Monday, December 24, 2007

Romney is in trouble

From The Washington Post:

DES MOINES -- A year ago, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gathered his campaign team for the first time at his suburban Boston home. There were PowerPoint presentations, and Ann Romney made sandwiches. "It was like the first day of school," said one senior-level participant.

It was then that Romney put in motion his strategy to become president: Win Iowa and New Hampshire by wooing fiscal and social conservatives, and use that momentum to overwhelm the competition in the primaries that followed. But with less than two weeks before Iowans vote, that strategy is in danger of unraveling because former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has seized the conservative mantle and has emerged as the front-runner. His sudden rise in the past month -- sparked by passionate support from the same Christian conservatives Romney has been unable to win over -- has raised questions about Romney's strategy.

"In Iowa, someone was always going to challenge Romney as a conservative alternative," said GOP consultant Scott Reed, who managed Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign in 1996. "Huckabee has caught the eyes of social conservatives in Iowa, and the issue is if they have grown enough in numbers to deliver a win."

Romney's advisers bristle at the notion that he could have run his campaign differently. They are particularly sensitive to charges that the former governor changed his positions on abortion, immigration and gay rights to be more in tune with Republican voters, particularly in Iowa. They say his conservative credentials are genuine.

And, they say, they always knew Romney would face a challenge like this, though at the December 2006 meeting, the talk was about former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani -- not Huckabee.

"We were sitting around with a PowerPoint," a senior adviser, one of a half-dozen who were at the December gathering, said on the condition of anonymity. "We weren't sitting around with a crystal ball."

A year later, Romney's top aides spend their time in meetings working to beat back Huckabee's challenge.

"Are there moments of quiet and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation? Of course," another longtime adviser said. "But . . . this is the strategy we have. We don't have the option of doing anything else."

"We can do no other, here we stand. Amen." (Shriekback from Running on the Rocks from the Big Night Music CD).

I feel sorry for Romney. He had a good plan but he simply didn't take into account how negatively his Mormon religion would affect voters.

I think the primary reason that Christians reacted so strongly against Romney's Mormonism is the aggressive campaign that the LDS have mounted over the past few years to have Mormonism seen as just another Christian denomination. They are not. They are a non-Christian religion and because they claim to be Christian they are a pseudo-Christian cult.

Christians are instructed to have no fellowship with such people in order to avoid confusing non-believers as to what the Christian message is.

I do not believe that any of that is grounds for not voting for him since we are electing a president and not a pastor. However a great many of my Christian brothers and sisters feel differently.

I just wish they were not turning to Mike Huckabee. He is conservative on a couple of social issues and hard-core liberal on everything else. What's worse is that back when he was governor of Arkansas he said that his deviations from conservastism where prompted by his Christian faith. He wanted to take a very lenient policy of illegal immigration becaue it was the "Christina thing to do". Yet now he is talking very tough on illegal immigration.

Is he now willing to do the "non-Christian thing" because the polls tell him that anyone wanting the Republican nomination has to be hawkish on the borders? What about his committment to Christ? The Bible tells us to be true to God at all costs. I am not able to judge the state of Huckabee's heart. Only God can do that, but the evidence of eyes and ears tells us that there is a great deal to be suspicious about with Huckabee.