Monthly Archives: November 2011

Romney’s A Leader, Not a Manager

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

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Newt Gingrich has said on multiple occasions that “Romney is a capable manager” when referring to what kind of leader he would be as President. But when you study Mitt’s business background, the “manager” term is quite laughable.

It may sound like the national budget today, but the crisis was Bain & Company in the late 1990s. The Boston consulting firm was in deep trouble. Workers and clients were starting to jump ship. Mitt Romney was called in to save the day.

“There’s nobody that I can conceive of who could have come into that fractious situation, and pull that together,” said Clay Christensen, a former Romney colleague who’s now a professor at Harvard Business School.

As interim CEO of Bain & Company, Romney negotiated with banks to buy time. He convinced employees and clients to stay on. And most spectacularly, he won $130 million in concessions from the founding partners, including Bill Bain, the very man who brought in Romney to fix the mess. Christensen says it was Romney’s crowning business achievement.

“I know Nancy Pelosi very well and I know a number of the Republican leaders,” Christensen said. “Pulling those guys together is a lot easier than pulling Bain together.”

It was a remarkable political feat, considering that Romney built his career not on bringing people together, but rather on bringing companies in line. In 1984, Romney was chosen to run a spinoff venture of Bain’s consulting business — not because he was a consensus builder, but because he was a tireless pragmatic.

No “Manager” could ever pull off what Romney did. This is leadership that is desperately needed given the desperate times that lay ahead.

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Conservatives Should Think Twice About Newt

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...

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Great article from the Editors of Washington Examiner that outlines who the real Newt has been—and will be—once in office:

Gingrich has long been a fan of Dr. Donald Berwick. Berwick just resigned as President Obama’s director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Obamacare. Obama put Berwick there because of his professed love for Britain’s socialized medicine.

Gingrich wrote this in a Washington Post op-ed published in 2000: “Don Berwick at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has worked for years to spread the word that the same systematic approach to quality control that has worked so well in manufacturing could create a dramatically safer, less expensive and more effective system of health and health care.”

In his 2005 book, “Winning the Future,” Gingrich put it this way: “We need some significant changes to ensure that every American is insured, but we should make it clear that a 21st Century Intelligent System requires everyone to participate in the insurance system.”

More recently, as The Examiner’s Byron York noted yesterday, Gingrich has been seen as an ultimate Washington insider, as exemplified in that $1.6 million he was paid to represent Fannie and Freddie, and his work with Nancy Pelosi on behalf of cap-and-trade. Such facts make it difficult not to view Gingrich as an exemplar of Washington’s professional Republican politicians who talk the talk to get elected, but often don’t walk it once in office. He has an answer for such worries no doubt, but will it persuade Republican voters, many of whom watched in frustration as the Contract with America faded into political oblivion?

 

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Michael Barone: “Romney Corny Because He Missed the 60s”

Michael Barone

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When I saw the headline “Untouched by 60s, Romney Reflects Corny 50s” I at first thought it some left wing hack from Salon.com, The Nation or Daily Beast desperately looking to start a new brand attack strategy for to attack Romney. But when I clicked on it and it led me to the Washington Examiner with Michael Barone as the byline, I was surprised to say the least.

But this is what passes as journalism these days in the GOP 2012 presidential race.

Barone’s Pulitzer Prize winning piece centers around what everyone is wanting to know about Mitt Romney: Why does he sound so corny? I’ll let the culture expert explain:

But as I look back on his biography, it seems to me that Romney missed one experience which changed the outlook and even the vocabulary of most of his schoolmates. This is a man who never experienced the ’60s. You know what I mean: peace demonstrations, dope smoking, ironic detachment, all that.

But though smooth and articulate in debate, he is awkward in chitchat and often sounds corny, as if he is still living in the ’50s. That’s natural for someone who missed the ’60s.

So there you have it. If you didn’t experience peace demonstrations, attend Woodstock or smoke pot in the 60’s then you are most likely to experience awkwardness when chit chatting with others, and may come off corny like Mitt Romney.

I’ve seen Michael Barone on Fox News a few times and I find him rather dull and uninteresting. Maybe it’s because he never left the 70’s.  But that is up for debate.

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Jonah Goldberg: “Newt, don’t get cocky”

If you haven’t heard Newt received the endorsement of the Union Leader, Newhampshire’s most influential newspaper. Goldberg says that Newt may take his newfound front runner status to build on his already large ego:

But I suspect and fear that Newt will interpret his comeback incorrectly and see his new front-runner status as proof he can discard all of the lessons-learned from his flame-out earlier this year. This is the moment where it’s going to be hardest for Gingrich to restrain his Newtness. This is the moment where perceived vindication breeds hubris. Already, he’s talking about teaching an online course from the White House, bragging that Obama can use teleprompters in their debates and trying to run as a general election candidate on immigration.

Whole post here

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Bill Kristol Wrong on Romney’s Immigration Stance

Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday

Bill Kristol was on Fox News Sunday this morning as part of the panel and when host Chris Wallace brought up Newt Gingrich’s much publicized comments on immigration from last Tuesday’s debate. And I was surprised to hear him regurgitate the same false statement that Mitt Romney held the same view as Gingrich four years ago.

I’m sure he’s referring to the 14 seconds of selectively edited video of Romney talking with Russert on Meet the Press in 2007 that Gingrich and many of the conservative media reported about last week. Surprised that Kristol, who usually does his homework on all topics, doesn’t know Romney’s true stance on immigration.

Here is the excerpt from Fox News Sunday

WALLACE: Let me ask you about that, Bill, because Gingrich’s opponents are clearly treating this as a major blunder. Mitt Romney said that this idea of giving legal status to long-time, law-abiding immigrants, illegal immigrants is amnesty and it is a magnet that encourages more people to come across the border. And Michele Bachmann, who’s got everything riding in Iowa, said that this shows that Gingrich is the most liberal Republican candidate when it comes to that issue. They clearly think it is a weakness.

BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, Mitt Romney does — I believe he had the exact same position four years ago, so he can explain why Newt Gingrich is now wrong to take a position that he himself took four years ago.

Newt Gingrich knew what he was doing. I was at the debate Tuesday night. He said I am going to get attacked for this. He went out of his way, I would almost say, to propose this, I think showing, because he doesn’t want to run as a presidential nominee of a party that looks ridiculous, honestly, on the immigration issue.

Is the Republican — is Michele Bachmann’s and Mitt Romney’s position — let’s put aside Michele Bachmann, she’s trying to stay alive in Iowa — is Mitt Romney’s position really that we are going to send back 11 or 12 million people who are in this country illegally, including the one million or two million or however many there might be who have been here for 20, 25 years, whose kids are citizens, et cetera? I don’t really believe Mitt Romney believes that. I don’t believe Romney believes that for a minute. And I think Gingrich is willing to run the risk–

 

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Gingrich Nuanced Immigration Policy Makes No Sense UPDATE: The Corner says “It’s dishonest”

Newt Gingrich

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If Newt Gingrich’s goal was to confuse everyone on his immigration policy, well, he’s succeeded. It’s been four days since the last debate and he still is having to clarify his remarks.

Gingrich this morning said the following:

“I am not for amnesty for anyone. I am not for a path to citizenship for anybody who got here illegally,” Gingrich told the crowd of roughly 750 people, many of whom were forced to stand in the hallway. “But I am for a path to legality for those people whose ties are so deeply into America that it would truly be tragic to try and rip their family apart.”

What does “a path to legality” mean then? Does it seem like he wants to have both sides of this issue? He says he’s not for amnesty, yet wants to play to the Latino base by telling them he won’t rip apart their families who have been here 25 years. But what about families who have been here 19 years, or 14 or 9?

Here’s Gingrich solution:

Gingrich wants to model his immigration plan for illegals already in the country on the WWII model of the Selective Service System program, which allowed local communities to decide who would be drafted for war. He noted that the program “really tried to take general policy and give it a human face.”

“I think the vast majority [of illegal immigrants] will go home and should go home and then should reapply. I do not think anybody should be eligible for citizenship,” the former speaker said to loud applause in Southwest Florida with his wife, Callista, sitting in the front row of the audience. “I am suggesting a certification of legality with no right to vote and no right to become an American citizen unless they go home and apply through the regular procedures back home and get in line behind everybody else who has obeyed the law and stayed back there.”

So a local community will make the determination if they stay or go. Yeah, that will work. This is the problem with Gingrich, he has so many ideas of what he wants to do with a particular issue, he confuses everyone.

So, let me get this straight…He wants “a path of legality” for those families who have been here an undetermined amount of time, but they can’t vote, and “have no right to become an American citizen” unless they go home and get in line. But it begs the question of why would these people want to go home and get in line when they already have what they want: a way to stay in the country with fear of being deported?

Gingrich is giving illegals another “magnet” –a path to second tier citizenship. Now the question is how many years does one have to be in the country to earn this status? This will only cause more problems long term and will not incentivize illegals to go home and to get in line.

UPDATE: Mark Krikorian of National Review’s The Corner agrees with my assessment and goes further–“It’s dishonest”

UPDATE: Saw this at the Washington Examiner: “Gingrich Supported Bush’s Path to Amnesty”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich signed a letter in 2004 praising President Bush’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform — which gave illegal immigrants a path to citizenship — according to Rep.Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who released the Gingrich letter today.

Related articles

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Thanksgiving Holiday Reading List

Here a some stories you may have missed:

Michael Medved: Conservatives, Romney, and Electability — Great read! Michael says most political battles are won by seizing the center. Anyone who believes otherwise ignores the electoral experience of the last 50 years.

USA Today: Does Mitt Romney benefit from misleading ad? — Brilliant ad done by Romney camp that makes a great point. Liberals (and MSM) crying unfair

Reuters: Romney under fire for immigration remarks — Debunked!

CNN: Key social conservatives secretly meet to stop Romney — Those sly devils…

Politico: Mitt Romney’s Bob Dole Moment — Politico wants to paint Romney as Bob Dole as much as they can (he was the 1996 “hold your nose” nominee), a pretty lame attempt I might ad. They miss the point as always. Romney is championing Bob Dole’s service and good nature and ability to get along with those on the other side of the aisle.

Vanity Fair: Disecting Mitt Romney’s taste in music — Vanity Fair talks about Romney’s recent interview in People magazine. From the Beatles to Brandon Flowers… interesting read.

HuffPo: John Bluemthal: I’m Mitt Romney’s Hair Stylist — From Huff Post Comedy section. Not sure what to make of this one…

JewishJournal.com: Romney: My first visit as President would be to Israel — one of the best moments of the debate last night. Many of the other candidates were saying “Me too”

Hollywood Reporter: Celebs speak out on Republican debate — This one is just to show how disgusting the left and Hollywood is for that matter. That Ellen Barkin is a classy gal ain’t she?

Laura Ingraham Show, Rush and Newt Attempt to Paint Romney as Immigration Flip Flopper

Rush Limbaugh at CPAC in February 2009.

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If you watched the CNN debate last night, you obviously know Newt Gingrich’s comment on immigration was the soundbite that dominated the spin room afterwards.

Listening to the Laura Ingraham Show this morning, fill in host Jaime Allman was trying to paint Romney as a flip flopper on immigration by playing a 2007 clip of Romney talking to Tim Russert on this contentious issue.  When I heard the soundbite they played it sounded like it was cut off, and I was right. Why wouldn’t they play the whole thing? Because it would tell you the truth and destroy their narrative.

Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich even tweeted the  same clip (owner of Your Tube clip is affiliated  with the Tea Party).

First off, lets start with what Romney said last night on immigration:

“To say that we’re going to say to the people who have come here illegally that now you’re all going to get to stay or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the United States, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing,” Romney declared.

Here is a excerpt of a transcript from the Romney/Russert exchange from the 2007 Meet the Press interview. The clip they played on the Laura Ingraham Show, Rush Limbaugh Show, and the link Newt Gingrich tweeted is in bold. Look what they left out of the selectively edited clip. And when you read further it goes into even more detail about what Romney would do—and it’s not Amnesty as they suggest.  Why then does the conservative media not point this out or do their own homework? It’s another case of “Drive by” reporting on the right–a topic I have written about recently.

RUSSERT: The Lowell Sun, your home–one of your hometown, state home papers, said this. “Governor Mitt Romney expressed support for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship.

“‘I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let’s have them registered, know who they are. Those who’ve been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn’t be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.'”

This is George Bush and John McCain.

ROMNEY: Now let’s, now let’s look at those very carefully, OK, and you’re, you’re a careful reader. In the interview with The Boston Globe, I described all three programs that were out there, described what they were, acknowledged that they were not technically an amnesty program, but I indicated in that same interview that I had not formulated my own proposal and that I was endorsing none of those three programs. I did not support any of them. I called them reasonable. They are reasonable efforts to, to look at the problem. But I said I did not support–and I said specifically in that interview I have not formulated my own policy and have not determined which I would support. And, of course, the Cornyn proposal required all of the immigrants to go home. The McCain proposal required most of them to go home, but let some stay. And the Bush proposal I, frankly, don’t recall in that much detail. But they had very different proposals. My own view is consistent with what you saw in the Lowell Sun, that those people who had come here illegally and are in this country–the 12 million or so that are here illegally–should be able to stay sign up for permanent residency or citizenship, but they should not be given a special pathway, a special guarantee that all of them get to say here for the rest of their lives merely by virtue of having come here illegally. And that, I think, is the great flaw in the final bill that came forward from the Senate.

RUSSERT: But they shouldn’t have to go home?

ROMNEY: Well, whether they go home–they should go home eventually. There’s a set per–in my view they should be–they should have a set period during which period they, they sign up for application for permanent residency or, or for citizenship. But there’s a set period where upon they should return home. And if they’ve been approved for citizenship or for a permanent residency, well, thy would be a different matter. But for the great majority, they’ll be going home.

RUSSERT: The children they had born here are U.S. citizens, so do the children stay here and the parents go home?

ROMNEY: Well, that’s a choice, of course, the parents would, would make. But my view is that those 12 million who’ve come here illegally should be given the opportunity to sign up to stay here, but they should not be given any advantage in becoming a permanent resident or citizen by virtue of simply coming here illegally. And likewise, if they’ve brought a child to this country or they’ve had a child in this country, that’s, that’s wonderful that they’re growing their families, but that doesn’t mean that they all get to stay here indefinitely. We’re fundamentally a nation of laws. And let me underscore something here that I think’s awfully important, because this immigration debate can sound anti-immigrant to a lot of people. It’s not intended to be that by myself or, I believe, by the vast majority of others that talk about it. We value legal immigration. We welcome people coming here with different cultures and skill and education, but we are a nation of laws. And our freedoms and our liberty are associated with following the law. We have to secure our border, we have to make sure there’s an employment verification system to identify who’s here legally and who’s not. And then for the 12 million who’ve come here, welcome them to get in line with everybody else, but no special pathway.

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Jennifer Rubin: Conservatives, Who is Your Credible Alternative to Romney?

Washington Post Right Turn blogger Jennifer Rubin, who is loathed by many on the hard right, questions why conservatives are rallying to Newt Gingrich:

Conservatives who can’t bring themselves to support Romney are entirely entitled to their view. But they should be honest that they have not yet identified a credible conservative alternative.

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Reuters Knocks Romney’s Influence at Salt Lake Olympics

Close-up of 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch

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Let the opposition research begin! Reuters goes after Romney’s pinnacle accomplishment of turning around the 2002 Games and enlists the help of an advisor of GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (and others) to spin a new narrative.

No one disputes that, in the end, the 2002 Winter Games were a brilliant success. But some argue that Utah’s deep tradition of volunteerism, widespread support for the Olympic bid in the state and in the Mormon Church, and the global outpouring of goodwill — and cash — that followed the tragedy of the 9/11 terror attacks deserve much of the credit.

“Any well trained chimpanzee could have come in and had a successful Olympics,” said Doug Foxley, a Salt Lake City lobbyist and former adviser to Romney’s presidential rival Jon Huntsman, Jr.

A trained chimpanzee?

Entire article here.

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