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Romney Continues D.C. Talent Raid

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has hired Matt Rhoades to serve as a senior communications strategist in his all-but-announced presidential bid, according to sources familiar with the internal workings of the campaign.

"He will be in a top level, inner circle position," said one source close to Romney operations. Rhoades joins Commonwealth PAC executive director Beth Myers, PAC political director Julie Teer, Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Musser, Commonwealth finance director Spencer Zwick, policy director Sally Canfield, Ron Kauffman of the Dutko Group, media consultant Alex Castellanos, microtargeting expert Alex Gage, pollster Jan van Lohuizen, and national press secretary Kevin Madden in Romney's ever-expanding inner circle.

Rhoades served as research director and deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee in the 2006 cycle and is a highly-regarded and fast-rising operative in Republican presidential circles. He had previously worked as research director for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.

"Matt Rhoades is one of the most creative, hard working, intelligent and principled people in politics," said outgoing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman.

One of the most important contributions Rhoades will make to the Romney team is his relationship with Matt Drudge. As documented in John Harris's and Mark Halperin's book -- "The Way to Win" -- the Drudge Report is an indispensable mover of political news and can shape (and often lead) news coverage by the major media outlets. The duo refer to Drudge as the "single most influential purveyor of information about American politics" and detail a meeting between Drudge, RNC research director Tim Griffin and Rhoades -- Griffin's deputy at the time -- that functioned as a passing of the Drudge torch from Griffin to Rhoades.

Rhoades' connection to Drudge is tough to replicate; watch Drudge over the coming weeks and months to see the importance of that relationship and how it accrues to Romney's benefit.

Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain are by far the two most aggressive potential 2008 candidates when it comes to the so-called "talent primary" -- the largely behind-the-scenes battle for top staffers nationally as well as in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Both men are competing for many of the same people and their top strategists relish nothing more than winning the battle for a coveted operative.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 5, 2006; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sam Brownback's Inner Circle
Next: Still No Winner in Florida's 13th District

Comments

DKinUT,

With regards to the #4 bullet point, naturally the 1 second old zygote will respond to stimuli differently than the example I used of the fetus. The important thing to remember is that you consider response to the appropriate threatening stimuli. For example, if someone dropped a safe on my head from a mile up, they'd conclude that I was never alive in the first place. Not only did I do nothing to avoid the safe (which I didn't see coming), but I didn't make any self-preservation response as the safe was halfway through crushing me.

On a cellular level, the zygote will respond to many of the same threatening stimuli as other cellular matter. Chemical changes occur inside the cell and on the surface of the cell in response to unfavorable conditions outside the cell, excessively acidic or alkaline pH being one example.

I only had time to scan through the link you posted. It IS interesting. The discussion of tardigardes is a great case study for framing one's definitions of what is LIFE versus what has the POTENTIAL for life. However, in the discussion of when human life begins, I find it more applicable to look and reason with human examples, as opposed to philosophical arguments of reproducing candle flames or seemingly "dead" tardigardes powder.

Posted by: murphy | December 11, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Murphy-

Glad you're not angry. It's always a shame when that happens between people.

I was curious about your comments regarding #4 above. In particular, I was curious how this circumstance is present at conception, in your opinion? The basic thesis we began debating was that life is present at conception. How would you square this at 1 second after conception when you clearly note that "when the baby is strong enough to move" it will self-preserve.

I've found this debate between us fascinating and somewhat helpful in my quest to determine exactly WHEN I think life exists in the human reproductive cycle. It's important to me because if there is a point in the cycle where one can identify that life does not exist, I am comfortable with abortion at that point. I am not comfortable with abortion at any point that I can identify life as existing.

BTW, did you read the stuff on tardigardes? I'm really very curious to see what your comments on this are.

Posted by: DKinUT | December 9, 2006 7:37 AM | Report abuse

DKinUT,

It's great that you oppose death in all situations. Really. And as for being "very angry" at you, I'm not. Blogging isn't exactly the perfect communication medium, so I'm sorry if you thought I was angry. Amazed at your non-conception vs killing equivalency, yes. Blunt, yes. Angry, no.

I feel very comfortable applying the five definitions of life which you listed to a recently conceived zygote:

1. Shows evidence of growth and replication (CHECK)

2. Shows evidence of purposeful energy transfer (CHECK)

3. Responds to stimuli (CHECK...even simple cells pass this test with the appropriate stimuli.)

4. Acts in a way as to insure self preservation (CHECK...likewise to #3 with the appropriate threatening stimuli. Try this thought: When the baby is strong enough to move, the baby actually moves to the highest point of the womb to avoid being killed.)

5. Is significantly different from the surrounding environment. (CHECK...Most children have their own primitive heart pumping their own blood supply before the mother even knows she's pregnant. And if we're talking about earlier than that, you can always look at the DNA.)

As for your "moral vacancy" with regards to non-conception = killing, what I actually said was that you EITHER were suffering from moral vacancy OR self-rationalizing. If you don't like the moral vacancy hypothesis, feel free to try on the self-rationalizing one.

All forms of abortion known to me either involve dismemberment, burning the baby's flesh off, or put the mother in violent labor. Anyone who is a pro-abortion on this issue (and I realize that you are not) has a poor evaluation of the importance of a mother's convenience compared to her child's existence.

Posted by: murphy | December 8, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Murphy-

"Show me what an unborn child has done to deserve death and then you can use your "soldiers and criminals" comparisons."

1.Never said any unborn child deserves to die. In fact, if you've bothered to read ALL that I've posted, you'll realize that I am against abortion, REMEMBER???

2. I think you misuse the "deserve death" argument in any event. I've already noted that I oppose death in all cases. Ergo, I don't believe anybody deserves to die.

3. You appear very angry at me for whatever reason I don't know. You accuse me of "moral vacancy". I make no accusations or concessions concering morality. I've kept my personal morals out of the debate and tried to argue it at an intellectual level rather than an emotional one. I've failed to steer the discussion to an intellectual level. My apologies.

As to what constitutes life-You said:

"The FACT that life begins at conception is rooted in what we as a culture know scientifically. Certainly someone can claim that life doesn't begin until birth, but they would be wrong by every factual measure I can imagine."

A few definitions, if you please:

From MIT Experimental Design Research-

The following five basic characteristics are used as the definition of life. Life
1. Shows evidence of growth and replication;
2. Shows evidence of purposeful energy transfer;
3. RESPONDS TO STIMULI;
4. ACTS IN A WAY AS TO INSURE SELF PRESERVATION;
5. Is significantly different from the surrounding environment.

Wikipedia-

Life is the characteristic state of organisms and individual cells. Properties common to the known organisms found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea and bacteria) are that they are carbon-and-water-based, are cellular with complex organization, undergo metabolism, possess a capacity to grow, RESPOND TO STIMULI, REPRODUCE, and, through natural selection, adapt in succeeding generations.

An entity with the above properties is considered to be an organism. However, not every definition of life considers all of these properties to be essential. For example, THE CAPACITY FOR DESCENT with modification is often taken as the only essential property of life.


Answers.com

life (līf)
n., pl. lives (līvz).

The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as METABOLISM, growth, reproduction, and RESPONSE TO STIMULI or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.
The characteristic state or condition of a living organism.

Here is a very interesting discussion of "life". Note the discussion under the heading of "Resistance To Entropy" particularly the discussion of the life form tardigardes. This life form is a simple organism that can be dehydrated into a powder and stored for years. Then, add water and it continues it's life functions. In it's powdered state, it has NO life functions, yet is considered alive based on the potential of life, or is it? The discussion is fascinating.

http://baharna.com/philos/life.htm

My point in this is to note that far from what you said..." The FACT that life begins at conception is rooted in what we as a culture know scientifically" is the FACT that we DO NOT KNOW any such thing scientifically. In fact, conception isn't even a factor in most definitions of life. See plants, crystals(I mention this because there is debate on whether crystals in fact exhibit all the qualities of life), etc... Further,nearly all definitions of life require the ability to reproduce, respond to stimuli, and act to self-preservation. These are not attributes that are present at conception.

Finally, as to the central argument we debate, you make a moral argument regarding abortion as killing vs. contraception. I make an intellectual one. I am not void of moral issues. I've noted that I don't agree with abortion PRECISELY because it's murder. I merely argue the intellectual points.

It seems senseless to continue this debate when we argue our points under different frameworks/paradigms.

Posted by: DKinUT | December 8, 2006 8:14 AM | Report abuse

DKinUT,

Show me what an unborn child has done to deserve death and then you can use your "soldiers and criminals" comparisons.

With regards to life beginning at conception, that is not a religious belief of mine. My religious beliefs are ambiguous on when the spirit enters the body. The FACT that life begins at conception is rooted in what we as a culture know scientifically. Certainly someone can claim that life doesn't begin until birth, but they would be wrong by every factual measure I can imagine.

But these are side notes. Your central point is still wrong (sorry I'm not sugar coating things here). Killing life is very different than not creating life in the first place. I'm completely at a loss to imagine the moral vacancy (or self-rationalizing) that allows you to justify such a belief. The only thing the two share in common is that no child is born, which if you believe that life begins before birth (as you claim) should be morally insignificant to you.

Posted by: murphy | December 7, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Murphy-

You noted that when someone's death is caused by guns it's a crime. So our soldiers are criminals? They shoot people. Now, of course, I don't think they're criminals. They're doing a job that's required of them by their leaders and a job that is intended to protect and "liberate" people in a bad situation. My point is that many deaths are the result of actions we take. Many times, those actions not only aren't criminal, sometimes they aren't considered immoral, as abortion is. It seems to me to be a bit obtuse to see abortion as murder by choice but not some of these other situations(including the death penalty).

About the abortion as murder vs. contraception that you noted- It sounds like perhaps you've accepted the religious line that life begins at contraception. Why should one accept that principle? Life could just as easily be said to begin at birth. Certainly that is the argument that many make. Under that argument, abortion isn't the taking of human life either. BTW, that is not my belief. I think abortion does take a life. My point is that I see little difference in a) taking a life via abortion and b) preventing a life that otherwise would have occurred(contraception). You've still deprived what would have been the end product of that conception from the opportunity to live and the world the opportunity to benefit from that life. I see no significant difference. It appears to me that we may be talking about the physical act of taking life, which I detest in all forms but see occurring with acceptance in greater frequency all the time. The anti-abortion forces would do well to be consistent on abortion, death penalty, death by wars, euthanasia, etc.... I don't mean to imply that abortion is ok because these things occur. I simply note that contraception brings the ending circumstances of sex to the same conclusion that abortion would. No child born.

Posted by: DKinUT | December 7, 2006 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Also, I was kind of shocked (maybe I'm just out of the loop on this one) to
learn that John McCain is either a neocon himself and/or is in bed with them.
Shocked! SHOCKED I am!

http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?p=592

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15790605/site/newsweek/

Do you think ANY neocon candidate has a chance of winning the GOP primary, the White house? God, I hope not.

Posted by: NeoconsOut! | December 6, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

capeman,

You listed a few things:

1. Women die from illegal unsafe abortions.
2. Women who die from a back-alley abortion won't be able to have future children.
3. Over half of abortions occur to women under 24 who aren't ready for a baby (financially, academically, etc).

Now let's think about this a little. My take:

1. Women who die from an illegal unsafe abortion shouldn't have CHOSEN to have their child killed in a potentially deadly (to the mother) procedure.
2. There's a difference between never creating a child and killing a child, see my post to DKinUT above.
3. If a woman gives birth, why can't she use your reasoning to kill her infant in favor of her schooling or financials? Furthermore, if the woman had these problems she could just put the baby up for adoption instead of killing the baby.

Posted by: murphy | December 6, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

DKinUT,

People die every day, very true. When they from guns it's a crime. When they die from car wrecks it's an accident. Big difference in the eyes of the law.

Your point about following the pro-life argument to its logical conclusion of mandating procreation is fundamentally flawed.

In your example of Suzy Looselegs and Donny Thriceaday (very nice names by the way), there's a huge difference between abortion and contraception. Both prevent birth. Abortion prevents birth by killing human life. Contraception prevents birth by never creating human life in the first place.

You've whistled past the difference between intentionally killing a human being and never creating a human being. They are NOT the same. Everything that follows in your argument builds on this flawed way of thinking.

Posted by: murphy | December 6, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Meuphys,

You are sounding a little delusional.

During his campaign for governor, Romney promised no changes to the existing abortion laws in MA. He followed through on that promise, vetoing 4 legislative attempts to further liberalize the law.

He promised to pull MA out of it's $3 billion deficit without raising taxes, which he did, restoring $600 million to the rainy day fund in the first year alone.

He campaigned against gay marriage, and he has stood by that pledge.

He campaigned to reform health care. MA will soon have universal coverage without raising taxes or hiring government employees.

He campaigned to reform education. Despite cutting funding, MA schools are now leading the nation in all four standardized tests, thanks to Romney's reform agenda.

He promised to fix the Big Dig debacle. After years of red tape he was finally able to sieze control of the project. It's now going through a stem to stern inspection, repairing thousands of cut corners and cheap manufacturing.

Need I go on? You're the one losing credibility.

Posted by: murphy | December 6, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Niko & capeman,

Evangelicals will have no problem lining up behind Romney if it's a race between Romney, McCain (now HE'S got an evangelical problem), or pro-abortion Giuliani.

Consider a few quotes:

"I have a deep disagreement with Romney's theology, but I won't rule him out. Among the presidential candidates who have surfaced, he's the closest to the Southern Baptists in his social and moral beliefs." -- Frank Page, president of the SBC

"As an evangelical, I'm not troubled that he's a Mormon. I would have theological concerns about his soul, but not about his competence. I'm looking for someone who shares my values and is capable of governing." -- Chuck Colson

"We are not electing a theologian-in-chief. We are electing a commander-in-chief." -- Richard Land, president of the SBC ERLC

"There's no question that there are strong feelings about Mormonism. But we're not electing a Sunday-school teacher, we're electing a president. I do not believe [Gov. Romney's] church affiliation will hinder his being a viable candidate among evangelicals." -- Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority

http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/quotes.php

Posted by: murphy | December 6, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I love that the virulent homophobic Romney(although as many of you have pointed out, he's flipped-flopped on that issue, saying he "would be more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy" when running for the Senate) is lining up support by two of the biggest closeted Republicans in DC: Mehlman and Drudge.

Let's hope Foleygate is replicated in 2008. God knows there's plenty more closeted Republican hypocrites in DC.

Posted by: Greg-G | December 6, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Tom Monaghan showing up on Brownbacks exploratory committee list has to be a big blow to Romney. He is a big evangelical and he's from one of Romney's many back yards, Michigan.

Posted by: RMill | December 6, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that Romney is even taken seriously by anyone because of his lack of experience. He's a one-term governor who didn't run for a second term because it was almost a certainty that he would lose. And anyone who thinks conservative evangelical voters will vote for a Mormon (whom they consider akin to a cultist), doesn't know anything about American evangelicals.

Posted by: Niko | December 6, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

anyone else here from massachusetts?
Romney has no, absolutely no credibility with me and at this point, a majority of the state. during his first campaign for governor, he was content to allow abortion rights to remain a personal choice. As the GOP tacked increasingly harder and harder right post-Bush, so did Romney, who as the natonal stage beckoned, took to spending most of the year on tour, mocking the state which elected him governor, and trying to sell his Mormonism to the JAYzus crowd. He is a self-interested, shallow man, with a constituency of exactly one. (and it ain't me.)

Posted by: meuphys | December 6, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

And, Chris,
Drudge can move gossip. But he isn't alone in that field anymore. On the left you have Huffingtonpost, DailyKos, TalkingPointsMemo, Firedoglake, MyDD, TheAmericanStreet, all of which has shown that they can move stories at the speed of light. The Right has just about as many. So access to Drudge isn't what it used to be. In fact, I haven't checked his site out in a couple of years. He's so last cycle.

Posted by: capeman | December 6, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Yockel
I don't think so. His religion will turn off the more ardent evangelists and traditional Republicans will gravitate towards McCain.
That said, until the field is set and, of course, depending on world events, predictions such as mine (yours, or Chris's) are worth what you paid for it.

Posted by: capeman | December 6, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with your assessment of Romney's chances, Capeman. If he is the alternative to John McCain then evangelical leaders will push Romney. Pat Robertson fears campaign finance reform more than the devil holy water. The need to protect his property will drive him straight into the Romney camp.

At this point, Romney has the best chance to capture the Republican nomination.

Posted by: Yockel | December 6, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

DKinUT,
and your argument about having a duty to be pregnant is just about the position of the Roman Catholic church, albeit once you are married. They believe contraception is sinful and that you can even have sinful sex with your spouse if it is about lust instead of procreation. I still don't understand how the rhythm method fit in with their orthodoxy (if you've ever been to one of their church dances, you'll wonder where this rhythm went).
Having qualms about abortion is the right position. Clinton's line (was it his or just his appropriation of it?) about abortion being "safe, legal and rare" is just right. That's why the term "pro-abortion" isn't used, because that suggests that one wants people to get abortions. I don't. But I want women to be able to safely choose to do so.
But, not everyone will agree with you. There are large numbers of people who will want to make abortions illegal. It won't stop people from getting abortions, those have been going on since humans figured out how to do them and will continue to happen no matter what the law says.
And how many women will die because of unsafe abortions? Further, over half of the abortions occur to women under 24, one would assume that these occurred because the women weren't ready for a baby (still in school, not yet married, not financially stable enough yet) How many babies won't be born because these women died from a backstreet abortion and would have had babies afterwards?
The decision to procreate very personal and private decisions. All the Roe v. Wade case says is that there is an inherent right to privacy in the United States Constitution, and that includes the privacy to decide if and when to have a child or not; and that right includes making decisions, unfettered by the state, to end a pregnancy.
But you can't change people's opinion on this for the most part, which is why I seldom argue it.
Now to the candidate:
Romney is the caricature of the politician, he will say whatever will get him elected regardless of what he really believes or really will do.
He's pretty and looks good from a distance, did little to nothing as governor of the state (he couldn't, the Mass. legislature is veto-proof). He is a good campaigner, but that's all. The only way he wins is if everyone else self-destructs.

Posted by: capeman | December 6, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

You make an excellent point about the "talent primary." McCain and Romney are definitely in the lead in that one on the GOP side. Of course, the next primary is the "money primary."

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 6, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree with RedStateReaganDem, Brownback looks like the real deal when it comes to genuine social conservatism rather than the heavily triangulated version Romney is trying to peddle.

Romney: the Republican version of Hillary Clinton?

As a sitting Congressman Brownback's claim to fiscal conservatism rings a bit hollow but his record is better than that of others.

DKinUT's post reminds me of what I've said before: if abortion becomes murder than we'll need to build 100 new prisons to accomodate all the women guilty of manslaughter following miscarriage.

From Wikipedia "Determining the prevalence of miscarriage is difficult. Many miscarriages happen very early in the pregnancy, before a woman may know she is pregnant. Treatment of women with miscarriage at home means medical statistics on miscarriage miss many cases. While one study found a total miscarriage of 12%,[1] a study using very sensitive early pregnancy tests found that 25% of pregnancies are miscarried by the sixth week LMP.[2] After the age of 35, the risk of miscarriage increases considerably: 1 in 5 or 6. After 40, the risk increases to 1 in 3, and after 45 it is 1 in 2."

"25% of pregnancies are miscarried by the sixth week." Calling abortion murder makes miscarriage manslaughter. This is even more stupid than invading another country with absolutely no exit strategy.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 6, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Murphy said:

"That's whistling past the moral debate, don't you think? If you're in favor of being allowed to murder another human being (under certain circumstances of course), while Sandy is not, it doesn't solve the problem if you tell Sandy not to kill anyone.

Human beings are still dying. Don't dodge the issue."

2 points...the last line of your post first...

People die every day from all sorts of things...guns, cancer, car wrecks, stupid people tricks, etc.... Many of these deaths could be prevented without controversy coming into play. Why pick a fight on the one issue that people dig in on? BTW, I'm against abortion and am a whisker away from being anti-choice so don't claim I'm a shill for abortion supporters.

Second, the reason I'm a fence sitter is because if you follow the anti-abortion/anti-choice argument to it's logical conclusion, you end up at the point where it's our duty to procreate. Here's why:

Start with the premise that abortion is wrong. Why? It kills a fetus. By killing the fetus you prevent it from continuing to birth. Now, work you way back. If Suzy Looselegs and Donny Thriceaday had used protection every time they were having sex, they would have achieved the same result, preventing that birth from occurring because they prevented conception which produces the fetus that could then be aborted. So then, we must conclude that protection to stop pregnancy is wrong. So what about the rhythm method? Same result. How about abstinence? Does not abstinence prevent pregnancy(excluding immaculate conception)? By preventing pregnancy doesn't one prevent a possible fetus from continuing to birth?

One then comes to the conclusion that our duty is not to prevent pregnancy. If our duty is not to prevent pregnancy, then perhaps our duty is to remain neutral regarding pregnancy, right? Wrong. If that were the case, we would not have a sex drive or at a minimum we wouldn't be interested in sex unless our womem were in "heat" (no offense intended ladies). That clearly doesn't appear to describe the male/female sexual relationship. Therefore, if our duty is not to prevent pregnancy, and not to be neutral regarding pregnancy, then the only option left is that our duty is to procreate... the beginning point I was making.

Now, you might be asking why it would be a duty at all? Good question. However, if it's not a duty then it's a choice. What's the difference between choosing not to have sex which leads to conception AND choosing to have an abortion? They both lead to the same point...terminated pregnancy. The only difference is where in the cycle it's been terminated.

So, the question becomes: Do we, as a people, think that the duty to procreate trumps other aspects/situations/choices in our lives. I don't believe it does. Therefore, I'm a fence-sitter because I still have qualms about abortion but believe in the notion of choice in how we live our lives.

As an aside, I think the promotion of death, in any form, is a bad thing. Death in wars...bad. Death in electric chairs, by lethal injection, etc....bad. Death by abortion...bad. Death by stupidity? REALLY BAD. If one makes the argument that death is ok in some circumstances, you make the argument it's OK in all circumstances depending on who is making the decision. I do not give ANYBODY the right to make that decision for me.

Posted by: DKinUT | December 6, 2006 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Has Willard checked the citizenship status of Rhoades, Myers, Teer, Musser, Zwick, Canfield, Kauffman, Castellanos, Gage, Lohuizen, and Madden? Because green cards matter, Mitt.

This guy's going nowhere, and faster if Drudge's on his team.

Brownback/Musgrave 2008

Posted by: RedStateReaganDem | December 6, 2006 3:26 AM | Report abuse

are hate as a family value, _using_ homophobia because you have no real position or ability to sell...


and standing behind a fraud that is being represented as a war, which is in fact an occupation, because there are no stones in his codpiece eh!? Romney got a sock inthere right? And all of you saying he has character, you're like BS ing...


you just want to get paid... The same kind of mentality as his holiness the prince of lies currently running the executive branch and destroying our country...


right?

Posted by: I guess the other issues | December 5, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Zach,

That's whistling past the moral debate, don't you think? If you're in favor of being allowed to murder another human being (under certain circumstances of course), while Sandy is not, it doesn't solve the problem if you tell Sandy not to kill anyone.

Human beings are still dying. Don't dodge the issue.

Posted by: murphy | December 5, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

All together now: "flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop . . ."

Posted by: Harry | December 5, 2006 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Sandy, those of us who believe in a woman's right to choose aren't pro-abortion. We're pro-CHOICE. If you're against abortion, don't have one.

Posted by: Zach | December 5, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

adam,

well, it's just exactly that --that it's all a joke to rove and drudge and halperin and carville and matalin and limbaugh and the rest. They're in the smug in-crowd, and they're making big money and they laugh at the little people who actually beleive them, and vote against their own self interest. I love irony as much as the next person, but 'naked exploitation'? -- not so much.

Posted by: drindl | December 5, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"He is doing just what Bush did in 2000..."

Right.

So ... there was plenty of evidence pointing out what Bush was like from his time as governor. How bad is Romney by comparison? Current positioning aside, has he been two-faced in his claim to be moderate? Does he fight against good ideas until they are rammed through and then claim they were his? Has he been making executive branch decisions that undercut programs he signed into law? Has he been supporting a stealth agenda by having incremental amendments placed on irrelevant bills?

This is the analysis that I would love to see. Does anybody have a link for me?

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 5, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Laughing at other people is never a virtue. It is an indulgent sin. Satire is such a sin, and I do enjoy it.

My point is that the drudge report seems to KNOWINGLY peddle bent blather to anyone gulible enough to believe it. If this was done to point out weak-mindedness, then it would be satire ( e.g. The Colbert Report). However, Drudge (and Rove too, I think) are smart enough to know its crap, indulgent enough to enjoy laughing at the people who believe them, and shameless enough to use their talents for naked exploitation. Perfect political animals.

drindl, don't leave the planet.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 5, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Romney is:
- preparing to dish the dirt on the others
- tacking right, hard right, changing his beliefs to position himself as a religious conservative for the Primary
- telegenic
- a governor

This will make him an abhorrant person, and (unfortunately) President. He is doing just what Bush did in 2000...

Posted by: JayPe | December 5, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Right you are Judge, looks like we've been judged to be a bunch of desperate losers. Bye JEP...maybe you can have a pleasant discourse with the self-promoter above at robwire.com
As for Romney's personal life...who gives a crap, he's a politician dammit. One would hope that the GOP will yearn for more than a a telegenic profile however for our '08 contender.

Posted by: alaspoorYorick | December 5, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Someday said Romney is attracting 'talent' -- to quote a previous poster, sides hurting, tears streaming down cheeks. Drudge = talent? Oh my god we do live in a strange universe. Adam, if laughing at the people who believe the devious crap you shovel at them is a virtue, that just makes me want to live on another planet.

Judge, I too am waiting for Le Deluge of Stupid when the drudgers link to this...

Posted by: drindl | December 5, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"the Drudge Report is an indispensable mover of political news and can shape (and often lead) news coverage by the major media outlets."

Drudge is a fossilized turd. And one of the best examples of our worst journalism.

Take a poll of the candidates who actually WON this last election and you won't find much respect for "The Drudgery Report."

So why is the ultimate loser's blog considered so credible by our "top pundit?" Is this just more not-so-subtle underhanded promotion of something other than what appears on the surfave. Is this another ad for someone like Steele?

The Webb attack only proved Drudge is just a Foley enabler and a "Call me Harold" hack, and it is time we all used our ability to boycott to send a message to the sleaze machines like the Drudge report that we smell their vile, anti-democratic caca before we read it, every time they put it into print.

And that includes this piece of tripe the WaPo put out for all of us to plug our noses over.

I guess this WaPo blog just isn't worth its salt any more, it has become a haunt of desperate losers, the promoter of lies and lost causes.

Farewell, my old friends, I'll go looking for a better place to blog, the odor here is getting hard to tolerate.

Posted by: JEP | December 5, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I am having a lot of trouble figuring out whether Romney is pro-life or pro-abortion, and also whether he is pro-gay rights or against gay rights? He has not been consistent in what he has stated over the years on these issues, and using the whole thing about "he had to say certain things in order to get elected in Massachusetts" is not very reassuring, regardless of one's ideological viewpoint. I would have more respect for him if he had just taken one position or the other and not tried to have it both ways.

The Mormon thing doesn't bother me at all, and he probably has an excellent family life - especially by political standards - but I just don't understand all the flip-flopping on these issues. All of his handlers' explanations on these issues have been very convoluted and they end up pleasing no one.

Posted by: Sandy | December 5, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Well that is the first hire I have ever seen where having a connection to Drudge was mentioned.

Rob
http://robwire.com

Posted by: Rob | December 5, 2006 6:31 PM | Report abuse

judgenot: lest you be judged? The Kingdom of Blog would disappear in a fortnight.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 5, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

There is an evil inteligent wit behind the drudge report that makes me smile even when wading through the piles of number two. Its embarrassing, but I can't help myself. Its like they are laughing at the idiots that believe them, even while they are pedaling the product. It is almost satire.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 5, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I stopped looking at the Drudge Report as a positive when his leak about Senator-elect Webb's perverse ramblings failed to prevent the loss of the Senate. Even Drudge couldn't resurrect the Allen campaign after all. Romney needs more than a slick team to win the nomination; how about some substance or new ideas?

Posted by: judgenot | December 5, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It was not very honest of Mr. Romney to dis the state that elected him governor in order to score points for his presidential bid. Jeff, why do you call him an honest person? What has distinguished him?

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 5, 2006 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Romney is naturally attracting talent as they see his tremendous upside. He's a formidable politician and an honest person . . . hard to find that mix now-a-days.

I think Romney's shaping up to be a wonderful commander-in-cheif

Posted by: Jeff Fuller | December 5, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Also, if CC is referring there being a beneficial link between Romney's campaign and the Drudge report that could be important on two levels:
(1) Spreading lies and disinformation about opponents.
(2) Not spreading lies and disinformation about Romney's Mormonism.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 5, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"the Drudge Report is an indispensable mover of political news and can shape (and often lead) news coverage by the major media outlets. The duo refer to Drudge as the "single most influential purveyor of information about American politics" "

What happens next:
(1) Drudge links to this article in a typical display of self-aggrandizement
(2) All sorts of right-wing low-life follows the link and starts posting comments
(3) The average IQ of the comments drops by 30 points
(4) Those 'new' posters eventually go back under their rocks
(5) Everything returns to 'normal'

All me to help set them off and provide more work for the WaPo censors (since death threats will undoubtedly result): the statement "single most influential purveyor of information about American politics" doesn't quite capture the essence of what the Drudge report does. The "single most influential distorter of information about American politics" is more accurate or maybe the "single most influential purveyor of half-baked information catering to right wing numbskulls designed to help Drudge make money off of hate, lies and bull****."

Does that about capture it?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 5, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

jeezus -- what passes for respectable these days. to have a relationship with a scumbag lowlife like drudge is a positive? no wonder this country is in such a mess--politicans are sleeping in the gutters.

and hey chris, do you think you might stop shilling for your buddy, that untalented lying rightwing ho, mark halperin, and the steam pile of crap that is his 'book'?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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