Is Rove Grooming Romney?

Political Wire links to an article from the CBS affiliate in Boston about the the White House courting Massachusetts Governor and likely 2008 GOP candidate Mitt Romney to oversee the federal recovery effort on the Gulf Coast.

As the White House gears up for the massive job of rebuilding hurricane-stricken areas, there's been talk of bringing in someone like Governor Mitt Romney to oversee the project. And CBS4 News has learned there may be more to that than just talk.
. . .
"It's an honor to have some people suggest that I should be a possible candidate to lead a reconstruction effort in New Orleans, but I'm happy being governor," Romney told CBS4 Political Analyst Jon Keller.

For a guy who claims disinterest in the job, Governor Romney seems to have given it a lot of thought.

"You begin by finding out what's really going on. Do a complete audit of the infrastructure, not just a financial audit but an audit of the people, of the capital in place, of the infrastructure, what has to be done, what the options are," Romney said.

And two top Republican sources tell CBS4 News that GOP officials have made tentative inquiries about Romney's availability to help guide the recovery.

With Karl Rove leading up the administration's Katrina 'efforts', the logical inference to make here is that Rove is trying to put Romney into a position of national prominence to help him in 2008. As we all well know from Mike Allen's piece in Time and a variety of other sources, that the Bush administration's first priority is politics, with actual governance coming in a distant second.

Though Romney is the Governor of Massachusetts, he couldn't be any less moderate. His tenure in that job has exposed him as a hardcore partisan, not a consensus builder. Just this past May, Romney vetoed a pro-embryonic stem cell research bill. And then in July, he vetoed an emergency contraception bill, parroting the extremist claim that it's a form of abortion (which it is not). Both vetoes were overridden easily by the Massachusetts Legislature, but Romney wanted to make a big show of proving his rightist credentials.

Leave it to the Bush administration to fill yet another position with a political ally. This is not a job to give out for resume padding. This is something that needs to be handled on a bipartistan --if not completely nonpartisan -- basis. For me, this is just one more piece of evidence that the administration is far more concerned about politics than people.

Tags: General 2008, Mitt Romney, Republicans (all tags)

Comments

36 Comments

Romney is toast
He has done nothing as governor of Massachusetts and he's gone far-right in the last year. He can't be re-elected as governor, so he's going to run for president. But I doubt the Republican base will trust him since he took opposite positions when he ran for governor. If ever there were a flip-flopper, it would be Mitt Romney. Imagine the ads, "When Mitt Romney ran for governor, he said he was pro-choice. Then, to appeal to the far right Republican base, he called himself pro-life. Mitt, where do you really stand?" Romney's nuances of his position on abortion and other issues make John Kerry look like he's taken clear stands on everything, including the Iraq war. He might get VP, but I doubt it. His flip flops would only hurt the Republican ticket. My money's on George Allen right now.
by dole4pineapple 2005-09-20 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney is toast
Allen is the only Republican who scares me.  McCain does from a winning standpoint, but of all the potentials, I would take him over any other Republican.  

Allen has that W southern boy charm but in a smarter package.  He is just as evil as W though.  A smart W is a scary possibility.  We must make sure he doesn't win the primary.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-09-20 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Romney is toast
George Allen=George W. Bush. We can wrap Allen or any other senator all around Bush. If he tries to distance himself from Bush, we can bring back all of his statements supporting Bush. He and the other senators will pay the price for giving Bush a blank check all of these years. If people are unhappy with Bush, they won't put one of his lackeys in the White House.
by dole4pineapple 2005-09-20 02:00PM | 0 recs
Allen
Yep. Allen is smart and has more "Good Ole Boy" charm than Dubya, and could probably considered more conservative than Dubya since Allen actually understand what he stands for.

The only way we can win southern states is with a southerner like Mark Warner or Wes Clark. I don't see any other Dems being able to do it.

But should Allen run, the South would immediately be out of contention. Allen can win anywhere, but he will win the South (and without much effort).

Plus he was a governor, so the curse of the Senate won't effect him either.

Add it all up, and he's our biggest threat.

by LiberalFromPA 2005-09-20 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen
Definitley disagree.  Warner could steal States in the south from Allen.  Heck, there are polls out there that put Warner ahead of Allen in Virginia.  Would Warner win Alabama, Georgia or Mississippi?  No.  Would he have a great chance of winning Missiouri, Arkansas and Louisiana?  Absolutely.  

I sincerely hope people give Mark Warner a hard look.  Not just because of what he stands for, but also because this guy is a nightmare for the Republicans.  

by Eric11 2005-09-20 05:31PM | 0 recs
Yeah
Actually, yeah, on reflection, I'll give that one to you. I think Kerry did a great disservice to all of us by ignoring that part of the South, particularly Missouri.

I don't know how charismatic Warner is, but I guess he's the closest thing we have to Big Bill (a fiscally conservative, southern Governor).

by LiberalFromPA 2005-09-20 07:32PM | 0 recs
Allen's actually very stupid
I heard from a Republican classmate at law school who worked closely for Allen in his Senate race that George Allen is very dumb.  An intellectual lightweight.  But he supported him because he was a conservative and would "vote right".
by jgarcia 2005-09-20 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen's actually very stupid
And Bush is the sharpest knife in the drawer?
by puppet10 2005-09-20 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen's actually very stupid
Sorta OT, but I've heard that Trent Lott is a complete idiot, and his fraternity brothers and classmates from college can't believe he became a Senator.
by LiberalFromPA 2005-09-20 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen's actually very stupid
Maybe so... he has always come off intelligent (and a heartless Nazi or more so than W) in his speeches.  Maybe its that I have never heard him butcher the English language the way Bush does.  Maybe a good debater could take him out, but on the stump he is pretty good... at least what I have seen.
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney is toast
What other promises did he make that he has since broken.  I'm just wondering.  Abortion is a big one.  Anything else.  
by Eric11 2005-09-20 05:27PM | 0 recs
Well...
As a Massachusetts resident, I've had ample opportunity to observe Romney.  And I have to tell you, the man is about as uncharismatic as they come.  If he hadn't had Shannon O'Brien - a mid-level, mediocre hack - as his opponent in the last election, he would not be governor.  In fact, I'd love to see Mitt become The Guy for Republicans in 2008.  He wouldn't have a shot in hell against ABH (Anyone But Hillary).  He's like a piece of wood and even his conservative partisanship comes off as fake and done only for effect.  The guy is so bad at acting, he can't even play a wingnut on tv.

All that said, Romney would probably do a good job with New Orleans.  He did a nice job running the Olympics in Utah and he is the founder of one of Boston's largest venture capital firms.  In other words, he's got some skills.  This is by no means an endorsement of him for this position...but after Brownie and Chertoff, New Orleans could do worse than Romney.  

by owenz 2005-09-20 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Well...
Romney seems like he's not moderate or conservative, but Just for Mitt. He's from the wrong state in terms of running for the Republican nomination, and I can't see him being nominated. The Republicans will probably go with a real winger like Allen.
by dole4pineapple 2005-09-20 11:44AM | 0 recs
Paint
Can we paint him as a "Massachusetts tax and spend" Republican if he runs?
by zappatero 2005-09-20 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Paint
If our candidate doesn't sit on his laurels and actuallys starts to label the opposition as soon as he knows the win is inevitable.  Rove did it to Kerry and that horseshit flipper label stuck, even though Bush is a master flipper.  Tax cut and spend needs to be our financial mantra for the next two cycles.  Every economic speech should include something about how the GOP is ruining our future by cutting taxes and then spending like the cuts were still in place.  They have gone wild on the credit card and we will be the party to cut the credit cards.
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:15AM | 0 recs
First glances...
My instincts lead me to a different conclusion about Romney.  It only took a few minutes of seeing this guy speak for me to realize he is working full steam, perfecting his bullshit charisma.   He can turn his stiffness into stature and his flaws into a Reagan-esque humility.  With Rove, it could work.

Also, think of where the Repubs are at now, and where they will be in a few years:  Their numbers crumbling, soon to be out of power in Congress, nothing accomplished, independents jumping ship in droves, and scared as hell of the Clinton machine.  Pandering to the extreme right won't be as big a priority in a fight against a master moderate like Hillary.  Hell, even Newt has declared the "Values" war over.  

Condi will never run for pres.; It would shock the base too much.  But guarantee she will be everyones darling VP candidate.  Coupled with her, Mitts got all the fringe cred he needs.  

This is my nightmare ticket.  They could do it.  

by hausnick 2005-09-20 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: First glances...
I still don't see the fringe accepting a Mormon.  All the protestant BS about the one true faith... I left an evangelical church when they started the Mormons are a dangerous cult talk.
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:20AM | 0 recs
Romney
The guy has done decent thing and that was run an Olympics right.  

I guess if you can have a wannabe cowboy with an father inferiority complex, then Romney isn't a stretch.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-09-20 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Romney
Weren't the 2002 Olympics the ones where the supposedly moral and upright city fathers of Salt Lake City provided the site selection committee with bribes and hookers? Or was Romney brought in to salvage the SLC Olympics after all the scandals broke?

If it's the latter, well, good for him. If it's the former, then the attack ads pretty much write themselves.

by Crazy Vaclav 2005-09-20 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Romney
He was brought in after the scandal... unfortunately.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney
Helping plan the Olympics gives you a good case to become President how?  He better have a little bit more than that.  
by Eric11 2005-09-20 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Romney
Um, that was my point.  You might want to re-read some of my posts.  Romeny has accomplished nothing so he shouldn't be president.
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:19AM | 0 recs
Romney 2
Governor Mitt Romney said this week in a nationally published interview that he is ''in a different place" on abortion than at the time of his first run for public office in Massachusetts, when he pledged to keep abortion ''safe and legal in this country."

...

''Understand, over time one's perspective changes somewhat," Romney told USA Today. ''I'm in a different place than I was probably in 1994, when I ran against Ted Kennedy, in my own views on that." The governor declined to elaborate.

Yesterday Julie Teer, the governor's spokeswoman, refused to explain how Romney's position has changed, saying only that it has ''evolved over time." Teer emphasized, however, that his ''commitment to the people of Massachusetts to maintain the status quo while he is governor has not changed."

If Romney is nominated, I hope the DEMS plaster the Flip Flop label on him.  I can't believe the people in Mass fell for this in 2002.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-09-20 12:06PM | 0 recs
Romney has the same chance to be nominated...
...as I do. End of story.
by craverguy 2005-09-20 01:01PM | 0 recs
I would LOVE it if Romney was head of FEMA
Let's face it, Bush doesn't nominate based on ability, but rather party loyalty, which Mittens has shown in abundance. Mitt at least has to have had some training as director of the first post 9/11 Olympics.

I would LOVE to get him out of my state! Also, if he ever does run, I know of at least three gay couples who have no problem running "thanks for helping my wedding day dreams come through, Mitt", adds.

by ohhhkay 2005-09-20 01:26PM | 0 recs
Kudos for discovering that Karl Rove is running it
You deserve Kudos for discovering Karl Rove withheld the support to the New Orleans district because it was a state run by a female from the oppposite party.

You are also winning big points here stating that Rove is running it still. Rove appointments are invariably political, wouldn't it be neat to find out exactly what role the campaign / electioneer had to play in appointment of the FEMA director - a guy who played with horsies for a living.

Basically, I like this post.  Good work. Who cares about Mitt Romney. Once you notice that a campaign manager is running a Federal effort, you've figured out whats wrong.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-09-20 01:48PM | 0 recs
Two questions
If Romney can win in Massachussetts, wouldn't it stand to reason that he could win in a much more conservative United States at large?
by bobestes 2005-09-20 02:51PM | 0 recs
Dang
Make that one question :)
by bobestes 2005-09-20 02:52PM | 0 recs
Here's the thing:
When Romney was elected in '02, he ran as Steve Forbes: a socially liberal, fiscally conservative businessman who knew how to fix the economy.

Since then, he's managed to fuck it up so thoroughly that polls project that any one of the Democrats running for governor could kick his ass in the general. So, instead of running for re-election, Mitt is taking a sharp turn to the right so that he has a chance at the presidential nomination.

Of course, since this sudden rightward spiral makes him not just a Massachusetts liberal, but a Massachusetts liberal flip-flopper, he really has no chance.

by craverguy 2005-09-20 03:09PM | 0 recs
I've heard people say
the fact that Romney is Mormon will have an effect on his chances, most notably a negative effect.  Can someone elaborate on that.  I realize the Evangelicals only want one of theirs on the ticket, but his Mormonism be that detrimental.  
by Eric11 2005-09-20 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I've heard people say
Mormonism is widely viewed as a cult by Christian groups, because Joseph Smith proclaimed himself to be the Messiah and declared all previous Christian teachings to be blasphemous nonsense. Naturally, when Evangelical Christians meet Mormons, hilarity inevitably ensues.
by craverguy 2005-09-20 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I've heard people say
One thing I will say though... Man there were some HOT mormon girls in my high school.  All pure and chaste but just beautiful... Five finger beautiful.  All of them were married by 21... guess you can only hold out the horomones for so long.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:28AM | 0 recs
Tea Leaves
Romney's background at Bain Capital and the 2002 Olympics belie why he's seen as Presidential timber...he knows how to run the machinery of a big operation. It's already rumored that Mitty will not run for reelection in 2006 so that he could concentrate on his campaign.

In other words, this is a very clever (everyone groan) exit strategy. He resigns from governor of Massachusetts takes on the Katrina czar to keep himself in the news nationally, earn name ID etc, and by the time the "scrum" of 2008 begins he writes his Presidential campaign a check for $40 million and throws his weight around.

I think the only way Romney wins the nomination in 2008 is if the Republicans feel their cause is hopeless and need a sacrificial lamb against basically any Democrat. He is not popular enough to be the "fan favorite" like George Allen or Bill Owens, nor is he maverick enough to be the peace candidate like McCain or Hagel, nor is he fuzzy enough to be the "sheeps in wool clothing" candidate like Giuliani.

by risenmessiah 2005-09-20 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Tea Leaves
If the Right feels hopeless, I would think they go with McCain as he is their best hope.  My guess is they go with an evangelical good old boy like Frist, Brownback or Allen.  Regardless we need to crush them like a grape as soon as the heir apparent is clear.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-21 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Tea Leaves
I doubt McCain will run. Hagel is gearing to fill his void and is very dangerous as a withdrawal candidate for us unless we run someone like Feingold.

Try though we might to crush the Republicans like grapes...our fortunes are tied to the economy...and unfortunately the worse it gets...the better our chances are.

by risenmessiah 2005-09-22 02:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Tea Leaves
I am done with Feingold.  He is voting for Roberts.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-22 08:55AM | 0 recs

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