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Romney's First Steps on the '08 Trail

Today is Mitt Romney's final day as governor of Massachusetts. It also happens to be the first day of his long-expected campaign for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.


Mitt Romney leaves the governor's mansion in Massachusetts this week and hits the campaign trail. (Getty Images)

Romney filed paperwork today with the Federal Election Commission establishing an exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money for a national bid and finance his travels around the country.

There will be nearly no pomp and circumstance surrounding Romney's first formal step into the presidential race, as much of his day today will be dedicated to ceremonial transition duties, including the traditional "lone walk."

After tomorrow's swearing in of Gov.-elect Deval Patrick (D), however, Romney will hit the campaign trail full force. He is scheduled to address the Awakenings conference -- a gathering of southern conservatives -- in Sea Island, Ga., on Saturday. He has made the courtship of conservative voters a major focus of his early campaign. That effort has hit a few bumps lately, as an examination of his past political record shows some contradictions in his views on abortion and gay rights.

Romney returns to Boston on Sunday for a dinner with a core group of well-heeled supporters at a local hotel. The next day is being designated a "National Call Day," in which Romney's financial inner circle spends the day calling through their Rolodexes to solicit support for his presidential candidacy. The group will be treated to a breakfast briefing on Monday morning before beginning their calls.

Romney, too, looks ready to unveil a fundraising structure modeled after the "Pioneers" and "Rangers" developed by President Bush in his 2000 and 2004 campaigns. To become a "First Ballot Chairman" an individual would need to collect $250,000 in contributions in the campaign's first 30 days; a "First Ballot Vice Chair" is responsible for $100,000 in contributions and a "First Ballot Member" $50,000.

There seems little doubt that Romney will quickly turn his exploratory committee into a full-fledged presidential campaign in short order. The goal of the "National Call Day" is to demonstrate a broad and deep level of fundraising capacity for the outgoing governor and build a sense of momentum to his candidacy.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 3, 2007; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Parsing the Polls: The First Four '08 States
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Comments

Someone posted the question, "how stupid does he (W. Mitt Romney) think 'we' are." I presume by we (s)he meant the American voter. If speaking about the people that take the time to read political commentary and follow the issues of the day,'we' might see right through Willard Mitt Romney.
The serious problem that the American electorate faces is that the same dullards that re-elected George Bush in support of his war on terrorism, the same fools that threw Max Cleland out of the Senate due to a TV Commercial teaming him with UBL because of a vote against the "Patriot Act",the proud voters of a so-called liberal state that allowed a registered UTAH voter to sit in as their Governor for only half his term while abandoning the State the last half of his term as he campaigned for another higher office-these are just three examples of what voters do, and stupid IS as stupid does. I believe that due to a lack of research on their part,the average voter IS pretty stupid, or at best very ignorant... and sadly "slick Willard" is probably going to be elected President in 2008, and I won't be surprised at all if the Democrats nominate a one term Senator to once again grab defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: John Pulawski | January 16, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

tina - also, i doubt that Condi would stray to0 far from the disastrous policies pursued by her "husb."

http://www.culturekitchen.com/archives/000662.html

Posted by: meuphys | January 4, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Tina: "Condi" - a respected professor at Stanford - is guilty of complicity in the most shortsighted, arrogant, worst planned (if planned at all) exercise in foreign policy visited on this country since BEFORE Vietnam. (that's right, the "v" word, and i dare anyone to deny the obvious parallels. even Nixon was trying to get out, having reached the conclusion - using his head, a tactic unfamiliar to our current president, who prefers to lead with his bible belt.)
In any case, having offered not even any constructive analysis of the blunder that is the Iraq conflict, her academic cred alone does not entitle her to be taken seriously as a candidate. curious - if anyone knows - what if anything she has said about Abu Ghraib, Haditha, et al.

and in re: Romney, as i have said before, everyone who thinks he might make a good chief executive should talk to someone from Massachusetts, the state he governs, yet in which he spent less than 1/2 of the past year. He will say or do anything necessary to get folks to vote for him. Attention religious conservatives: although I disagree with you - strongly - about the role one faith (specifically: fundamentalist christianity) should play in governing a nation made up of adherents of all the religions on earth, i would assume that like me, you want to cast your vote for someone who actually plans to be held at least to some extent to the promises he / she makes during the campaign. Romney is not that man, and he never will be. (cf. his statements on abortion / gay marriage during his failed campaign for the senate in the '90's.) Now he is assuring you that his Mormon faith is compatible with your beliefs, or at least more compatible than the faith of others. how can you believe him? In addition, his "balancing of the state budget" came only after draconian cuts in those social programs relied on by those who are not as wealthy as ol' Mitt, coupled with an increase in fees. Amazingly, the press plays along because he didn't refer to these as taxes. how stupid does he think we are?

Posted by: meuphys | January 4, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Time for a debate with Andy. He said:
If the polls are right Romney has an uphill battle in Iowa and NH. I think the GOP nomination may come down to McCain/Guiliani versus Romney in the end. Those are the only three GOP guys who can garner the type of money needed to go national. I know that the real hardcore conservatives don't trust the street cred of McCain or Guiliani, but will they hold there noses and vote for one of them over a Mormon or vice-versa.

............if McCain or Rudy is not going to win in Iowa, why not Condi as their choice? Afterall, in early 2005, in a test poll of Iowa likely Republican Caucus voters, Condi came in at 30%. Rudy and McCain were far lower. Did any of you hear that bit of news? It was reported by the Quad City Times reporter Ed Tibbets and sits in their archives.

Now today, the polls sometimes include Condi on their list. It is like a test, and when she is on it, she is tied with Rudy and McCain. That means she is favored higher than Romney in the polls.

So again, the logic of Romney riding in on his horse and with his millions flowing out of his pockets to claim the Iowa Banner is not based on fact. Romney might win some more favor over McCain or Rudy, but on a head to head against Condi, I think she will be in front.

Remember this....Sen. Brownback and Huckabee might suck up most of the religious conservative votes in a protest against McCain or Rudy. That takes away from Romney and gives more ability for Condi VOTERS to fill the vaccum.

A new group for Condi Rice as President in 2008 has formed out of Ohio. Watch for them to show their faces at upcoming Republican events. ThinkCondi.net is being created as I write this and they have sent out fundraising letters, are building a TEAM in Iowa and New Hampshire.
So keep an eye on ThinkCondi.net and have a look at the new face of the Republican party.

Posted by: Tina | January 4, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I think Romney is going to have problems with all of his flip-flopping on the issues like abortion and gay marriage. It's difficult to figure out where he really stands because he is all over the map on these issues.

Posted by: Sandy | January 4, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

US PRESIDENT TIM KALEMKARIAN, US SENATE TIM KALEMKARIAN, US HOUSE TIM KALEMKARIAN: BEST MAJOR CANDIDATE.

Posted by: anonymous | January 4, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Elections are a test of the people as much as they are a test of the politicians. Romney has told us who he is: A hypocrite who has said and done anything to win faster than anyone I've seen in my lifetime. The next test is: Who are the American people?

Posted by: Gail Mountain | January 4, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

At a time when it feels as if the very Constitution is hanging by a thread, maybe it would be a good thing to have a moral leader that lives a life of lofty principles. The political tricksters, when cornered with no higher ideals to present, always fall back on the devisive issues of gay marriage (should be called Gayraige) and abortion. Individual life choices do not belong on the top of the list of important political debate when we are on the verge of a third world war, a pandemic, flooding, global warming, diminishing energy resources, wars and rumors of wars, a failing education system, and a burgeoning aged population unable to afford the escalating cost of health care. When are the voters going to smarten up and not fall for such weak issues and demand reasonable debate about real issues?

Posted by: Sonja | January 4, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

NEVER FORGET!!!!!.... Evangelical leaders ARE PAID by their followers... The Mormon clergy are ALL VOLUNTEERS........They work their full-time jobs and then serve each other....... Evangelical leaders demonize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because EVANGELICAL, BAPTIST, AND ALL OTHER CHRISTIAN LEADERS' WAGES ARE AT RISK if, heaven forbid, their flock should know the truth and convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So, who do you trust to lead you? A PAID FOR CLERGY, or a volunteer Clergy? Would Jesus charge you for a healing session? A Mormon running for office is a good chance for everyone to learn the truth about the Mormon church, instead of believing the tales and lies of a PROFITEERING ministry, in my opinion.

Posted by: Sonja | January 4, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Thank you judge, that was brilliant.

Posted by: drindl | January 3, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I think an unbeatable Republican ticket would be McCain and Tom Ridge. Ridge is the original head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and former popular Pennsylvania governor. Plus he's pro choice (with limitations) which would appeal to alot of independents and Democrats. He could possibly deliver Pennsylvania's electorial votes which would be a huge advantage. And as the original head of DHS he gets credit for creating a security structure that has resulted in no more attacks on our soil. That makes him a vice-presidential choice that would make voters feel secure if something happened to McCain. I'll comment on my favorite Democratic ticket on a blog devoted to those candidates.

Posted by: JustDaFaxMam | January 3, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought there was some controversy, as former Gov Romney had planned to not do the traditional "lone walk." Has he flip-flopped on this?

Posted by: bsimon | January 3, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"President Bush today pledged to submit a five-year budget proposal next month that would balance the federal budget by 2012." Bush plans to partly achieve this using large quantities of smoke purchased from certain campaign contributors in exchange for $2.4 billion along with a broad range of relaxed environmental standards. Aides say that the rest of his plans exceed the mirror-making industrial capacity of the entire Western world. Negotiations with specific Eastern block countries are underway to upgrade their silvering and glass production capabilities to help meet demand.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 3, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

To Andy R:
"the real hardcore conservatives don't trust the street cred of McCain or Guiliani, but will they hold there noses and vote for one of them over a Mormon or vice-versa."

I think the issue with Romney is that the hard-core evangelicals--the Republican base--simply won't go to the polls in a general election and vote for a Mormon. You have to remember that many evangelicals still think of LDS as a cult. The "religion" issue won't drive evangelicals into the arms of the Democrats. But it won't inspire them to get out, volunteer, and vote on election day. Evangelicals felt like GWB spoke their language. Romney doesn't inspire the same sort of faith-based, "he's one of us," fervor.

Posted by: anonymous | January 3, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Romney's focus on social issues is really getting old. If the GOP wants to retain the White House in 08, we need to focus on other less-divisive issues and get off of this idea of legislating morality. (We got our Supreme Court picks with GWB after all). I for one am going to hold my nose and support McCain, as Guiliani is a one-trick pony and not ready for national office IMO. Can't wait to see who else is on the ticket!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 3, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

For the record--and contrary to the caption under Mitt Romney's photo in this post--Massachusetts has no governor's mansion.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The key for Romney will be to hit it off with the conservative GOP caucus voters in Iowa. If he can't, he's political dead meat.

An early indicator of his viability will be the Iowa GOP straw poll this summer. If he has a disappointing finish there, his fund-raising could be stunted. However, keep in mind that he finished second to Bill Frist in that southern straw poll last year. It would be a fatal mistake for his opponents to underestimate him.

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | January 3, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how those foundations are all closely tied to the republican party.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

'A new report details what it calls an "enormously successful" disinformation campaign by ExxonMobil that used tobacco-industry tactics to fund groups who cast doubts and deceive the public on the scientific consensus regarding global warming.

The report was released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in Massachusetts.

The report found that between 1998 and 2005, ExxonMobil has funnelled about $16 million to 43 advocacy groups and 16 individuals in an effort to "manufacture uncertainty" and ultimately stall government action that would require a mandatory cut in greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide. The group said the figures in the report were compiled from ExxonMobil corporate reports.

"ExxonMobil has, in a cynical and manipulative strategy, helped create a kind of echo chamber to amplify the views of a carefully selected group of spokespeople whose work has been largely discredited by the scientific community," said Seth Schulman, the report's primary author, in a conference call today with reporters.

The strategy is built on the notion, the report found, that "public opinion can be easily manipulated because science is complex, because people tend not to notice where their information comes from, and because the effects of global warming are just beginning to become visible."

The report compared the company's efforts to the strategy used by tobacco companies to downplay the effects of smoking.

The vast majority of the world's climate scientists agree that human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, are contributing to a greenhouse gas effect that has warmed the globe at an unprecedented rate.

The group detailed the financial connections between ExxonMobil and a number of organizations, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Media Research Center.

Posted by: how it works | January 3, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If the polls are right Romney has an uphill battle in Iowa and NH. I think the GOP nomination may come down to McCain/Guiliani versus Romney in the end. Those are the only three GOP guys who can garner the type of money needed to go national. I know that the real hardcore conservatives don't trust the street cred of McCain or Guiliani, but will they hold there noses and vote for one of them over a Mormon or vice-versa.

Posted by: Andy R | January 3, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

First Ballot Chair? what a strange construct. Does anyone understand the reference? So, Chair is the non-sex determined version of Chairman, which conjures a corporate image I guess, although there are all kinds of committees also. First Ballot Chair just doesn't seem all that attractive.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | January 3, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Romney...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse


For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

Ford's funeral: the hollow pomp of a corrupt and crisis-ridden establishment

By Bill Van Auken
3 January 2007

Sandwiched as it was between the obscene televised assassination-by-hanging of Saddam Hussein and the dismal although expected news of the 3,000th US soldier dying in Iraq, the attempts by Washington's political establishment and its servants in the corporate media to generate a wave of patriotic feeling with the funeral of former President Gerald Ford fell flat.

The death of a 93-year-old man who served as the country's unelected chief executive 30 years ago--lasting less than 29 months in office--and who is a virtual unknown to the majority of the country's population today offers little to work with for those trying to revive flagging national spirits and obscure the grim and unrelenting news from the Iraqi fiasco.

The brutal truth is that Ford--who allowed his personal opposition to the launching of the Iraq war and the policies of the Republican Party's "hard right" to be made public only after his death--has more than a passing connection to the current criminal catastrophe presided over by the Bush administration.

If he will be remembered for anything, it is for his decision, one month after taking office, to issue an unprecedented pardon to his predecessor Richard Nixon "for all offenses against the United States which he . . . has committed or may have committed or taken part in" during his more than five-and-a-half years in the White House.

(Less well-remembered, but highly significant in understanding the role played by Ford in the affairs of the American state, was his service on the Warren Commission, where he became one of the most steadfast defenders of the "lone gunman" theory, a thesis designed to cover up the political divisions and conspiracies that lay behind the Kennedy assassination.)

Ford's pardon, issued on September 8, 1974, prevented the country from holding Nixon to account for crimes enumerated in the articles of impeachment brought against him in July 1974. Among them were obstruction of justice, illegal spying on American citizens and the arrogation of extra-constitutional powers that were creating the scaffolding for a presidential dictatorship.

For the rest please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/ford-j03.shtml

Posted by: Lenin | January 3, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

Ford's funeral: the hollow pomp of a corrupt and crisis-ridden establishment

By Bill Van Auken
3 January 2007

Sandwiched as it was between the obscene televised assassination-by-hanging of Saddam Hussein and the dismal although expected news of the 3,000th US soldier dying in Iraq, the attempts by Washington's political establishment and its servants in the corporate media to generate a wave of patriotic feeling with the funeral of former President Gerald Ford fell flat.

The death of a 93-year-old man who served as the country's unelected chief executive 30 years ago--lasting less than 29 months in office--and who is a virtual unknown to the majority of the country's population today offers little to work with for those trying to revive flagging national spirits and obscure the grim and unrelenting news from the Iraqi fiasco.

The brutal truth is that Ford--who allowed his personal opposition to the launching of the Iraq war and the policies of the Republican Party's "hard right" to be made public only after his death--has more than a passing connection to the current criminal catastrophe presided over by the Bush administration.

If he will be remembered for anything, it is for his decision, one month after taking office, to issue an unprecedented pardon to his predecessor Richard Nixon "for all offenses against the United States which he . . . has committed or may have committed or taken part in" during his more than five-and-a-half years in the White House.

(Less well-remembered, but highly significant in understanding the role played by Ford in the affairs of the American state, was his service on the Warren Commission, where he became one of the most steadfast defenders of the "lone gunman" theory, a thesis designed to cover up the political divisions and conspiracies that lay behind the Kennedy assassination.)

Ford's pardon, issued on September 8, 1974, prevented the country from holding Nixon to account for crimes enumerated in the articles of impeachment brought against him in July 1974. Among them were obstruction of justice, illegal spying on American citizens and the arrogation of extra-constitutional powers that were creating the scaffolding for a presidential dictatorship.

For the rest please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/ford-j03.shtml

Posted by: che | January 3, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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