A personal-history Romney aside:
People — TV watchers, high-ranking Beltwayers, you name it — are forever giving me their impressions of Mitt Romney, for months — actually more than that now. From a TV spot, from an Iowa visit (he does that you know from time to time, in case you didn’t know), from a D.C. conference, whatever. They’ve gone from “What are you kidding me? His name is Mitt. Oh and better, it’s actually WILLARD.” to ” He’s MORMON. Forget it.” or, just plain, “Who?”
I first really started paying attention to the governor of Massachusetts, to tell you the truth, when I ran into him at a pre-inaugural party in D.C. in January 2005. I really started paying attention to him later that year when he fought the good fight in defense of human life, trying to hold back a Harvard-instituted Brave New Bay State World (see here and here). And then I started watching people pay attention.(I’ll spare you more links.)
And boy, do they now, as you know.
An e-mail just now: “He was very impressive on O’Reilly last night. I told my wife, “even though he’s a Mormon, I could vote for him”
And there you have it!
Not quite, of course, a) I don’t think that he’s Mormon will kill Romney ‘08 by any stretch, as I’ve said, but also b) at some point recently, and I think it was the Khatami foot-down (but it’s also been something cumulative), he made people seriously pay attention and be impressed. He’s gone — in my life anyway, which of course determines the course of American politics — from “that guy K-Lo has a 2008 crush on” to “you know, there’s something about Romney…”