You are currently browsing the archives for the Kennedy category.


Archive for the ‘Kennedy’ Category

This past week, Democrats insisted that the Kavanaugh hearings weren’t a real trial so they didn’t need to pay attention to innocent until proven guilty. Let’s examine the intellectual integrity of that principle. (I’m betting it won’t last long but that’s just me.)

Does anyone think that innocent until proven guilty is just a judicial philosophy deployed in trials? If that’s what you think, you’d better rethink things immediately. While it’s true that innocent until proven guilty is standard during trials, it’s also the foundation to living a moral life. (Perhaps, that’s why Democrats are trying to quarantine it to trials.)

Christine Ford, as visually convincing as she was, still can’t prove that Judge Kavanaugh did what she’s accused him of doing. After her testimony, she still can’t provide a scintilla of corroboration. She’ll never be able to do that. Despite that important objective fact, Democrats insist that Judge Kavanaugh must disprove this negative. But I digress.

Imagine living in a world where a person’s life can be utterly demolished by unsubstantiated allegations. Is that a world you want to live in? Is that a world you want your kids to inherit?

This fall, Democrats have campaigned by saying that our democracy is at stake. They’re kinda right but not in the way they mean. Why isn’t their insistence on demolishing a family’s life without a hint of corroboration more damaging than President Trump’s tweets?

Isn’t the Democrats’ insistence that people they don’t like bear the burden of disproving a negative longer lasting than a Trump Twitter tirade? Haven’t Democrats, starting with Ted Kennedy’s borking of Judge Bork, weaponized the confirmation process?

Ted Kennedy’s diatribe in 1987 was pure BS. What’s sad is that, since then, the Democrats have weaponized the confirmation process even more. Do we really want to pretend that Democrats play fair? Here’s a hint to Sen. Flake: they don’t play fair. Ever.

John Hinderaker’s post doesn’t mince words. John questions whether Republicans have acted as disgustingly as Democrats have. Here’s a hint: they haven’t. John writes “when has a Republican proudly displayed the severed, bloody head of Nancy Pelosi? Or Chuck Schumer? Or Barack Obama? When have Republicans thrown bricks through store windows or assaulted Democrats on the street? When have Republicans rioted to prevent Democrats from speaking on college campuses? When have Republicans accused Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer of treason? When have Republicans sent provocateurs into Democratic presidential rallies to start fights? When have Republicans urged ‘Resistance’ against a Democratic president who they claim is a Nazi?”

The answer to John’s questions is simple. It’s never happened. Period. Everyone remembers Kathy Griffin’s blood-drenched head. Some people have seen the video of Donald Trump being assassinated (as Caesar). How many people remember Alan Grayson’s speech displaying the Republicans’ health care plan:

Lots of youngsters don’t remember Ted Kennedy’s speech that started the term Borking:

That’s before considering how nasty Harry Reid was on multiple occasions over several years.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

Apparently, Gov. Dayton thinks that legislatures can pass laws that override the U.S. Constitution. This AP article says that Gov. Dayton “is urging legislators to ban gun sales to people on terrorism watch lists.” Notice that there’s been a subtle shift from Hillary’s speech about the nexus between terrorism and the national no-fly list.

The article continues, saying that Gov. Dayton “concluded he doesn’t have the authority to restrict those sales on his own.” He’s right. He doesn’t have that authority. Instead, he wants “the Legislature to pass such a law”, adding that “people who aren’t allowed to board airplanes shouldn’t be able to purchase guns.”

That law would never be enforced because the judiciary would halt enforcement in a New York minute. One of the people on the no-fly list was the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. In a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Dan Cotton, (R-AR), said that Sen. Kennedy “was on the list and couldn’t get off for weeks, having his flights disrupted time after time.”

If Minnesota passed a law that prevented people on the no-fly list from buying guns, they’d pass legislation that violates a person’s civil rights. That’s unacceptable because it’s unconstitutional.

Gov. Dayton swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. Stripping a person of their constitutional rights without due process is a direct violation of that oath.

When Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley to fill Ted Kennedy’s term, people thought that Brown had pulled the upset to end all upsets. This article suggests that it might be that Martha isn’t that good of a candidate:

A new Boston Globe poll released Friday suggests Baker is pulling 45 percent support to Coakley’s 36 percent among likely voters, the widest margin any poll has shown for either candidate since September. A poll released last week had the two neck-to-neck, with 41 percent support each.

“There is just positive movement in every single metric we can ask around Baker,” SocialSphere executive John Della Volpe, who conducted the poll, told the Globe. “The more voters have gotten to know him, the stronger he performs.”

At some point, Massachusetts Democrats will need to tell Ms. Coakley to hit the road. If she loses again, I can’t see how she’d remain politically viable. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Apparently, Ms. Coakley, a liberal Democrat, can’t win in deep blue Massachusetts.

The Democratic establishment in Massachusetts largely threw its support behind Coakley’s gubernatorial bid. Both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are slated to appear with Coakley this morning in Boston.

I’ll be paying attention to the polling after this event. If Coakley doesn’t rebound after holding rallies with the 2 women most likely to run for the Democratic nomination, then she’s hopeless.

In the governor’s race, Baker has picked up momentum with an across-the-board improvement on questions where voters were asked which candidate would do a better job handling certain broad policy areas. For instance, in mid-September, the poll gave him a 15-point lead over Coakley on creating jobs. In this week’s poll, he is ahead by 24 points.

Voters still think Coakley would do better ensuring high-quality, affordable health care, but the 15-point edge she had in mid-September is now down to 6 points.

“What we’ve seen from mid-September through today is that Baker has either extended his lead or closed a gap in which he was deficient,” Della Volpe said, adding, “Based on that, I’m not surprised that he was able to…create a lead, and some distance for the first time.”

The poll’s volatility can’t be ignored. Then, too, Baker’s lead can’t just be explained away, either.

Among independents, Baker has nearly triple the support that Coakley has, 57 percent to 20 percent. In mid-September, when Coakley had an overall lead of 39 percent to 36 percent, Baker had secured 43 percent of the independent vote, to Coakley’s 24 percent.

Republicans can’t win in Massachusetts if they don’t decisively with independents. Baker is apparently winning independents quite handily.

If she loses, history will record this as Ms. Coakley’s exit from the political stage.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

This article is exceptionally insightful in that it exposes Vladimir Putin for who he really is:

Why do many Western analysts contend that Vladimir Putin is outsmarting everybody like a skillful chess master? Can it be a massive illusion fed by Kremlin propaganda and blindly supported by analysts and policy makers? I agree with Paul Gregory that Putin deserves a failing scorecard and would add that he is erratically moving his country towards disaster. A bully is usually far from intelligent; he can be dangerous and evil, he can possess powerful resources, but that does not make him the forward-looking strategist many in the West pretend he is.

Putin’s economic model prevents him from being the international superpower he’s pretending to be. It isn’t that Russia is a superpower. It’s that it’s acting like it’s a superpower. Thinking that Putin is a chess master because he’s having his way with President Obama is like thinking you’re a tough buy because you can beat up a 5th-grader.

Putin is delusional because he thinks that the former Soviet empire was a great federation of nations. The truth is that it operated as a great federation because liberals like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter treated it like a great federation.

Only President Reagan understood its fatal flaw. Only President Reagan exploited that fatal flaw. President Reagan out-strategized and outmaneuvered the giant Russian bear. He expanded the use of Radio Free Europe to talk with the citizens. He checked them militarily whenever they thought about fulfilling their expansionist ideology. Most importantly, President Reagan spoke to the dissidents’ hearts by telling them about the virtues of liberty.

Let’s understand something. Vladimir Putin is a thug. He isn’t as despicable as Stalin but he’s still a thug. Calling him a thug doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous to smaller opponents. It just means that he’ll suffer the same fate as Gorbachev if he’s confronted by another Reagan.

The only way to deal with Moscow is to act firmly and decisively, imposing sectorial sanctions and providing serious military help to Ukraine, sharply increasing the economic and political pressure. The faster the West acts, the more lives will be saved and more destruction will be prevented.

President Reagan understood the necesssity of economic and benign military confrontation. Technically, President Reagan didn’t fire a shot to defeat the Soviet empire. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sell military weaponry to the Soviet’s neighbors. He let them know that he’d checkmate them wherever their expansionist goals took them.

There’s no denying that Putin is a major player on the international stage. There’s no denying that his expansionist goals are real. That doesn’t mean he’s the unstoppable superman that President Obama is helping through his inactions.

President Obama’s policies just make a thug look like a superpower. That doesn’t mean President Putin’s Russia is worthy of superpower status. That’s just what happens when he’s matched against a lightweight US president.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, President Obama accused Republicans of committing a crime by using their constitutional authority to pass a budget to their liking. President Obama accused Republicans of committing extortion:

With a possible government shutdown looming, President Obama today accused House Republicans of extortion, saying a “faction” of lawmakers threatens to force the United States into default unless he agrees to delay or defund his signature health care law.

“You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt,” Obama said in speech to the Business Roundtable, a nonpartisan association of top American CEOs.

“That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being fully implemented and that helps 30 million people finally get health care coverage; we’ve never seen that become the issue around a budget battle,” he said of the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. President, I still haven’t seen Congress using the threat of extortion to repeal a law, pass a budget or not raise the debt ceiling. That’s because extortion is a crime:

Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse. That necessarily means Congress is acting within its authority, which eliminates the possibility of extortion.

That doesn’t mean I think President Obama thinks Congress is committing extortion. I think he used that incendiary term because he thought it would have an impact. It did. It made him look weak. It makes him look like a drama queen. It prevents him from looking presidential.

The rest of President Obama’s statement is of questionable integrity. For instance, saying that the PPACA was passed by both chambers of Congress is technically accurate. It’s worth noting that President Obama didn’t admit that the bill that passed wasn’t meant to be the final bill. Martha Coakley was supposed to win the special election to replace Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. After that, the House and Senate would go to conference to iron out the differences and make the bill implementable.

Scott Brown’s stunning upset changed all those plans. He represented the 41st vote against the PPACA. That meant Republicans could filibuster the bill into submission. The House had to pass the Senate’s bill to get it to President Obama’s desk.

Meanwhile, the people were consistently and vehemently saying they didn’t want this monstrosity. They didn’t trust their government to do what’s right. President Obama, then-Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid didn’t care about the people. They put a higher priority on passing the Democratic Party’s Holy Grail than they put on doing what We The People wanted.

If the drama queen president wants to argue that Congress is attempting to commit extortion, I’ll cheerfully laugh at him. Then I’ll accuse him of pridefully hanging onto an achievement that the American people have consistently, passionately and vehemently insisted on repealing. His accusation is imaginary at best. My accusation is as verifiable as my facts are irrefutable.

President Obama, isn’t it finally time to listen to the American people? Isn’t it time you started acting like a public servant?

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’re like me, you enjoyed this morning’s debate when Newt Gingrich, then Rick Santorum, dismantled Mitt’s argument that he isn’t a career politician. Byron York quoted Rick Santorum’s exchange with Mitt in this Examiner article:

Early in the debate, after Newt Gingrich attacked Romney as virtually unelectable, given his record as a “Massachusetts moderate,” Romney responded that he governed as a “solid conservative” in Massachusetts. “I’m very proud of the conservative record I have,” Romney said.

That was too much for Santorum. “If his record was so great as governor of Massachusetts, why didn’t you run for re-election?” he asked Romney. “I mean, if you didn’t want to even stand before the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why did you bail out?

“I was in a 71 percent Democratic district,” Santorum continued. “I had a 90 percent conservative voting record. It was a hard thing to do. My district was more Democrat than the state of Massachusetts, and I stood up and fought for the conservative principles. I didn’t do what Gov. Romney did in 1994 [when Romney ran for Senate against Sen. Edward Kennedy]. I was running the same year he ran, in 1994. I ran in the tough state of Pennsylvania against an incumbent. Gov. Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why?

Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn’t stand up for conservative principles, he ran from Ronald Reagan, and he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion and a whole host of other issues. We want someone when the time gets tough, and it will in this election, we want someone who’s going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out and not run to the left of Ted Kennedy.”

That’s what’s called drilling the frontrunner right between the eyes. Mitt didn’t have a defense against such accurate specific accusations. That’s why Rich Lowry, part of the NRO editorial board that’s twice endorsed Mitt Romney, wrote a post about Romney taking on water in this morning’s debate:

Romney had a tough start. Santorum had a very pointed question on his decision not to run for re-election in 2006, “Why did you bail out?” Romney responded with what Newt rightly called “pious baloney.” On this question, Romney simply can’t admit the truth—he didn’t run for re-election because he might have lost and, more importantly, he wanted to run for president. Romney absurdly characterized leaving office to run for another office as returning to the private sector. I’m not sure how much voters will be outraged by any of this. They probably assume every politician wants to run for office. But the exchange got to a certain falsity in Romney’s self-presentation that plays into more important doubts about his sincerity.

The other notable exchange came at the end between Romney and Newt on the Superpac ads. Here again, Romney was less than forthcoming. He said on the one hand that he hadn’t seen the ads and then immediately related some of the most damaging charges in them (carefully leaving out one of the most dubious ones, I believe).

What do these exchanges have to do with this post’s title? They have to do with Mitt’s need to run away from substantive, verifiable, accusations. Mitt wants the public to think that his reason for not running for re-election had to do with his desire to rejoin the private sector.

Sen. Santorum phrased things so exquisitely that Mitt was trapped. He left for exactly the opposite reason. He left to run for president rather than getting defeated for re-election.

Since 1994, Mitt Romney has run for the U.S. Senate, to be Massachusetts governor and twice ran to be POTUS. He’s run for election 4 times in 17 years. Does that sound like the resume of a man who cherishes his time in the private sector?

Here’s a little background on Mitt’s parents, George and Lenore Romney:

George Wilcken Romney (July 8, 1907–July 26, 1995) was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. He is the father of former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney and the husband of former Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Lenore Romney.

Mitt Romney comes from a low-profile political dynasty. While the Romney family isn’t as high profile as the Bush or Kennedy families, they’re certainly a political dynasty, albeit not a terribly successful one.

Should we belief that a man who’s wanted to be a U.S. senator, Massachusetts governor and POTUS really loves being a private citizen and a captain of industry? I think not.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Once again, Mitt Romney is admitting that he can’t compete with Newt Gingrich on the battlefield of ideas. By going this negative, Gov. Romney is saying that he isn’t confident that his vision for America isn’t appealing enough to win.

Romney campaigned in early voting South Carolina, where tea party activists have given Gingrich a strong lead in polls. Romney told reporters that many voters now are just beginning to pay attention to the race and will turn on Gingrich after they learn about his time in Washington and his role with mortgage company Freddie Mac, a quasi-government agency.

Gingrich’s consulting firm collected $1.6 million from the company.

“I think as tea partiers concentrate on that, for instance, they’ll say, `Wow, this really isn’t the guy that would represent our views,”‘ Romney said after a town hall meeting with South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott. “Many tea party folks, I believe, are going to find me to be the ideal candidate.”

That last line is laughable, especially when they see Mitt praise Ted Kennedy for his contribution to Romneycare:

Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi. Mitt collaborated with, then praised, Ted Kennedy in putting Romneycare. I’m pretty certain that actions are infinitely more important to TEA Party activists than empty gestures.

Mitt’s praising Ted Kennedy for his behind-the-scenes work on Romneycare is confusing because Mitt’s admitted that Romney doesn’t control health care costs. He said that that wasn’t its goal, saying that getting everyone insured was the goal.

TEA Party activists know that a) Mitt isn’t one of them and b) that Mitt’s priorities aren’t the TEA Party’s priorities. It’s never been TEA Party activists’ goal to collaborate with Ted Kennedy, the biggest of the big spending Massachusetts liberals, on the precursor of Obamacare. That’s what Mitt did.

What’s almost as disgusting is the fact that Mitt’s attempting to be a person he isn’t. It’s just Mitt’s most recent attempted ‘transformation’ to fit his campaign’s needs.

Mitt’s team isn’t stupid. They know that he’s never connected with TEA Party conservatives. That’s why Mitt’s attempting to be something he isn’t. It’s one thing to say foolish things or make mistakes. It’s quite another to attempt to be something that you aren’t.

The biggest requisite to being a TEA Party activist is being conservative. The next biggest requisite is being yourself. If there’s anything that TEA Party activists won’t tolerate, it’s a pretender. We want the real thing, not a charlatan who plays a conservative when it’s necessary.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

It isn’t a secret that I’m a Newt guy. It isn’t a secret that I’ve criticized Mitt. After reading this article, I have to respond. Here’s what Mitt said that started things:

Drawing a strategic contrast with the man now besting him in the polls, Mitt Romney took steps to define himself as the consummate Washington outsider with an unblemished record as a family man.

“I don’t have a political career,” Romney told the Republican Jewish Coalition on Wednesday, calling himself a private-sector creature and the opposite of a Washington insider.

Technically speaking, Mitt isn’t a career politician. That’s because he’s lost too many times to be a career politician. In 1994, Mitt lost because he couldn’t get far enough to the left of Ted Kennedy.

In 2002, he won election as Massachusetts governor. When he announced that he wasn’t running for re-election, he started running for president. He’s still running for president. When Mitt lost in 2008, it was because he couldn’t get to the right of Sen. McCain.

When he lost the 2008 race, it was clear that a) GOP activists didn’t warm to him and b) GOP activists weren’t likely to warm to him anytime soon. People simply don’t trust him, partially because he’s still defending the individual mandate and Romneycare during debates while insisting that Obamacare is wrong for the nation.

Calling himself a man of the private sector is a major stretch.

The issue isn’t black and white for Romney, who served as the governor of Massachusetts, ran for president in 2008 and has been campaigning for the 2012 nomination almost from the day President Obama was inaugurated.

But embracing an anti-Washington, individualist persona affords Romney an opportunity to differentiate himself from Gingrich, who served in Congress from 1979 to 1999 and, as a former House Speaker, is widely considered a GOP establishment figure.

Embracing “an anti-Washington, individualist persona” doesn’t afford Mitt the opportunity “to differentiate himself from Gingrich”. Portraying himself as a pure-as-the-driven-snow-DC-outsider will cause him to be the object of ridicule with GOP activists. At this point, Mitt’s target audience must be GOP activists in Iowa and New Hampshire.

These aren’t wet-behind-the-ears novices. They’re people who pay attention to politics. GOP activists know that Mitt’s been running for office a long time. They know that it’s been a decade since he’s worked in the private sector.

Prior to Mitt running for governor, he was hired to run the Olympic Games in February, 1999. He hasn’t been in the private sector since. After running the Winter Games, he ran for governor in Massachusetts and getting elected. After Mitt announced that he wasn’t seeking a second term in 2006, he essentially started running for president. Now it’s late 2011 and Mitt’s still running for president.

In short, he hasn’t worked in the private sector in almost 13 years.

It has become increasingly urgent for Romney to take advantage of lingering animosity toward Gingrich and present himself as the fresh-faced alternative for voters who see Gingrich as part of the problem with a gridlocked Washington.

Mitt the CEO is on full display again. He isn’t a Washington outsider but that’s what he thinks people are looking for so he’s repackaging himself yet again to win favor with voters. Mitt apparently hasn’t figured out that his multiple repackagings are why people don’t trust him.

That, more than anything else, is why he didn’t connect with GOP activists in 2008 and why he’s failing this time, too.

If Mitt doesn’t win this time, it’ll be because people have decided that they can’t trust him or predict who he’ll be a year from now.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Bob Vander Plaats is a undeniably a heavyweight amongst social conservatives in Iowa. That’s why his statements this weekend sting Mitt Romney. Additionally, it says Mitt isn’t a serious contender in Iowa. Here’s what Vander Plaats said:

“Romney was the only one who stiffed us,” influential Iowa social conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats complained after a presidential candidate forum organized by the family values-focused organization he runs in the state.

“I think that’s gone with his persona and how he’s treating, Iowa, which happens to be a swing state. And he wants to win the presidency, which tells me that he lacks judgment,” Vander Plaats told reporters. “And if he lacks judgment I think people all across America have to say, ‘is he the right candidate?’”

Vander Plaats isn’t the only Iowa Republican who isn’t happy with Gov. Romney:

Romney’s absence was also felt at an event hall in nearby Altoona, Iowa where the state’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad was celebrating his 65th birthday at a fundraising dinner.

“I would’ve preferred if Mitt Romney had came, had come to the event,” Branstad told ABC News at his party where he mingled with the same six candidates who spoke at the earlier forum.

It was the latest in a torrent of criticism directed at Romney by Branstad, who has been scolding the former Massachusetts governor for spending far less time in this state than he did as a presidential candidate four years ago. The governor said he was “assured that Romney is intending to be back this coming week and spend a lot more time here,” but offered no words of praise for the candidate who ranks third in support among Republican voters here, according to a poll released last week.

Mitt’s hiding from Iowa voters is stupid. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s writing Iowa off, both for the caucuses and in the general election.

Shame on Mitt for not embracing a robust 50 state strategy. That’s what confident candidates do. Hiding from serious talk shows, starting with Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Meet the Press with David Gregory and the other Sunday talk shows says that he’s too intimidated by the media.

Whoever is the GOP nominee will get hit with the Obama smear campaign barrage. Newt gets that and isn’t hiding from it. Instead, he’s preparing himself for the inevitable barrage.

By comparison, Mitt’s strategy has been timid, like the weakling who’s afraid of his own shadow. Mitt’s defense of his strategy is timid or worse:

In an interview at the party, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hardly mentioned Romney’s name, but the influential congressman ticked off a list of reasons why several of his opponents were better positioned to chart a path to victory here. Iowa holds the country’s first presidential caucuses, the results of which will help shape expectations for the rest of the primary season.

From more than 1,000 miles away, Romney defended his decision to skip both Republican events in Iowa on Saturday.

“We’ve had a couple of events in Iowa I’ve been there several time I’ll be there this coming week,” Romney said after a campaign event in New Hampshire, which took place at roughly the same time his rivals assembled together in Des Moines. “I’ve said form the very beginning we intend to play in Iowa and I want to do very well there.”

People understand that Mitt’s actions don’t automatically match his words. Saying that “from the beginning, we intend to play in Iowa and I want to do very well there” is meaningless if it isn’t backed up by actions. He’s only made 4 appearances in Iowa since jumping into the race since June. What’s with that?

Mitt’s unwillingness to take a stand or to lead is infamous:

“Whether it’s the debt ceiling debate, the Ohio ballot initiatives, or military action in Libya, Mitt Romney has been either unwilling or unable to offer a clear position on issues important to voters,” said Tim Miller, candidate Jon Huntsman’s spokesman. “Leadership requires taking a stand on tough issues, even if it carries political risk.”

Huntsman’s campaign isn’t the place where Mitt’s taking criticism from:

For as long as he’s been the Republican front-runner, Mitt Romney has avoided taking firm positions on high-stakes Washington spending debates.

This week’s example: The former Massachusetts governor’s refusal to endorse or oppose a deficit-cutting plan introduced by members of his own party, with a key deadline looming. Romney’s cautiousness builds on the play-it-safe approach he has employed on issues ranging from Medicare overhauls to debt-ceiling negotiations, drawing criticism from GOP rivals and raising questions among uncommitted Republicans.

“It’s a risky move to not take a position,” said Michael Dennehy, a New Hampshire-based Republican operative who led Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid four years ago. “When there’s going to be intense scrutiny in these final seven weeks, voters are going to want to see someone who is showing their capacity to lead.”

Mitt could continue with his general election campaign strategy because the previous non-Romneys didn’t have the talent and staying power and star presence that Newt has. Now that activists are making final decisions or are preparing for making their final decisions, people will focus on three things: vision, fight and leadership.

Saying that Mitt isn’t a leader isn’t accurate. It’s more than accurate to say that he hasn’t displayed an overabundance of leadership during the campaign. Saying that “and I’ll get it done” during debates sounds nice but where’s the proof?

At some point, Mitt will have to show he’s willing to go all in. He’ll have to prove that he’ll take fight for conservative principles. Signing Ted Kennedy’s health care legislation into law isn’t proof that Mitt will fight for conservative principles.

Not staking out detailed principles on the debt ceiling fight isn’t proof that Mitt will fight for conservative principles, either.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,