Romney’s Opportunity

by Mike on May 3, 2007

in Election 2008,Politics

Two conservatives are making a big mistake by not participating in tonight’s Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich. The candidate who stands to gain from this blunder is none other than Mitt Romney. The only question dogging Romney’s campaign at this point is not the conservative philosophy he’s running on, it’s whether he’s sincere about that philosophy. Although no single debate performance is dispositive at this early stage, a strong performance tonight could help Romney dispel some doubts. And if he does, Thompson and Gingrich will be worse off.

Waiting is not good strategy in Presidential politics. Newt Gingrich tried to play the waiting game for several months and did so without consequence while conservatives were desperately looking for and failed to find a candidate who could carry their banner. However, Gingrich’s waiting game gave Fred Thompson the opportunity to float his trial balloon and steal Gingrich’s thunder. Tonight, both Gingrich and continue the waiting game. Doing so gives Romney the opportunity to steal their thunder.

Romney is running as a conservative and comes across very well in a debate format. Conservatives will like what they hear from Romney tonight. He is running on a strong national defense, unborn rights even on the stem cell issue, low taxes and limited government. If Romney is at all successful in convincing people that he means what he says, then Thompson and Gingrich have shot themselves in the foot.

We’ll know later tonight if this is the case.

UPDATE: I don’t think it is the case. Here are my thoughts on the debate.

UPDATE 2: Peggy Noonan thinks Fred needs to get a move on:

I return to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Thursday night. It was an incomplete field that made its debut, but not an unimpressive one. For the first time, as I watched, I thought: Fred Thompson shouldn’t take forever to get in. History moves.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan May 3, 2007 at 4:17 pm

It’s not over for Newt and Fred, but I’m in complete agreement about the timing issue. They need to get their butts moving or get out of the way and endorse somebody. I know it’s very early, but by mid-February we’ll know who the nominees are. If Newt or Fred are not in the May 15th debate, I believe their clout fades and the base settles for the next best thing, which could very well be Mitt.


ken May 3, 2007 at 4:19 pm

This is my own opinion – and speculation – that Gingrich will not run because of his admitted adultery. He will be, like all other candidates, be under the microscope. Likewise Thomson. I believe Fred may also have enough baggage to finally decide against entering the race. So Romney IS the man!


gary May 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm

I don’t think either Newt or Fred are even official candidates at this point, which I would think should be a requirement of anyone who attends. Here’s the current list as I understand it:



Mike May 3, 2007 at 4:46 pm

That’s exactly the point. It’s time for them to take the plunge so they can join in.


slivermoon22 May 3, 2007 at 5:06 pm

I know republicans like the secret idea of electing Mitt Romney, but it will not happen. It won’t happen. Ain’t gonna happen. :-) By the time the election comes, everyone will know….EVERYONE will know that we do not want a One Church Order.


Don Juan May 3, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Ken says that Fred Dalton Thompson “has too much baggage” and will decide not to run. What baggage? Unlike Newt, Fred did not date and marry his second wife until eight years after his divorce from his first wife. No one has ever suggested adultery, unlike Newt and Rudy. Mitt is the “Waffle King” and has no credibility. Keep your eye on Fred. He will announce when the time is right and not before.


Ryan May 5, 2007 at 9:09 am

Truth be told, everyone has baggage going into this election. Why? Because a Clinton is a major candidate. They’ll dig up any kind of dirt on anyone anywhere at anytime. The MSM will be willing accomplices to anything the Dems put out there and they’ll run with it as if it were the most important issue going on in this campaign.


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