Sunday, July 18, 2010

Governor Romney's "Women Problem" and Political Expediency

An article by Steve Koranacki at (H/T Tammy Bruce) highlights that recent disparaging remarks by anonymous Romney staffers are not the first time that Governor Romney has taken issue with female political cohorts:
Oh boy, here we go again. Mitt Romney has his eyes on a major political office -- if only that damned woman would get out of the way!

Romney, of course, is running for president in 2012, and has been from the moment he used a comically red meat-laden CPAC speech to depart from the 2008 GOP race. And his prospects, at least for the Republican nomination, aren't bad: He's the next-in-line guy, he'll have plenty of cash, and there just aren't that many other options.

But then there's Sarah Palin. She may ultimately decide not to run, but this past week brought fresh evidence -- in the form of her suddenly ramped-up and professionalized national political organization -- that she's serious about it.

The article later goes on to discuss Romney's races against Janet Jeghelian for the GOP Senate nod in the 1994 election, the GOP gubernatorial nod in the 2002 election, Jane Swift, and the 2002 general election against Democratic nominee, Shannon O' Brien. Koranacki discusses the race against Jeghelian:
Romney first went toe-to-toe with a woman in the spring of 1994, when, as an executive at Bain Capital, he jumped into the race for the Republican nomination to oppose Ted Kennedy. The early front-runner for the nod was a woman: Janet Jeghelian, a former Boston talk-radio host who entered the contest with far more name recognition than Romney. But at the state convention, Romney -- aided by the state GOP establishment -- helped ensure that she wouldn't even receive a spot on the primary ballot. (emphasis mine)
Koranacki later goes on to discuss the 2002 race against incumbent, Jane Swift:

But the Jeghelian incident had nothing on the events of March 2002. That's when Romney, his image boosted by the just-completed Winter Olympics (which he'd organized), returned from Utah to Massachusetts intent on running for governor. The only problem was that the job was already filled by a Republican -- a female Republican, Jane Swift, who had spent the last year swearing up and down that she planned to run in '02. Romney himself had publicly pledged fealty to Swift the previous year.

But Romney was done pretending to be her friend. Again aided by the state GOP establishment, he engineered a coup. One by one, prominent state Republicans stepped forward to call for Swift's exit -- and the anointment of Romney as her replacement on the fall ticket. He cut her legs out from under her, and within days Swift -- the state's first female governor and the first governor in the country to give birth while in office -- dropped out of the race, forced to pretend that "family obligations" would keep her from running. (emphasis mine)

You can read the rest of the article here.

Governor Romney, on multiple occasions, has used the GOP establishment for the the sake of his personal political expediency. The difference between the examples Koranacki presents and now? Governor Romney and Governor Palin are not currently political opponents. In fact, as 2010 is a prime opportunity for conservatives to make gains in both houses of Congress and in state houses across the country, Palin aides have suggested that Romney do what Governor Palin is doing--focus on those elections:
“It shocks me that anyone would try to do that,” the aide said. “You’d think we’d all be working together toward a common goal — that being 2010 — and that should be the focus right now. Those who try to claim the mantle of Reagan would be good to follow one of his most sacred tenets.”

“What she’s trying to do is turn the tide on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda. …She’s stated publicly that her goal is to turn the tide on Obama’s agenda starting in 2010,” the aide added. “We need to all come together in what should be a great year for us in November.”


“She’s not a finger-in-the-wind kind of leader. She supporting candidates who share her common sense values,” the aide said. “When you have a team of consultants and strategists that big it’s hard to control.”

Governor Palin is not a finger-in-the wind kind of leader, but Governor Romney is a finger-in-the-wind kind of politician. Following the devastating oil spill in the Gulf, Governor Palin responded quickly and on multiple occasions, offering suggestions and constructive criticism to the Obama administration. What did Governor Romney do? He waited 50 days to make a statement about the spill.

Regarding the 2010 elections, more often than not, Governor Romney bases his endorsements on what is personally politically expedient. While Romney did endorse Nikki Haley in the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary before Governor Palin did, it was Governor Palin's endorsement who helped Haley surge into the lead, and it was Governor Palin who first offered her support for Nikki Haley against the barrage of sexist attacks against her campaign while Governor Romney responded later that he stood "four square" with Haley. Governor Palin endorsed the GOP nominee for governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, two weeks prior to the primary election while Romney waited to endorse Martinez until the day following her primary victory. Bold leadership on the part of Romney, huh?

Additionally, as a thinly veiled knock at Palin, a Romney spokesperson stated earlier in the 2010 primary election season, " [e]ndorsements are nice, but Governor Romney understands that money wins elections". It should be noted that Governor Romney also has set up a system of state based PACs that allow PACs associated with him to donated more than Governor Palin can with a single nationally based PAC. This spokesperson has obviously overlooked the fact that the power of a Palin endorsement often means that more Americans donate directly to these Palin endorsed candidates themselves, as has been recently touted by Michele Bachmann and Clint Didier.

The year is 2010, and very important Congressional and gubernatorial elections are on the horizon. Now is not the time for disparaging comments aimed at potential political opponents, as Governor Palin realizes and emphasizes. November is coming--November 2010, not November 2012. The political opponent are the progressives in Washington D.C., and as Governor Palin recognizes, the goal is to stop the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda. It's time to get serious, Governor Romney.

Cross posted here and here.

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