Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

How do these politicians rise so quickly?

Call it one of the great mysteries of American political life.

People get elected to a governing body, such as Congress, and some of them — usually just a handful of them — rise immediately to the top of our national attention.

They’re everywhere. They emerge from a crowd of 535 individuals serving in the Senate and the House. They can’t find their way to the restroom, but they sure can find a TV camera and the media attach themselves to these individuals, chronicling their every move, every utterance, everything about them.

And this is before they actually cast any votes!

The Congressional Freshman Class of 2019 is no exception to this rule.

You have the well-known politician, such as Sen. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican. We all know Mitt. He ran for president and was the GOP nominee in 2012. Mitt took office with an established political profile, lots of name ID. He’s already a heavy hitter. He wrote an op-ed criticizing the president and he made fans among Democrats and a collected a few more critics among Republicans. If he were a no-name, no one would have cared what he said about Donald Trump.

Then you have the pol who jumps out of the tall grass and becomes well-known and over-reported for reasons that don’t quite compute. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat, fits that description. She knocked off an establishment Democrat, Rep. Joe Crowley, in the state primary. Then she breezed to election this past fall. She’s a socialist. She wants to levy huge taxes on rich people.

The media report on everything she says and does. She is, to use the phrase, “telegenic,” meaning that she’s attractive. She is young and energetic.

She’s been in office for all of three days and she’s already a star. Why? Beats the bejabbers out me, man.

Oh, and then you have Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who dropped an f-bomb while saying she wants to impeach the president. She, too, has made a name for herself — already! Enough on her, for now.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz rose quickly to the top of our attention in 2013 when he took office. He took on the posture of an ambitious man who sought higher office. He ran for president in 2016 and was among the last men standing as Donald Trump won the GOP nomination. Again, as with Ocasio-Cortez, I am baffled as to why the Cruz Missile got the publicity he got. But he did.

And so the new Congress begins work. It has its returning “legends in their own minds,” and actual legends. It has its share of those who want to become legendary. Some of them will get there eventually. Some even might actually deserve to attain that lofty status.

Still, we have that great unexplainable: How do some of these individuals manage to insert themselves into every political conversation before they actually do anything?

‘Calculated political treachery’?

“Make no mistake. This was calculated political treachery,” Jevon O.A. Williams wrote to other Republican National Committee members in the wake of an op-ed penned by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Hmm. Let me think about that one. Actually it isn’t. It isn’t treacherous for a serious politician such as Romney to speak candidly and honestly about a president who he believes lacks the essential character to be the kind of leader the nation deserves.

That’s what Romney did in his essay published on New Year’s Day by the Washington Post.

He spoke truth to power, as the saying goes.

Donald Trump wants Romney to be a “team player.” He said today in a bizarre White House press “availability” that he thought Romney would have waited a little longer before launching his attack on the president.

Whatever. The RNC member from the Virgin Islands said this in his note to the committee: “I couldn’t believe this was coming from our party’s 2012 nominee, who despite differences in politics, still professes to be a Republican. With Republicans like him who needs Democrats.”

In truth, Mitt Romney is more of an actual Republican than the president of the United States.

Jevon Williams should reconsider his view of GOP purity.

Take a few minutes and listen to this man

The video attached to this blog post is about 17 minutes long. It’s of Mitt Romney talking ostensibly about the “nominating process” for president of the United States.

In fact nearly all of it is a barrage of criticism leveled at Donald J. Trump, who in 2016 was the leading candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Buried deeply inside the middle of the speech is a brief, but equally scathing criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee in 2016. But it’s 2012 GOP presidential nominee’s critique of Trump that got all the headlines when he first delivered it.

Seriously, I urge you to take just a few minutes from your busy day and listen to these remarks. They are prescient and, in my view, so very accurate.

Mitt shows his hand regarding POTUS

Well, that didn’t take long.

Utah Republican U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, who takes office later this week, wasted no time in establishing himself as a Donald Trump watchdog on Capitol Hill.

I am thrilled to read what the new senator had to say about the president of the United States.

I also am delighted to know that he poked the president sufficiently to prompt yet another Twitter response, calling on Mitt to be a “team player” and urged him to concentrate on issues such as, oh, border security.

Back to the point of Mitt’s essay published New Year’s Day in the Washington Post. He said Trump has taken the Republican Party to new lows. He questions the president’s principles, his competence, his commitment to the office he occupies.

What’s even more fascinating is the Republican Party’s response to Romney’s criticism. A GOP RNC member from the Virgin Islands is pitching an idea to make it more difficult for someone to challenge Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Current rules apparently give a well-funded challenger a relatively clear path to challenging an incumbent president.

The RNC member notes that no GOP incumbent who has faced a primary challenge has been returned to office. Two of them come immediately to mind: President Ford in 1976 and President Bush in 1992.

Read the Romney essay here.

Trump, of course, has pointed out that Romney lost the 2012 election as the GOP nominee to President Obama, while he won in 2016. I’ll just add that Romney faced a more formidable opponent in Obama than Trump did in defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton. But that’s beside the point.

The relevant point is that Utah’s new junior senator has presented himself as a serious member of the U.S. Senate, someone who’s been around a while and understands government and the way it works. What’s more, his personal background suggests that he is a credible critic of a president who lacks the “character” we need in our head of state.

What follows is a snippet of Romney’s essay:

To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.

There you go.

Mitt takes up cudgel for a ‘free press’

U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney is filling me with hope that he might become a Republican who actually is willing to challenge the nation’s demonizer in chief.

The media, according to Mitt, aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Even a “biased” media, the new senator from Utah writes in an op-ed for USA Today, are essential to the nation.

I agree with him. So do all of Donald J. Trump’s predecessors. So should most of the congressional Republicans who will take office in January along with their Democratic colleagues.

Sen.-elect Romney says categorically that Trump is wrong to vilify the media. He writes: America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated. The press uncovered the government’s lies about the war in Vietnam; it exposed Watergate; it opened our eyes to the sexual abuse of children by priests; and, most recently, it shed a light on the sexual assault by numerous men in power. The free press dispelled the false conspiracies about the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s birth, and Joe McCarthy’s lurking communists. The work of a free press is essential.

The president doesn’t see it that way. He says the media that report on issues he deems critical are disseminating “fake news,” which of course is the ultimate irony given his own lying about so many issues, so many individuals. He has defamed seemingly countless public figures with lies.

But I’ll leave it to Mitt Romney and perhaps a few other brave souls in public life to try to hold the president accountable for his continuing attacks on the media.

Donald Trump could not be more wrong. Mitt Romney couldn’t be more correct.

Mitt is correct: Let the Mueller probe proceed ‘unimpeded’

I will admit it: I like U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney much better now that he’s no longer running for president of the United States against Barack Obama.

The Utah Republican has said it is “imperative” that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proceed “unimpeded” toward its conclusion. The message to Donald John Trump? Don’t fire Mueller; don’t order the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to do it; let the special counsel’s probe into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election conclude under its own power.

Whitaker is the acting AG, succeeding Jeff Sessions, who Trump fired on Wednesday. Sessions got the boot because he recused himself from “the Russia thing.” Trump wanted the AG to provide cover for him. Sessions refused, citing ethical concerns and the obvious conflict of interest, given that Sessions was a player in the Trump campaign and could not investigate himself.

Whitaker is a known partisan. He has criticized the Mueller probe, calling it a “witch hunt.” Not too prejudicial, eh?

Romney well might become a conscience of Republicans in the Senate. After all, during the 2016 GOP primary campaign for president, Romney delivered a scathing rebuke of Trump, who he called a “phony” and a “fraud.”

He was right then. He is correct now that he’s calling on the president to keep his hands off the Mueller probe.

 

Mitt was right: Trump is a first-class ‘fraud’

The next U.S. senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, was absolutely spot on when he delivered that blistering speech two years ago about Republican presidential nominee Donald John Trump Sr.

Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud” in a 17-minute tirade against the man who would become the 45th president of the United States.

I have just read that lengthy New York Times investigative article about how Trump acquired his wealth. It is quite clear, based on some of the most exhaustive reporting I’ve ever seen in a newspaper article, that Trump is the farthest thing possible from a “self-made” billionaire, which is how he presented himself while running for the presidency.

Read the NY Times piece here. Make sure you have a good bit of time to read this piece.

What will happen with this information? Will it change minds? Probably not.

I am an avid Trump critic. This report merely cements my own view of what I and many others have suspected all along about the president, and which comports with Mitt Romney’s view: that the man is a charlatan and a bald-faced liar.

Trump’s “base,” though, will see it differently. They’ll take aim at The New York Times, which they’ll contend is a “mainstream liberal media outlet” that is out to “get” Donald Trump. They will disbelieve the meticulous reporting by a team of journalistic professionals and choose to side with a man known to be a liar.

Such is the state of play on today’s political landscape.

I’ll just declare once again that Mitt Romney had it right in 2016. If only his fellow Republicans would have listened to him.

Wyoming: stranger political climate than Texas?

CASPER, Wyo. — I love this state. It’s spacious, gorgeous and virtually uninhabited.

It’s the 10th-largest state in the union in terms of area; but it ranks No. 50 in terms of population, with about 580,000 residents scattered across 97,000 square miles.

It also has a single U.S. House of Representatives member representing it, along with two U.S. senators, Republicans John Barrasso and Mike Enzi.

And what about that member of Congress? She is Liz Cheney, who happens to be the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Here’s where the strangeness of Wyoming politics comes into play. Our friend Tom — a longtime journalist of some standing here — was showing us around Casper and he told me that Wyoming isn’t too keen on carpetbaggers, the politician who barely knows a region he or she wants to represent in government.

Why, then, did Wyoming elect Liz Cheney, who grew up in Washington, D.C., while her dad was serving in the Defense Department, Congress and as President Ford’s chief of staff before being elected VP in 2000?

Tom’s answer: “Because she has an ‘R’ next to her name and her dad happens to be the former vice president of the United States.”

I don’t have a particular problem with carpetbaggers. Indeed, my first political hero — the late Robert F. Kennedy — carried that title when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 1964. So did Hillary Rodham Clinton when she ran for RFK’s old seat in 2000 after serving eight years as first lady of the United States. Indeed, Mitt Romney — the former Massachusetts governor — is facing down the carpetbagger demon as he runs for the Senate in Utah.

I do find it cool, too, that a U.S. House member can represent the same constituency as two U.S. senators. Indeed, senators tend at times to lord it over House members that they represent entire states while their House colleagues have to settle for representing a measly House district.

Not so in Wyoming, where equality between the “upper” and “lower” congressional chambers is alive and well.

Yes, it was ‘disgraceful’

“Disgraceful and detrimental to our democratic principles.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

Donald Trump today disgraced himself and the presidency and the country he was elected to lead. He stood with Vladimir Putin and accepted the Russian president’s denial of meddling in our 2016 election. He also then denigrated the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians did, in fact, attack our electoral process.

The statement above comes from Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. He isn’t alone in criticizing the president. Indeed, one might be able to hear a growing drumbeat of recrimination coming from within the GOP against the party’s titular leader.

This isn’t how to “make America great again.” Nor is it in any way a strategy to “put America first.”

Wishing a Sen. Romney stays true

Mitt Romney doesn’t likely give a rip what a blogger in Texas thinks about his pending new role as a U.S. senator.

He should. He is going to be elected to the Senate from Utah, one of the nation’s most Republican of states. He wiped out his GOP primary foe Tuesday night and will campaign this fall for a seat in the Senate, where he will vote on laws that affect all Americans, including this blogger from Texas.

I have only a single wish for Sen.-to-be Romney. It is that he stays true to his belief that Donald John Trump is a “phony” and a “fraud.” And that he holds the president accountable for the lies he keeps blurting. And … that he makes sure that he won’t roll over for the president because of some fear of political retribution.

Mitt didn’t get my vote for president in 2012 when he ran against Barack H. Obama. That doesn’t mean I dishonor him. He had an uphill climb against an incumbent president and he lost the popular vote by roughly 5 million ballots and the Electoral College vote 332-206.

However, Romney was spot on in his critique of Trump during the 2016 election. He told the truth about the GOP nominee.

I know he’s a good party man. I also know that as a newly minted resident of Utah, he has to be sure to protect his new constituents’ interests. Nothing he says about the president should endanger any federal program that benefits Utahns.

But I do not want him to play dead in front of a president who — in my mind — is exactly how Mitt Romney has described him … as a “phony” and a “fraud.”