Res Publica

Make Him Spend It All -- Again!

by David Trumbull -- June 3, 2011

The Post- Gazette was already printed and on its way to you readers when Mitt Romney made his official announcement of his candidacy for the Repubulican Party nomination for President Thursday. That is assuming the announcement went off as expected yesterday. With Mr. Romney one is never sure—after all, he might yet change his mind and take the recommendation of the Wall Street Journal, which, on May 12th opined: “Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket.”

Ouch! When you are the choice of the Republican establishment and the establishment’s own newspaper disses you, you got with a capital “T” and that stands for trustworthiness, which is what many Republican primary voters find lacking in Mr. Romney. Federally mandidated purchase of health insurance, gay marriage, abortion... you name it, Romney has changed his position more times than most of us can keep track of.

Back in February local political commentator David S. Bernstein pointed out that Romney in issuing the paperback version of his 2010 hardcover book No Apology made substantial changes to a couple of sections. According to Bernstein (who, although a left-liberal and no friend of Republicans, is one of Boston’s better observers and reporters of Republican Party news) Romney, who in 2008 ran for the nomination as a conservative, was, in 2010 “moving toward a more moderate centrism for the 2012 election...but then times change, and so does Mitt. A year later, with the Tea Party...Romney is tacking back.”

In February 2008, after the “Super Tuesday” early primaries I wrote in this space of Romney:

After spending — according to published reports — $35 million of his own money, he is getting beaten up by both McCain and Huckabee whose combined spending doesn’t approach Romney’s. After spending $1.16 million per delegate to get to this point — trailing McCain nationally and in the large states and trailing Huckabee in the South — Romney has yet to learn that he can’t buy the nomination. Shortly after the results were in from Tuesday he vowed to campaign on. Good! Make him spend it all, I say!

And that is the one good thing I can say about a Romney candidacy. In a time of high unemployment, he has, or can raise, the money for an army of consultants, pollsters, pundits, and strategists. Any one out their looking for a job, get on the Romney bandwagon. Just be prepared it’s a job that won’t be around anymore come the Wednesday after the first Monday of November 2012, and will probably end well before that date.