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Palin and Brown: Mitt Romney's best friends

Mitt Romney got a rousing reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference. And why not? He was introduced by the new conservative hero, Scott Brown, the Massachusetts senator whose election Romney played an important role in bringing about.

And I am starting to think that Sarah Palin is Mitt Romney's other best friend. First, compared with Palin, Romney is a plausible president. Many conservatives won't say that publicly for fear of alienating Palin or her followers, but they believe it. Suddenly, Romney's looking like a bit -- or more than a bit -- of a technocrat becomes an asset to him.

Second, Romney is a kind of front-runner for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, and Palin's huge presence in the media blocks out alternatives to Romney (notably Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who appeared at CPAC today). The media don't have much time or room for a long list of GOP candidates, and the media obsession with Palin leaves space for only one other candidate. Romney has the best claim on that spot.

Third, I am absolutely convinced that Palin will not run for president, but that it's in her interest not to say so until the very last moment. Attention is what she needs for all her other enterprises, and being a possible candidate for as long as possible will get her lots of attention. Romney wants her out there as long as possible as his blocking back. This will make it harder and harder for the alternative to him to emerge.

In the meantime, Scott Brown will make an excellent surrogate for Romney. And the fact that the relatively moderate Brown is now loved by conservatives suggests that for all their talk of ideology, conservatives still value victory over absolute purity. That helps Romney, too.

By E.J. Dionne  | February 19, 2010; 11:58 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

So, if Romney were to become president, the blue half of the country plus many, many independents will become alienated.

Posted by: wendystevens | February 19, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Where is folksy Mike Huckabee in all this? Has Palin pretty much eclipsed him as the idol of the rustics?

Posted by: chuckbarb23 | February 19, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh the irony. the GOP couldn't stand Romney, now they love him out of expediency. They love Brown because they can use his victory for anti-Obama spin, never mind that he is a pro-choice moderate in favor of universal health care coverage.

Had Romney been the candidate, he would have gotten my vote. McCain/Palin did not. If Republicans grow brains between now and 2012, someone like Romney will be their nominee and have a chance. If they don't, they nominate Palin, and as Will observes, lose 44 states or so.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Dionne

But these three doesn't resolute any type of energized responses...be positive or negative

So hopefully they will ponder which of the three of them which two will run in 2012...

Now watch and see how many response come from that reaction!!!!!

Posted by: danders5000 | February 19, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi and Reid: Obama's best friends.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 19, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

According to Republicans, there won't be any country left for 2012.

So I really don't understand why the Republicans don't put as much energy in helping to keeping the country afloat NOW as they are putting in trying to find somebody for 2012.

What's up with dat?

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | February 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Goosesteppin' Ol' Party is reaping what they've sown. They wanted to be the lockstep/goosestep party and they've succeeded. But what they don't understand, and what makes them even more ill-equipped to lead, is that this is a very complex country, not a country of simpletons who see a leader in Sarah Palin or a champion of the middle class in Mitt Romney. Many might, but you can fool some of the people all of the time, as the greatest of all Republicans once said, even though the party of Lincoln is similar to today's party in name only.

The Goosesteppers have only dishonesty, ADD, and early onset Alzheimer's to assist them. Well, mega-corporation FOX, who've convinced some people that they pay Glenn Beck a hundred million dollar contract to voice THEIR opinions, that's a pretty good weapon too. 24/7 attacks and they still have some of our less analytical citizens believing that they really are a true news organization and not a virtual mouthpiece of the GOP. So, maybe they do have a chance. But if they win, we lose. Again.

Posted by: curtb | February 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, curtb, for your insightful, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinions regarding the members of the GOP. It's so refreshing to see you "progressives" eschewing stereotyping and bigotry, and always giving a person the benefit of the doubt, especially in view of your superior intellect as it compares with our barely pulsing 3-cell brains.

Posted by: tmkelley | February 19, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This is interesting speculation, because, if it turns out to be true, then a Republican victory in 2012 becomes an impossibility.

Here's why.

If Romney is the only plausible Republican candidate because Palin has sucked all the air out of the room, he'll come under microscopic scrutiny for his Mormon beliefs. Once Americans learn about the practices of this bizarre belief system, Romney won't have a chance in h&ll of winning an election.

I love it when Republicans shoot themselves in the foot -- and with such gusto!

Posted by: haveaheart | February 19, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What can I say.
Palin/Brown 2012
Snow machine/I drive a truck.
The solution to all of America's problems.
You betcha.

Posted by: chucky-el | February 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Take THIS, Sarah Palin!

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/family-guy-voice-actor-says-palin-does-not-have-a-sense-of-humor/?scp=1&sq=Family%20Guy&st=cse

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 19, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yet another Dionne article of questionable veracity and motive. I would not go to E.J. for GOP strategy..or Democrat strategy for that matter.

Posted by: hz9604 | February 19, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tmkelley for pointing out my stereotyping. And thanks too to the GOP, for making it so easy, what with Palin and the FOX crew begging to be stereotyped everyday. Meanwhile, King Flip Flop Mitt Romney defends GWB, who he ran away from in 2008 like he ran away from his own moderate governing in Massachusetts to win the approval of his one-note party. Oh by the way, I despise John Kerry as much as your heroes on the right so I think you referring to me as a progressive is a, oh let's see, stereotypical response to any criticism of the party of NOTHING. As far as bigotry, I'm sure you speak with a great deal of personal experience on that subject.

Posted by: curtb | February 19, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Romney's past performance and experience makes him the most qualified person to ever run for prez.

Not only that but Romney is very pramatic and real fisical conservative, which this country needs right now.

Three years is a long time to wait for President Romney...

And we know our liberal/progressive MSM wolfpack press will either censor him or smear him on behalf of their hero and leader, Obama........no question or doubt about it.

Posted by: allenridge | February 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not only that but Romney is very pramatic and real fisical conservative, which this country needs right now.

Three years is a long time to wait for President Romney...

And we know our liberal/progressive MSM wolfpack press will either censor him or smear him on behalf of their hero and leader, Obama........no question or doubt about it.

Posted by: allenridge | February 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm not 100% sure that Mitt Romney is a "real fisical" conservative - I think the magic undewear may prevent this...

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | February 19, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Until the GOP stops the cheerleader we're better than them crap and actually says something, anything that is a plan of action, they will continue to waste any opportunity VA, NJ, and Mass may give them.

It's pretty pathetic that for a bunch that continues the claim Obama can't blame the previous terms anymore spends three days blaming Obama for all the woes of the country.

It's really quite simple- will someone actually LEAD instead of whine.

Posted by: dcperspective | February 19, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Be careful EJ...I have it on good sources that Palin might be hiding in your garage, waiting to spook you. You wouldn't want to spit up any of that Chardonnay and duck in reduced merlot on your Armani, would you?

Posted by: luca_20009 | February 19, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Romney's past performance and experience makes him the most qualified person to ever run for prez.

Not only that but Romney is very pramatic and real fisical conservative, which this country needs right now.

Three years is a long time to wait for President Romney...

Posted by: allenridge
-------
What kind of drug are you on? Romney is nothing more than a goosestepping flip flopper just like in the mold of GWB to say something that people want to hear not what they don't want to hear(sounds like you). It is ironic that he would trash the very state he ran as governor as he signed the health care legislation covers 98% of the citizens that is similar to the Senate plan without any way to rein in the medical cost while leaving doctors drowning in paperwork. I called that stupidity.
I know for a fact that Romney will repeat his tiresome recycle talking points in order to pander to conservative base but will not win the race because it is going to look like Palin looking at the rearview mirror saying "who's that guy I just passed."

Posted by: beeker25 | February 19, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It's really quite simple- will someone actually LEAD instead of whine.

Posted by: dcperspective
------
As always, politics makes people whine and nothing gets done until the next election before it recycles again.

Posted by: beeker25 | February 19, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Got to wonder how many $ someone like Larry Flynn would have to throw to Palin to get her to drop her drawers for his magazine? How much did it take for her to give uo her Governor's position?

Posted by: almelbe | February 19, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"..compared with Palin, Romney is a plausible president. Many conservatives won't say that publicly...but they believe it..."

Exactly. I've been saying this for months. The purpose of having Palin around is to make the eventual Republican candidate look reasonable and moderate by comparison. Classic bait and switch. And it looks like a sizable proportion of independent voters are prepped to fall for it, even though the eventual GOP candidate will be a hard-right conservative, given that the party has purged itself of practically all of its moderates. (Remember when "liberal Republican" was not an oxymoron?)

Posted by: jetchs | February 19, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

EJ touches on the truth: if it means a win, even the most ardent conservative will apply a layer of lipstick to a RINO pig. I can't tell if Romney is a RINO playing like a conservative, or is a conservative who played like a RINO for the 10 years or so he was active in Massachusetts. I don't think MItt knows, either. He is just what you want him to be. Always. Doesn't matter who you are, either. He is your man.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 19, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, curtb, for confirming my post. That's very nice of you! Have a great weekend!

Posted by: tmkelley | February 19, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Be careful EJ...I have it on good sources that Palin might be hiding in your garage, waiting to spook you. You wouldn't want to spit up any of that Chardonnay and duck in reduced merlot on your Armani, would you?

Posted by: luca_20009

Palin wait in a GARAGE? Are you mad? She might get her strappy red, peep-toe platforms greasy. Oh no, Mrs. Palin would twitter EJ safely from the comfort of wherever she calls home these days.

Heaven forbid! A garage indeed.

Posted by: arancia12 | February 19, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"Had Romney been the candidate, he would have gotten my vote. McCain/Palin did not. If Republicans grow brains between now and 2012, someone like Romney will be their nominee and have a chance. If they don't, they nominate Palin, and as Will observes, lose 44 states or so.
Posted by: JoeT1"

Excellent comment. Like JoeT1, I RELUCTANTLY voted against McCain/Palin. Palin because she was a not ready and unlikely to have any significant duties given her by McCain anyways if made VP outside fundraising in rural southern areas. McCain because he would have continued his treacherous ways and given the Dems 80% of what they wanted and wrapped it in a bipartisan fig leaf. And gotten more of the carbon taxing, banker stimulus, and GITO-closing stuff through than Obama managed. And the longer the campaign went on, the more incoherent, erratic and "Senator-for-Life" acting McCain got. McCain on his own appeared less fit for office than the unqualified Obama!
Had Romney been the candidate, he would have had a great shot...particularly when the economy and Wall Street melted down.

McCain/Palin was like when Dems really blew their nomination...McGovern, Carter in '80, Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry...a disaster.

==================
haveaheart - "If Romney is the only plausible Republican candidate because Palin has sucked all the air out of the room, he'll come under microscopic scrutiny for his Mormon beliefs. Once Americans learn about the practices of this bizarre belief system, Romney won't have a chance in h&ll of winning an election."

The same could be said about certain Jewish, Catholic, Hindi, Fundie, and Islamic beliefs and practices. But that would be BIGOTED to point out, wouldn't it?
But somehow Mormonism is different? Even if it was no issue when George Romney was running a major part of the WWII effort, helping create the Marshall Plan, in office and running for others? Or Harry Reid and the Udalls on the Dem side? All elected - what - in "less tolerant times"?

Basically it is the same tactic Dems tried on Kennedy. They proclaimed they LOVED Catholics, had no problems but said "How difficult it would be to put a crazy Catholic in office" And, PS, did you hear of some crazy Catholic ideas??

It's a transparent ploy.
And yes, many of Palins followers are from the semi-bigoted and religiously intolerant right..and they and the former Pastor Huckleberry followers hurt themselves with various Mormon insinuations....Fred Thompson had more class, as did Rudy..


Posted by: ChrisFord1 | February 19, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I pray Mitt Romney will get the opportunity to be our next President. We need his experience, his moral leadership; we need someone who will reduce our enormous federal government down to size.

Posted by: wdwrightii | February 19, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Romney would fit in very well in Washington.

After his outfit Bain Capital is able to avoid ordinary "Joe" taxes by using several loopholes politicians have gine corporations, namely having an offshore Caymans Island PO Box as your headquarters.

Also the politicial appointees have kept the tax rate for Bain and other Hedge Funds to 15%. Most managers make millions but pay far less than Sixpack.

This kind of scamming, freewheeling, screw the public is exacly how politics work, so I do see a future here.

The revolving door where politicians butter up companies and then leave politics and work as top brass or lobbyists is pure play politician shenagans.

No voter would give them the ability to do that. They just give it to themselves.

Romney for Pure Play Politics, the Party of PPP...Vote for ME....

Posted by: Mnnngj | February 19, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

A few weeks ago, in a statement typical of his party’s propensity for propaganda, newly-minted Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) forcefully asserted that the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package, “hasn’t created one new job.”

The problem with Brown’s declaration is that it’s objectively false. On Wednesday, the New York Times published a piece on the bill’s far-reaching impact. The results expose just how deceitful and irresponsible the senator’s remarks were.

One year on, the Recovery Act is well on its way to accomplishing all of its stated objectives. Next time the Junior Senator from Massachusetts speaks out of turn, I suggest he do his homework beforehand.

Read more @ http://armchairfirebrand.wordpress.com/

Posted by: ArmchairFirebrand | February 20, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about Romney and Palin, the media has annointed them conservative leaders. Romney pushed through universal gov't run health care in Massachusetts. How did Palin slash taxes and spending in Alaska? The Washiington Post pundits decide who they want to write about and what events to cover. They forgot to mention that Ron Paul won the CPAC straw vote. Mr Beltway GOP, Mitt Romney just didn't win, but the Post very typically won't print a major article about it or may give it one short line. The Post isn't a serious paper, just an establishment rag. If you ask their Ombudsman about these issues, they will just ignore your letters. The major conservative and liberal media just manipulate the whole election process, then Americans can't understand why their country is so screwed up!! Hold the media liar's and pundit's responsible. Stop reading and watching them.

Posted by: ftsmallwood | February 20, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

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