Monday, February 11, 2008

Mitt Romney's Future? picked up on this story from National Review Online. It is about speculation about Mitt Romney possibly running for governor of Michigan. Just in case you have been living in a cave and/or my blog is your only source of political info, Mitt Romney pulled out of the race last Thursday.

  • What do Mitt Romney and Sam Houston have in common? Okay; not much…yet. But with his departure from the 2008 presidential contest, the former Massachusetts governor could pull a Houston and become the second American to serve as governor of two states. (It can’t be done, some might claim – it is too unorthodox. Like, for instance, a former First Lady of one state heading to another state than running for Senate? Or president?)
  • By returning to his home state of Michigan and running to succeed term-limited Democrat Jennifer Granholm in 2010, Romney has the chance to be elected and govern as a solid conservative in a state in which conservatives have excelled. The electorate remembers the 1990s as one of low and falling taxes, economic growth, and conservative leadership under three-term Governor John Engler, who left office in 2003.
  • Romney’s difficulty in persuading the conservative rank-and-file that he is one of them ought not to be unexpected. He had run for Senate and then governor, in Massachusetts as a committed centrist. Moreover, he mostly governed in the Bay State as a centrist, and thus the governor had a lot of work to do with conservatives this past year. Sadly, there wasn’t sufficient time.
  • But Michigan isn’t Massachusetts. Having deposed a generally popular “new Democrat” governor in 1990 by one point, John Engler privatized state services, eliminated the state inheritance and capital gains taxes, and led the nationwide welfare reform movement by reducing the state rolls by 70 percent. He was rewarded with reelection by a 23-point margin in 1994 and control of both houses of the legislature. In his final term, he won by 24 points against essentially a protest Democrat, Jack “Dr. Death” Kevorkian’s lawyer. When he stepped down in 2003, Engler was the nation’s longest serving governor and, by most measures, one of the most successful conservatives ever to hold public office.
John Engler was a damn good governor. John Engler was the reason I got involved in Republican politics in the first place. I turned 18 in in 1993. I was so thrilled by the chance to be able to vote. My voice could truly be heard. I could use the outspoken voice I had been using before I was able to vote. At this same time I had been following about John Engler. I still remember when he came to my hometown, near Flint.
It was the summer of 1994. I had just gotten ready for the day, to go shopping or something. I turned on the local news and they reported that John Engler was speaking in front of the post office, in my town. I decided to go up there and hear him speak. I lived only 1 driving minute from the post office. He gave a great speech and after he was done speaking I went up to him and ask him about how I could volunteer for his campaign. He told me to talk to one of his assistants who gave me contact info on someone to contact. I even got his autograph, which I still have somewhere in this packrat cottage of mine. I even framed it. Yeah, I know, I need a life.
I did a few phone banks at the Genesee County Republican Party. I also got a chance to walk in the Grand Blanc Fourth of July Parade to hand out pamphlets about John Engler. Sorry I got a little off track there. The mention of John Engler made me wax nostalgic.
  • Into this challenge, enter Romney 2.0: acknowledged turnaround artist and — yes — the nation’s leading conservative politician. The Romney name still has a lot of juice in the state; the Michigan governor’s main office is in the George W. Romney building, and Romney-père remains a well-respected figure for his corporate and public service. Mitt Romney kicked off his presidential campaign one-year ago at The Henry Ford museum outside Detroit, and the high point was certainly his victory in last month’s Michigan primary.
  • Running and winning in a battleground state facing plenty of difficulties (and governing according to the conservative principles that he articulated with growing conviction and persuasion during this campaign) would not only be good for Michigan, but would certainly make Romney a formidable candidate for higher office. He is a young man by Reagan/McCain standards. There is plenty of time for him to claim what many of us hoped he would seize this year — the Republican nomination for president. A slight detour through the Great Lake State may be the straightest path ahead. Read the great article in it's full entirety here.
Before I had read this article I felt this might be what might be in the future of Mitt Romney and Michigan. While I know Mitt Romney ain't reading this post, if he were, I would say to him "you can always come home." I think this would be awesome for him to run for Michigan governor.
Except now, according to an email I received, Mitt Romney is planning on running for national office in 2012. I am on some email list from different people who are planning on attending the National GOP Convention. Some of these people mass emailed about me and others supporting them at the Michigan GOP Convention to attend the National GOP Convention. I have to be honest here. While I wish it were a case of "Gee, I really want 'Michigan Redneck's' support," it is a case of mistaken identity. They think I am the chairperson of my county. Well, maybe they do know who I am, I don't know.
One recent email I received was from someone who forwarded an email from someone who was a major Romney campaigner in Michigan. This person talked with the Romney campaign. According to said person, the Romney campaign has confirmed that he is planning on running for president in 2012. Also, he will not be seeking the office of vice president. It is said that Mitt Romney will campaign for John McCain if asked. I don't know this for fact. I am just repeating what I heard.
Also in this email was a link to Mitt Romney's campaign suspension speech, at CPAC. I was trying to think if I should post the first couple paragraphs and link to the speech. But I decided to post my utmost faves, from this terrific speech. So here it is.
  • Governor Romney's Address To CPAC (As Prepared For Delivery):
  • "I want to begin by saying thank you. It's great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.
  • "Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls, and I was facing household Republican names. As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for President, less than Senator McCain's 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. Eleven states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he's doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.
  • "To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.
  • "As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future. I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century – still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable. Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. 'First,' he said, 'I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world.' The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America.
  • "And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture.
  • "Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations. I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he's a liberal – I guess that's redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history. After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this:
  • "If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.
  • "What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity – opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don't have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves – a 'Purpose Driven Life.' And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation's strength and they always will be.
  • "The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960's welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven't given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.
Is gots to interrupt here. Y'all know how I feel about the "welfare state." If you are new to this blog and don't know, as a member of the working poor, it is a major pet peeve of mine. The working poor pays the most for this ("this" being the "welfare state"). Thus, this is probably my mostest favoritest part of his terrific speech, to take on this issue. Anyways, back to Mitt.
  • "The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before. China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.
  • "Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy – that's almost what we spend annually for defense. It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.
  • "And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don't focus on the pork alone – even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements. They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next President's second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.
  • "Most politicians don't seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens – that it's just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.
  • "That's exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector? Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?
More interrupting. The highlighted part in this paragraph is another pet peeve of mine. As someone who wears a name tag to work, work that I am proud of regardless of how little money I make, I don't expect government workers to make as little money as me. It would be funny though. Back to Mitt.
  • "It's high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government.
  • "And finally, let's consider the greatest challenge facing America – and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad. In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy. To them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.
  • "Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the Constitution. Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.
  • "Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign. You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today, we are a nation at war.
  • "I disagree with Senator 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 Qaeda 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 Senator 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.
Time to interrupt again. I too also disagree with many things about John McCain. But I do agree with John McCain's belief in continuing on the issues that Mitt Romney mentioned. I do understand and accept Mitt's reasoning on standing behind John McCain. Mitt and I are in different positions within the Republican Party. So we each take different thoughts and/or actions. As a "dumb blogger" I don't have to stand behind John McCain, just give my opinions and thoughts. As y'all know, through my transformation here on this blog, I had briefly flirted with the thought of supporting John McCain after leaving my support of Mike Huckabee. But the more I studied him, the more I realized this was not what I stood for. Back to Mitt.
  • "I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism.
  • "It is the common task of each generation – and the burden of liberty – to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.
  • "To this task, accepting this burden, we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth.
  • "Thank you, and God bless America."
Please read all of his CPAC speech here. After hearing his speech, and reading it on his website again, I got to thinking about the old Terry Stafford song " You Don't Know What You've Got ('til it's gone)." Just FYI, Terry Stafford was somewhat of a "low rent" Elvis back in the 60's. After Fred Thompson pulled out of the race I was bummed out for a while. Maybe I was supporting Mitt because he was the only other alternative. Maybe I was supporting Mitt because he wasn't McCain or Huckabee. Whatever it was, I just couldn't get all that excited about Mitt Romney 'til the end. Now I guess I am feeling what ol' Terry Stafford would say, paraphrased, "I didn't know what I had 'til it was gone."
This post took me longer to write than I originally thought it would. I have been away from my blog and have had a lot of thoughts clogging my brain, along with the ebay thing. Now I am unclogging my brain. Many of you may not always agree with me, but you do know that I always blog from what is in my heart, regardless of what may or may not be the the thing to talk about. I had taken the advice of a great friend who told me to continue to blog from what is in my heart and what I truly believe, after going through a really downer period in which some trust issues got in my way.
I may be down about the '08 election. But I will still look forward and not backward. I know that with great men like Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, the Republican Party can and will survive. Conservative issues will go forward and be the spotlight. These issues are the bedrock of this country.
I am totally looking forward to the upcoming State GOP Convention, this weekend. Michigan really does matter. And our state's little GOP organization has great leaders. Since Mitt Romney doesn't have any more national campaigning to do, I surely hope he will be one of our "surprise speakers."

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