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


On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More
PC Culture

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down

By now the story is all over America. Earlier this month, two black men entered a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were apparently waiting for a friend before ordering — the kind of thing people do every day — and one of the men asked to use the restroom. A Starbucks employee refused, saying the restroom ... Read More