Mitt Romney

Staff writer Patricia Lopez on the mixed up GOP presidential race

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

lopez.jpgA House Republican fundraiser last Wednesday night netted an intriguing _ some might say baffling _ cross section of support for Republican presidential candidates, with Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., winning the straw poll as a write-in candidate with 21 percent.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was a close second at 20 percent.

But, then, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, came in a startling third, beating out Rudy Giuliani.

Paul has become the darling of some Republican activists for his anti-Iraq war and anti-immigration stands.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the personal choice of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, came in a distant fifth, with 11 percent.

House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, said that hundreds of Republican activists, legislators and campaign supporters showed up for the event at St. Paul River Centre. The results, he said, showed that “opinions of the Republican presidential candidates in Minnesota are mixed and up for grabs.”

Here’s the complete list:

    Fred Thompson (write-in), Former Tennessee Senator: 21%

    Mitt Romney, Former Massachusetts Governor: 20%

    Ron Paul, Texas Congressman: 16%

    Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York: 13%

    John McCain, U.S. Senator of Arizona: 11%

    Mike Huckabee, Former Arkansas Governor: 8%

    John Cox, Illinois businessman: 4%

    Duncan Hunter, California Congressman: 2%

    Tom Tancredo, Colorado Congressman: 2%

    Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas: 2%

    Newt Gingrich (write-in), Former Speaker of the House from Georgia: 2%


That Abominable Snowman

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has a sober front page piece here about Billiam the Snowman, the star of a Minneapolis-produced video question that stole the show at the recent YouTube Democratic debate.

Billiam has quickly become an emblem, not of climate change (the subject of the snowman’s question to the candidates), but of a changed political environment that is making many candidates and political observers uncomfortable.

Of special note is dissension among Republicans, scheduled to participate in their own YouTube debate in September. Some, including Mitt Romney, are lamenting the lack of dignity in the YouTube debate format. Others are aghast at that response, saying the GOP can’t afford to be too dignified for a medium whose popularity is exploding.

Surely the defenders of the YouTubers are right. I, for one, found the YouTube debate easier to watch than many gaggle-of-candidate conclaves. Some of the questions were foolish, many questioners were busy showing off, and the candidates often refused to give straight answers. But all that is frequently true when journalists or studio audiences ask the questions, too.

More time for the candidates would have been good — but only a little more time.

There was a freshness and authenticity about a lot of the video questioners, I thought. They were direct, smart-alecky, corny — like real Americans.

Other thoughts on the YouTube debate format?

Pawlenty praises another presidential hopeful

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

According to this Hotline report, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was in Washington the other day talking to national reporters andtim_pawlenty.jpg pointedly dropped a new presidential candidate’s name — that of Mitt Romney.

Of course, Pawlenty also stroked his longtime favorite, Sen. John McCain, whose campaign is in trouble by all accounts.

But the report says it’s not the first time recently that Pawlenty has seized a chance to speak favorably of the former Massachusetts governor.

Whatever could it mean?

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