The Corner

More Romney

Was talking to a top conservative strategist about Romney last night. He thinks the gay and abortion flip-flops are uncomfortable for him, but certainly survivable and not any worse than we’ve seen from other Republicans who have won the nomination. (He also e-mailed this morning to say he thinks that Romney’s interview with Kathryn probably helps him.) He would be more worried about Romney going too far and getting captured by the conservative base he is wooing. The genuis of Bush in 1999/2000 was that he was the candidate of the base, while still being “the compassionate conservative” and “the uniter not the divider,” i.e. having a wider appeal to the party and the electorate.

Relatedly, a friend was making a point to me yesterday about how what it takes to get into the first tier of presidential candidates and what it take to emerge from that tier as the winner are often two different things. If you keep just doing the things that got you into the first tier, you may hurt yourself. Romney got into the top tier partly by getting to the right on everything through various Massachusetts controversies. I can see how his annoucement yesterday on illegals, though, might have made some conservatives begin to think, “Geez, you’re really pandering to me.”

Having conservative support is obviously key to Romney, but just as important–and I doubt this is news to anyone in his shop–is developing themes and a personal narrative that mesh together in a compelling, appealing way.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Beatification of Beto

The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More