July 28, 2005
Pleasing none of the people all of the time
You've just got to love Mitt Romney. This is the guy who, just last year, undertook a concerted (if ultimately failed) effort to "rebuild" the state Republican party by recruiting and throwing his weight behind a bunch of Republican challengers to incumbent state reps and senators. Mass. Republicans must have thought, hey, this is great, finally a Governor who is committed to turning the Republican party in Massachusetts into a real presence instead of a joke!
Well, the joke was on them. No less a Mass. Republican party stalwart than Ginny Buckingham, who worked for years for Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci, is begging Romney not to let the door hit him on the ass on the way out:
Hey Mitt, good luck. Really. Have a ball at all those Holiday Inns and Best Westerns. Just do us this one favor before you go? Don't take the Massachusetts Republican Party down the garden path with you.
Buckingham goes on to note that Romney was elected based on his "false assertion that he was just another moderate Republican, sour on taxes, sweet on social issues," and castigates Romney's hijacking of the state party apparatus to defend his veto of the morning-after pill bill, pointing out that "setting up the state party as an attack dog against the 'professional abortion lobby' may play well in South Carolina, but it's the kiss of death here." It's hard to imagine the state GOP sinking further into irrelevance than it already is, but Buckingham is clearly scared that Romney will find a way.
In related news, State House News Service's weekly round-up starts out by announcing that "now, no one expects" Romney to run for re-election. There's also a new poll out (I will leave the number-crunching to others), and the non-partisan pollster who conducted it (Gerry Chervinsky) had this to say about Romney's veto and his accompanying anti-Roe op-ed: "This is a major, major statement as Romney remakes himself into a right-wing conservative with appeal to Republican primary voters nationwide." (The poll predated the veto and op-ed, so expect Romney's reported favorability numbers to decline since, as State House News notes, Romney's position is "out of synch with Massachusetts voters.")
So. Massachusetts Democrats and Independents hate Romney because he snookered some of them into voting for him on false pretenses. Massachusetts Republicans hate him because he's sacrificing what's left of their party on the altar of his presidential ambitions. And who, exactly, is supposed to be the "base" upon which Romney launches his presidential campaign? See, the trouble with only being out for yourself for all these years is that when it comes time to call upon your legions of long-time devotees to launch a major bid for national office, all you hear in response is crickets chirping.
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