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Mitt Romney's new best friend

Just when his carefully-planned "early state strategy" to win the Republican Presidential nomination seemed threatened by the sudden emergence of Mike Huckabee as a contender in Iowa, other early-voting states, and nationally, Mitt Romney has found a powerful new ally in his quest.

His new friend's name? Mike Huckabee.

Romney just won the endorsement of National Review, probably the most influential of conservative magazines. I found the timing rather odd, since Romney has hardly been without critics on the magazine's staff (neither have the other candidates), and there was clearly no general consensus in his favor among the contributors.

Editor Rich Lowry explained to Hugh Hewitt that this was the last issue of the print edition which would appear before Iowa and New Hampshire vote, so it was now or never for an endorsement. Plausible, but hardly compelling reasoning. There are fully five candidates in the wide-open race now with some chance of winning, and at least two of them (Giuliani and Thompson) have strategies which don't count on wins in the earliest contests. There was plenty of time if they wished to reserve judgment.

As I see it, they decided they could not wait and risk seeing Mike Huckabee vault to a commanding lead. He runs particularly well with voters associated with "the Religious Right," and such voters comprise significant shares of the Republican primary electorate in states like Iowa, Michigan, and South Carolina. Should Huckabee win those three of the first five states (New Hampshire and Nevada are leaning towards Romney), he might have garnered enough momentum and media attention to beat Giuliani in Florida on January 29th, which could effectively have ended the race.

As our reader McGehee has pointed out, the Democrats won't touch Huckabee at all, in the hopes he will be the nominee. Negative ads in Iowa have a history of backfiring, so that strategy holds much risk for his opponents. Huckabee's record should be alarming enough to conservatives that we share National Review's concerns.

Perhaps there is a touch of irony in the way this is unfolding: Romney has been leading in Iowa all year, and the question has been, "Can anyone stop Mitt?" Now, just as he should be starting to worry about Huckabee, conservatives flock to Romney - because he's the only one "who can stop Mike."

Not an altogether surprising turn of events, though, because candidates often win elections by pointing out the alternative.

UPDATE: From Byron York at The Corner:

The National Review endorsement of Romney is news here, too. A lot of people are surprised - not that the editors endorsed Romney specifically, but that they chose to endorse anyone. It will be interesting to see if it comes up in today's debate.

This information certainly doesn't contradict my theory of the endorsement.


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Comments (19)

They're dreaming if they th... (Below threshold)

They're dreaming if they think that pompadoured empty suit of a cult member can derail Huck-A-Mania! Rudy, maybe, but the rank and fiule are not gonna line up behind a guy whose got more positions than Sunny Lane. Not gonna happen. Issues will not derail his campaign, they have to beat him on personality and the Muttster hasn't got one. It's Rudy or Huck despite what the doctrinaires want. We saw how well that whole Admiral Painter idea worked, huh?

Your analysis makes absolut... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Your analysis makes absolutely no sense. Huckabee has completely fractured Romney's courtship with the Christian conservative base and the recent blizzard of attacks has only provided Huckabee additional exposure. He has completely destroyed Romney's campaign strategy and will likely win by a significant margin in Iowa and South Carolina.

There is very little difference in the platforms of the two candidates. You have grossly underestimated the fact that Huckabee has proven extremely likeable and authentic and this is why the barrage of negative coverage has had zero effect on his numbers.

The attacks will affect Huckabee more once this is down to a 2-horse race against Giuliani because voters will tend to gravitate to the "safer" candidate... and we all know that the primary issue amongst Republicans is the task of defeating Hillary.

Huckabee just flip flopping... (Below threshold)

Huckabee just flip flopping on illegal immigration this weekend.

When someone can through down two diametrically opposed sound bites just a month or two apart just a year before the election, Huckabees finished because he's
a) pro-illegal immigration
b) blatantly flip-flopped on the position purely to get elected.

The others are flippers too, but Huckabee is the least believable.

Huckabees finis... (Below threshold)
Huckabees finished because he's   a) pro-illegal immigration   b) blatantly flip-flopped on the position purely to get elected.
Assuming those supporting him are able to make such a connection. And given the long list of contradictions in his back trail, I'm not so sure they are.

Still, I have every confidence that Huck won't need much help from his opponents to scuttle his chances. He's quite capable of sinking himself all on his own.

Another new potential polit... (Below threshold)

Another new potential political scandal could hurt Huckabee. Yesterday, Huckabee accepted the support of the leader of the Minuteman organization. The problems is that the leadership of the Minuteman organization have been involved in a multimillion dollar border security fence fund scam.

The Minuteman organization used illustrations of the dual layer border security fence in Israel with camera security units installed and falsely claimed that this fence would run hundreds of miles along the U.S./Mexico border to raise millions of dollars in donations. One wealthy donor gave $150,000 for example. The problem was that the Minuteman organization knew full well that they never had the permission to build any fence that would run hundreds of miles along both private and public land along the U.S./Mexico border. For the millions of dollars raised, only one cheap wire fence to pen in a few cows was built on one farmer's land, and a few wood fence posts were put into the ground on another small tract of private land. At most these two projects cost no more than a few thousand dollars, not any millions of dollars. And neither project resembles the Israel border security fence either.

Huckabee was a former staffer to a televangelist. Many televangelists are known for donation appeals to some project such as multimillion dollar appeals to helping poor children, and then most of the money instead goes into the ministry or the private use of the televangelist. As Arkansas Governor, Huckabee used Governor's Mansion Budget funds for the personal use of clothes for his wife. And now Huckabee embraces support for these border fence scam fund artists. It is these continued "televangelist" values of Huckabee that will likely destroy his campaign at some point and ruin him politically, not to say anything about his goofy record and statements on many issues. He's just one good scandal away from a collapse as a candidate. There's just too much garbage out there related to Huckabee to ignore and something bad will collapse his flimsy campaign support at some point.

Swanny: Your calling Mitt ... (Below threshold)

Swanny: Your calling Mitt an empty suit? Huck is running his whole campaign on empty platitudes, silly one-liners, and good-ol-boy-speak. He even had to borrow somebody else's immigration policy in the last few days in order to couteract the fact that he didn't have one!

The only policy he really had was the fair tax thing, which has MANY problems. I'm not against tax reform and the fair tax has been improved somewhat, but it needs more thought before it would work. As is it would ruin the economy. Smart economics people say so, look it up.

Aren't you all tired of using the Cult invective yet? There are now more Mormons in the world than Jews. So, I think there are enough people who have looked into Mormonism to disqualify it from cult status. At this point it just looks like immature name calling--- you ignorant hillbilly!

Mormons do believe that Jes... (Below threshold)

Mormons do believe that Jesus (or people associated with Him) was in North America though, right?

A whole bunch of people believing something doesn't make it any less implausible. Someone who buys into such a belief system shouldn't be allowed to manage a massive enterprise like the federal government.

Matthew,How about be... (Below threshold)

How about being Senate Majority Leader?

Seriously, if someone has a different belief than you do, religiously, that disqualifies them from being President?

So who else is off the list...

That particular belief, tha... (Below threshold)

That particular belief, that people associated with Christ were in North America a thousand years before Columbus arrived, is just too nutty. Sure, I'll grant that Jesus could walk on water, or unkill Himself, but time travel and teleport across an ocean? Even vampires can't do that.

I'd prefer someone who refused to talk about his/her beliefs ('cause they're fodder for the culture war, the stupidest political distraction ever); a self-hating Jew with a really funny take on being part of the "chosen people" (Larry David would be a very funny POTUS); or barring that, a Muslim, just to hear what 30% of the population's heads exploding sounds like.

Regarding the Minute Men, t... (Below threshold)

Regarding the Minute Men, there are two
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC)
Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project
According to this email from MCDC:

For the sake of clarity, it is important to note that the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), the nation's largest Minuteman organization, is a 501(C)4 non-profit organization and cannot and does not endorse any candidate for public office. MCDC is not associated with Mr. Jim Gilchrist, who today endorsed Mike Huckabee for president.

Jim Gilchrist's erstwhile Minuteman Project is itself an organization which by its own representations as a non-profit civic group cannot legally endorse candidates. It does not have any volunteers who observe illegal border activity. It has no border fence building projects. Jim Gilchrist here speaks only for Jim Gilchrist, he does not speak for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, nor is he nationally representative of most patriots in the "Minuteman movement" - who under no circumstances could ignore the failed record nor endorse the duplicitous "plan" recently rolled out by candidate Mike Huckabee. The national media needs to recognize that Jim Gilchrist's endorsement is his own personal statement, nothing more. `
You can read more about MCDC here:
You can read one of the refutations by MCDC
of financial illegalities here:

Disclosure: I am a member of MCDC and posting
the above with no compensation from MCDC.

Scotty's got three wives an... (Below threshold)

Scotty's got three wives and thinks the Garden of Eden's in Mississippi.

If Jesus Christ did come to... (Below threshold)

If Jesus Christ did come to America, he must have come on a pogo stick.

Or at least, that's the image that keeps popping into my mind, reading Matthew's comments in this thread.

So Matthew, only mormons ar... (Below threshold)

So Matthew, only mormons are too wacky for you?

If Christ is divine, a diety (or part of one) that created the universe with a word, he can't reappear on another continent?

Seriously, if you can wrap your head around divinity OR accept that some people can, how is the North America thing so hard to look past?

Closed minded bigotry, of course, springs to mind, but I am trying to give you the benefit of doubt.

I don't give any credence t... (Below threshold)

I don't give any credence to belief in miracles, but I think there are reasons for holding these beliefs that are rationally excusable. Jesus could have deceived people, or the record could have been distorted by his followers--whatever, I'm not interested in the veracity of the Bible. It is, however, impossible for events in the Mormon history of the New World to have transpired as they claim, and someone within their church was likely lying to everybody somewhere along the line.

I don't doubt the sincerity of most of their beliefs, but that's beside the point of whether or not these beliefs are justifiable.

Again, Matthew, only mormon... (Below threshold)

Again, Matthew, only mormons get this treatment from you?
Any other religions that you don't want near the White House?

What about those that think 4 elephants a turtle support the Earth?

How about nihlists?

Honestly, my views here are... (Below threshold)

Honestly, my views here are likely shared by not more than 1% of the population, and I don't expect anyone to agree. I don't even think people who disagree with me are wrong.

Personally, I would prefer someone in the White House with no religious views. Not a militant atheist--just someone who is too busy running the country or learning about other countries to think about metaphysical goings-on.

Matthew...<blockquote... (Below threshold)


I don't even think people who disagree with me are wrong.

Hmmm. Doesn't quite match up with:

It is, however, impossible for events in the Mormon history of the New World to have transpired as they claim, and someone within their church was likely lying to everybody somewhere along the line.

or this:

That particular belief, that people associated with Christ were in North America a thousand years before Columbus arrived, is just too nutty. Sure, I'll grant that Jesus could walk on water, or unkill Himself, but time travel and teleport across an ocean?

or this:

Someone who buys into such a belief system shouldn't be allowed to manage a massive enterprise like the federal government.

Intellectual honesty just ain't your strong suit, is it?

Dept of Justice is trying t... (Below threshold)

Dept of Justice is trying to cover up $300 million in fraud and confessed acts that are perjury which benefited Mitt Romney's Bain entity in 2001.

The Attorney for Bain in Delaware is MNAT, MNAT and TBF law firm went to work for eToys and sold the assets of eToys bankruptcy to Bain for discounts in the tens of millions. This is collusion to defraud and estate. As the attorneys filed false affidavits denying connections to Bain. It is conspiracy to defraud an estate.

We proved over 100 crimes and yet the Del US Attorney's office said, no case, no investigation and no charges. The Dept of Justice is an appellee with MNAT in the 3rd Cir appeal case (07-2360) defending the right to give implied immunity to the attorneys who confessed to filing false Rule 2014 affidavits.

Now we learn that the US Attorney in Delaware, Colm F Connolly is nominated to be a US Judge. His resume becomes public and we learn that Colm F Connolly was partners with MNAT in 2001, when the fraud and perjury occurred.

Did Colm F Connolly actually represent Bain, we don't know, eToys was allowed, by Court order, to destroy books n records.

The fact is, it is a conflict of interest for the US Attorney not to appoint a special Independent Prosecutor. Do you really want this guy as a Judge and Mitt as our Pres?

Dept of Justice has decline... (Below threshold)

Dept of Justice has declined to prosecute $300 million in fraud that benefited Romney's Bain entity when Romney was still controlling manager in 2001.

The Law firm of MNAT and TBF have confessed to supplying false more than 19 affidavits to the federal court during the eToys bankruptcy case as they worked for eToys when they sold the assets of eToys to their other client Bain/KB Toys for tens of millions in discounts.

Now it is discovered that the US Attorney, Colm F Connolly, was a partner with the MNAT law firm in 2001. Refusing to prosecute your former partners, clents and associates seems to be a good career move as Colm Connolly is now nominated to be a US Dist Ct Judge.

You can see our online affidavits at http://www.laserhaas.wordpress.com or http://fraud-corruption-mnat.townhall.com/default.aspx and the Wall Street Journal story on the plea deal made by law firm TBF, which is now disbanded, where TBF only had to pay a $750,000 fine and remained in charge and continued with the $300 million in Fraud. http://www.wjfa.net/bk/etoys.html

What a wonderful country we live in where even a Presidential hopeful can enjoy deferred prosecution.






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