasn’t that important? What I said was that bloggers in general are that important. I might just be one, but if they treat other bloggers that way… It was 8:30 pm, he just ate, I'm sure he wasn't in a hurry to go meet booboo at a picinic. The point is, an extra thirty seconds is worth not pissing off a blogger.

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