Sunday, December 03, 2006

Romney Not Well Received by D.C. Conservative Group

It seems Mitt Romney isn't as popular with conservatives -- even before our report -- as the press makes it seem. The conservative monthly The American Spectator recently held a dinner where Romney gave a dud of a speech.

Here's the report by Richard Miniter on the Politics Central blog (11-17-06):

Rumsfeld Up, Romney Down
Conservatives at the American Spectator’s annual dinner applauded soon to be former SecDef Don Rumsfeld, but gave a disappointed thumbs down to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Pajamas Washington editor Richard Miniter was in attendance.

... Mitt Romney, the Republican governor of Massachussetts, hopes to move into the White House in 2009, but failed to ignite even the American Spectator’s stalwart audience. His speech was a waterfall of platitudes, seemingly ripped from the pages of a 1964 edition of Reader’s Digest. In a reprise of his stint running the Olympic Games in Utah (natch!), he told the story of an American athlete crying when he won the gold. Was he crying because he was number one in the world? Romney asked. No, he was crying because American had won. Everyone at my table rolled their eyes. Later, I surveyed members of the crowd, asking open-ended questions about the Romney speech. Several women said they thought he was attractive for his age, but their responses ranged from “Sounds like my grandmother” and “I can’t believe he gave us some cut and paste speech.”

No one mentioned the Mormon angle. He was just seen as a telegenic dud.

The next night, at the Federalist Society’s yearly black-tie bash, I asked National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez—“KLO” to her friends—and Romney’s biggest booster what she thought of her man. She pointedly said that Republicans should keep their options open for 2008. It seems that support for Romney is cooling among conservatives.