Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mitt Romney Readies for the Road to 2012

Time magazine has a good article profiling Mitt Romney and where he stands, on the eve of the 2012 Presidential campaign’s start. The article is fair and well balanced, addressing the strengths and challenges Romney experienced in his previous 2008 run, as well as in an upcoming run, should he decide to hit the political road again.

Among the observations drawn:

“Aides say Romney long ago decided that his next campaign would start later, run smaller and run smarter, particularly when it comes to managing expectations. "Last time, Mitt's campaign was like IBM. This time, if he runs, he wants to be like JetBlue," says Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's longtime adviser and spokesman. "Which is to say, more nimble and more efficient and ready to respond." Romney will likely benefit from a new primary calendar that limits the number of states that can hold winner-take-all contests before April 2012. That technical change will allow a candidate like Romney potentially to survive losses to populists like Sarah Palin in Iowa or Mike Huckabee in South Carolina. "Whereas before, Governor Romney had to play in the first handful of states," says Tim Albrecht, Romney's 2008 Iowa spokesman, who does not plan to reprise the role, "he has the ability to play in 30 or 40 states."

And regarding health Care:

In the early months of the campaign, no issue is likely to dominate these discussions more than that of the similarities between Romney's health-reform plan in Massachusetts, which included a mandate that nearly all citizens buy health insurance, and the national plan pushed by Obama and despised by the GOP rank and file. Squaring this circle won't be easy. In a mid-November conference call with campaign donors, Romney argued that his reform did not raise taxes while Obama's did. It was a nuanced distinction, given the federal assistance that Romney depended on to pay for his state's plan. "I think it's kind of a cheap way out," says MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, a supporter of the Obama effort who advised Romney on health reform. ‘The only way we could do it without raising taxes was that the feds paid half the cost.’”

“Romney also repeated the claim he has made since as far back as 2007: there is a big difference between a state-level mandate to purchase health insurance and a national one, which he considers both unconstitutional and unwise.  "A one-size-fits-all national health care system is bound to fail," he said in August 2007 at a speech before the Florida Medical Association. "It ignores the very dramatic differences between states and relies on the Washington bureaucracy to manage." Such distinctions have already been rejected by some Tea Party leaders, but Romney aides say that health care was also an issue in the 2008 Republican primary debates. "We understand that there is more heat on the issue now because of Obamacare," says Fehrnstrom. ‘But everybody brings their record to the race.’”

The article loses some steam towards the end, but overall it’s a good read. It will be interesting to see if the Romney campaign develops as outlined.


BOSMAN said...

Hey Doug,

Let's hope the campaign isn't to much of, on the cheap!

illinoisguy said...

It's dishonest for Mitt's detractors to act as if Mass. received federal money that they were not already receiving, and that other states do not also already receive. They didn't ask for any new federal money whatsoever, and some people continue to act as if they did.

ConMan said...


I think most ant-Romney folks know this. They just want to ignore it.

Right Wingnut said...

Massachusetts will use $764 million from the federal stimulus package to shore up healthcare services and prevent further job and program cuts at hospitals that serve large numbers of poor patients, Gov. Deval Patrick said. The money, which is coming to the state through the Medicaid program, will also enable the state to preserve current benefits and eligibility levels for MassHealth recipients, and for residents who get subsidized health insurance under the 2006 law mandating insurance coverage.

Ann said...

I'm so looking forward to Mitt officially entering the race.

Romney in 2012!

Anonymous said...


I'll second that pleasant thought!