He would've made a great lead

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Conservatives wondered at first if Mitt Romney belonged at their dance. He'd dressed himself fairly liberal at times as governor of Massachusetts, after all.

But he waltzed out of the presidential race as the belle of the ball at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday -- the beneficiary of being the last one tapped by the judges.

Conservatives came to Romney too late, and vice versa. By the time he became the object of conservative affections, the dance was over -- and the blue ribbon was pretty much John McCain's.

Commentators were left to wonder, after Romney's stalwart farewell speech, where that presidential-sounding guy had been. Ironically, they said his eventual presidential or vice-presidential chances probably went up with his graceful exit from this year's race.

Sometimes you have to leave for the crowd to appreciate you.

It is too bad the evening had to end this way. We believe Mitt Romney could've been a fine president. One reason he won't be, as one observer noted, is that he was sometimes too slick and polished -- not as human and empathetic feeling as, say, a Mike Huckabee or a Bill Clinton.

Regardless, Romney established himself as the go-to conservative Thursday, following belated endorsements of him by conservative radio talk show hosts.

He talked about the need to strengthen families, honor people of faith, protect American culture against erosion from within, lower taxes in order to avoid becoming this century's France -- and most of all to stand up to Islamic jihad.

On the last point, he said he agreed with McCain. And he said he worried that, by staying in the race and possibly weakening the GOP in advance of its fight with the Democrats, he might also weaken the country's fight against radical Muslims. Democrats, he said, "would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating.

"I disagree with Sen. McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating al-Qaida and terror.

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Sen. Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

"If this were only about me, I would go on. But it's never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country."

He might also have seen the writing on the wall -- and the balance in his considerable checkbook. Whatever the reasons, Romney took the first step toward uniting the Republican Party in advance of the November election.

Before Romney spoke, conservative guru Rush Limbaugh, a fierce critic of McCain, was saying that it's not up to him and other conservatives to unite the Republican Party; it's up to its leaders -- i.e., McCain.

Perhaps.

Then again, it takes two to tango.

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hthalljr
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hthalljr 02/08/08 - 01:19 am
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As a Republican, I admire

As a Republican, I admire Governor Romney for his realism and sacrifice of personal advantage in suspending his campaign for the good of the party.

As a Latter-day Saint, I also admire him for holding fast to his faith when it would have been politically expedient to brush it aside. I was thrilled to see so many evangelical Christians and LDS set aside theological differences to work together for values we have in common.

I commend especially Lowell Brown (LDS) and John Schroeder (Evangelical) for their partnership in article6blog.com, and also David and Nancy French and their colleagues in evangelicalsformitt.com.

Tracy Hall Jr
Provo Canyon, Utah
hthalljr'gmail'com

Riverman1
84262
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Riverman1 02/08/08 - 05:37 am
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Hillary will win and the

Hillary will win and the country will experience severe effects. Romney will be viewed as the savior in 4 years. I know everyone is tired of the Ronald Reagan analogies, but it is going to play out exactly as happened when Jimmy Carter, the inept incumbent, was defeated by Reagan after 4 years of disaster.

He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named
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He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named 02/08/08 - 05:52 am
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Romney was starting to pick

Romney was starting to pick up momentum with the conservative talkshow crowd that always eventually whips the base into a frenzy. If only all of them had realized sooner that which I knew all along. Romney was/is the real deal. I don't think he's done yet...he'll be gunning for the highest office in the land again before it's all said and done. When he does the base will welcome him back like a conquering hero. Did you hear the disappointment of the crowd at the CPAC convention when he announced he was dropping out? Those are your true hard charging conservatives folks. Imagine their reaction had McCain said he was dropping out. He really struck a cord with social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. He'll be back. If McCain has any common sense, he'll pick Romney as his running-mate. I doubt that will happen though....he'll probably go with Huckabee or Lieberman.

Dark_Knight
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Dark_Knight 02/08/08 - 06:07 am
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Never give up on your dreams.

Never give up on your dreams.

The_Last_Word
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The_Last_Word 02/08/08 - 07:13 am
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Romney changed his views on

Romney changed his views on important conservative issues too recently to be believable and it is sincerity that conservatives strive for. His Mormonism did not help him with Evangelical believers. Rush, Laura Ingram, Coulter, and Hannity pushed him from early on and gave him conservative credentials that he did not earn - solely because they hate McCain and were made uncomfortable with Huckabee's unashamed Christianity. Hopefully, Huckabee will take the rest of the Primary States left and be a force to be reckoned with come Convention time.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/08/08 - 07:34 am
0
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Words mean things. The talk

Words mean things. The talk show hosts never said they "hate McCain", they said they disagreed with his weather vane liberalism. Romney has the same approach to politics, but is still young enough to strive for improvement. McCain just wants to get along. Neither really embraces the constitutionalism, strong national defense, and lower taxes/less government concepts that define conservatism.(not all three concepts) The Republican Party has been the "big tent" party since the '50s and this election the conservative part of the party isn't welcome. The moderates and liberals have joined forces with the opposition to control the primaries and have given the election to the Democrats. The system still works. No one group can keep control of D.C. .

dani
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dani 02/08/08 - 07:38 am
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It is all about finances. I

It is all about finances. I heard a Brit on TV recently say that no one pays for political ads in Britain. The media outlets give each candidate an allotment of space or time. This supposedly stops the corruption process of donating big money for favors from the elected official.

reallybugged
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reallybugged 02/08/08 - 08:43 am
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Now it's down to the

Now it's down to the Democrates I dislike the least. Obama, Clinton, or McCain. Maybe I need to check their shoe size, either way it's gonna hurt like heck, when they stick their boot up America's backside. Maybe I should learn to live in the mountains for the next 4 years.

He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named
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He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named 02/08/08 - 09:26 am
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Patricia, nice post

Patricia, nice post

walk_american
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walk_american 02/08/08 - 09:33 am
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I am very disappointed that

I am very disappointed that Mitt dropped out. He was the only one left who wanted to take a strong stand on illegals.

dani
12
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dani 02/08/08 - 09:35 am
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An article in the AC reminds

An article in the AC reminds us that it is better to vote for the lesser of two evils than the greater of two evils. So for me, McCain it will be.

gcap
290
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gcap 02/08/08 - 09:39 am
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It's very clear. The

It's very clear. The Republican candidates are patriots -- patriots of freedom for all. Romney's exit from the presidential race when his chances, though not good, still remained possible demonstrates great patriotism. I like the guy. I also like Sen. McCain. In both cases, I don't agree with all of what they say. But one thing is clear and Mr. Romney stated it well. We have to get together now to assure that the history of our country doesn't make a dramatic downturn under a Clinton or Obama. I say Sen. McCain should go ahead and announce his running mate, Mitt Romney, and let's stay the course of freedom.

Republicant
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 09:40 am
0
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Didn't really seem like there

Didn't really seem like there was a repub. candidate this year that really checked all the boxes for the conservatives and neoconservatives. McCain has been attacked by the far right for the last few months and I want to hear the conservative pundits words on him now. It will be interesting to see if the guy could gather enough support. McCain is a good politician and I might even vote for the guy. Probably not, but maybe.

Republicant
3
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 09:43 am
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Romney's message is flawed

Romney's message is flawed though. Anybody who believes that Clinton or Obama will surrender this country to terrorists is insane. Romney was too much a flip flopper. He wouldnt be able to tie his own shoes in the morning without wondering about the PR angle. Man would have been another puppet for a strong vp.

NotyourDadsBuick
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NotyourDadsBuick 02/08/08 - 09:56 am
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Not sure why there is any

Not sure why there is any handwringing by the alleged conservative base over Romney dropping out. For the last seven years they've supported a president who is anything but conservative: "It was Bush who teamed with Teddy Kennedy to pass No Child Left Behind, a federal venture into education that would have been anathema to (the early) Reagan. It was Bush who signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. It was Bush who strongly supported the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. It was Bush who on his own created a vast new entitlement program, the Medicare drug benefit. And it was Bush who conducted a foreign policy so expansive and, at times, redemptive as to send paleoconservatives such as Pat Buchanan and traditional conservatives such as George F. Will into apoplexy and despair (respectively)." From conservative cheerleader Charles Krauthammer.

charlesmanson
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charlesmanson 02/08/08 - 10:47 am
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the guy is a quitter, period!

the guy is a quitter, period! poor little rich kid. when the going gets tough, he takes off running the other way.just think if you guys had elected this wimp, every time he faced a crisis he probably would have considered resigning.now if we could get the bomb everyone who looks at us wrong mccain to drop out, even i as much as i despise repukes would like to see the huckster have a chance.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 02/08/08 - 11:32 am
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Don't worry, conservatives,

Don't worry, conservatives, Mitter the Quitter will be back. Yesterday was a tactical retreat only. By 2012 there will the same old Mitt, same plastic smile and hair, same Stepford wife and family, same passionate commitment to whatever issues conservatives think are core values at that time, Mitt's previous opinions to the contrary notwithstanding. By then, you conservatives will have convinced yourselves that Mitt truly is the Second Coming of Ronnie Reagan. It's all so predictable.... Oh, and one more thing will be the same: he'll lose.

gagirl40
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 12:29 pm
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Mitt Romney in 1994: "I

Mitt Romney in 1994: "I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice." Romney in 2002: "I preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard" Did he keep his word? Romney in 2008: "I am pro-life." Whichever way the wind blows so goes Romney.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 02/08/08 - 12:39 pm
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I love it: when John Kerry

I love it: when John Kerry changed views, he was a scurrilous a flip-flopper. When Mitt Romney does it, it's a genuine conversion experience, a spiritual epiphany, a revelation on the road to Washington...oops, Damascus. Congratulations, selective cynicism is alive and well in the Republican party!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 02/08/08 - 12:52 pm
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Maybe he saw a film of a

Maybe he saw a film of a Partial Birth abortion.

KSL
130194
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KSL 02/08/08 - 01:04 pm
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Romney can't change his mind,

Romney can't change his mind, but Hillary can, GAGirl40?

effete elitist liberal
3116
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effete elitist liberal 02/08/08 - 01:14 pm
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justthefacts: Maybe he did.

justthefacts: Maybe he did. And then again, maybe he just "lusted in his heart" to run for president as a conservative retread and calculated what he needed to say to get there. That's what I mean by selective cynicism. Of course I could be wrong: Perhaps you have looked into Mitt's soul as Bush did Putin's and found sincerity and truth. Good luck!

d1zmljqg
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d1zmljqg 02/08/08 - 01:15 pm
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qcap Mitt opted for a

qcap Mitt opted for a two-year missionary tour in France with the Mormon Church in 1966. It seems he put religion before patriotism because at this time there were a lot of 19 year olds going to Vietnam.

grouse
1635
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grouse 02/08/08 - 01:30 pm
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Good riddance!
Unpublished

Good riddance!

effete elitist liberal
3116
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effete elitist liberal 02/08/08 - 01:45 pm
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re: Mitt's mission tour in

re: Mitt's mission tour in France. Forget Ronald Reagan, Mitt could have been the new Joan of Arc. Just imagine Saint Mitt, leading the forces of goodness and light again those bad boy jihadists. One thing's for sure: religion INSTEAD OF patriotism is a lot better than religion AND patriotism....

gagirl40
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 01:58 pm
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Mitt Romney 1994: On Boy

Mitt Romney 1994: On Boy Scouts ban of gay members: "I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of sexual orientation" Romney on Reagan/Bush: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan/Bush, I'm not trying to return to Reagan/Bush." On women and minorities: " I believe that public companies and and federal agencies should be required to report in their annual 10K the number of minorities and women by income group within the company so we can identify where the glass ceiling is and break through it. And I think that the market of America will say that company has not promoted women, has not promoted minorities and will put pressure on American corporations and agencies to respond." Romney on guns: "I don't line up with the NRA." On the morality of abortions: "As a nation we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want and not to impose our beliefs on other people." So many flip-flops so little time! I like the old Romney much better.

KSL
130194
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KSL 02/08/08 - 02:32 pm
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The point is that all of the

The point is that all of the electable do it. They have to because we have such widely diverse views in this country. Even the Clintons picked markets where certain TV ads would run and specifically left out the Washington DC and New York markets because they wanted to avoid media scrutiny of those ads. I think this was during Bill's second campaign. By the Gagirl, you just quoted Romney on the thing I liked about him best. He believes that while the government can be the entity that identifies problems, it is best left to the individuals to take the actions to solve the problem. Note he was saying the government would identify the companies with glass ceilings and the public could decide to pressure them.

gagirl40
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 02:43 pm
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KSL..I liked everything about

KSL..I liked everything about what the "old" or "other" Romney said. And I know politicians pick and choose issues and in certain crowds try to downplay them, but Romney did a 180, about face on EVERY issue. He went from being a Leftist Liberal to a Right Wing Neo-Con in a matter of a few years...that's stark! You know where Hillary stands on every issue, you don't agree with her, but you know her...she's a liberal and has been as long as we've known her. And in a fluid situation like an ongoing war, EVERYONES views and strategy can change over time. Well, most peoples anyway.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 02/08/08 - 03:39 pm
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He would have made a great

He would have made a great lead? Did they mean leader? I would not think the Augusta Chronicle would have made a mistake on a headline. Tsk tsk!

KSL
130194
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KSL 02/08/08 - 03:58 pm
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Gagirl, I have not followed

Gagirl, I have not followed Romney that long. The quote about the glass ceiling, was that old or new? It's the way he still feels now. Which is why I would like him and a more leftist person would not. I'm reading two books right now. One is about getting the know the candidates (most of whom are no longer running at this point) and the other is The Bush Tragedy. The Bush book has my attention the most. The author tries to explain why Bush has behaved the way he has. His theories would surprise to pro Bush and anti Bush people, in my opinion. But that could well be Bush has never interested me enough to read about him before.

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