Used to live in MA and Romney is, for lack of a better word, extremely slick.
He manages to pull off "slick", though, without seeming oily. That is his great success.
On the flip-flop scale he is at about 3,000 megaKerrys.
He's anti-abortion AND pro-choice!
(I actually understand this, but "average America" or at least R party neanderthals and various media pundits hear this and their heads explode)
He raises taxes yet lowers them!
He's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!
He knows how to milk mileage out of anything under the sun. I can tell you I got sicker of hearing how he singlehandly "saved" the Olympics (from fellow-Mormon mafia self-dealers.. so I wonder if even some aspect of that wasn't staged.. do not underestimate him!)
than I did of hearing Guliani say "9/11" or answer fake cell-phone calls from wifey-pie#3.
He can say anything and its opposite and make it sound sincere. I think a lot of the time he IS sincere and has sold himself! He's into trying to 'close the deal' and hence is willing to make concessions (some real, some completely mendacious) which makes him seem more moderate than he is.
I think his governorship (while less of a seat-warming exercise than that of the previous Mass.-Republican-governor-who-thought-he-could-be-president, Weld) was always calculated just as a stepping-stone in his inevitable and fore-ordained presidential run. I don't get the feeling people know or remember the fact that his father was also an R-governor-then-presidential-candidate, but it smacks of the same privileged dynasty overtones we have seen with the Bushes. He has been groomed for this (and no-one in the field, certainly, is as well-groomed as he!).
I think on some level this reflects a certain dutiful meticulousness, which is sorta how he presented himself running for Governor, but he is really really
fake in a lot of cheesey ways that he could easily avoid.. inventing whole stories about how he and the wife and kids all had this big Ozzie-and-Harriet family conference about him deciding to run (this was conveniently filmed by a professional crew!). Meanwhile (of course) it was all a done deal with professional consultants and the like.. HE's a consultant. That he expects people to swallow some of this stuff is almost endearingly naive. Almost. When it's not insulting, that is.
He's a salesman, and an LBO artist. Some substance, lots of veneer. I knew some folks that went to work for Bain, and they were all relentlessly smiling, upbeat workaholics and serious "suits". They could not wrap their head around the idea of an "externality", mind you.. but they were paid megabuck$ to turn off certain brain cells.
Can anyone tell me how a Republican became governor of Masschusettes (Romney)? Is he for real?
By way of background, since there's no chance in this lifetime of MA ever having a Republican-majority legislature, they saw fit to elect a raft of R governors after Dukakis imploded definitively. King was nominally a Democrat, but AFAIcouldtell was a Republican in sheep's clothing (they dumped him to get Dukakis back for a second, non-consecutive, term; King was Reagan's "favorite Democratic governor"!).
Not to make this too long, but here is Romneyism in a nutshell
Topic: His health care plan in MA
(the nitty-gritty particulars of which I won't go into since I don't know enough about it as it got instituted after I left the US; the jury will have to remain out until it has something of a track record anyway)
"In her plan, we have government insurance instead of private insurance," he said at a press conference in New York, held before Clinton had even unveiled her proposal. "In her plan, it's crafted by Washington; it should be crafted by the states. In her plan, we have government Washington-managed healthcare. Instead, we should rely on private markets to guide healthcare. And in her plan, you see increased taxes. The burden should not be raised on the American people."
Reality: Romney-care in MA works as follows. You are forced to buy a plan. The lowest-cost plan for a family of 4 (not subject to low-income subsidies) is $9400 (for a random zip code and low-risk occupation I picked). If you do not buy an approved plan, there are monetary penalities that you will rack up.
To me, money that the government forces you to pay
is a tax. But in the Romneyverse.. since you are paying for it separately, and not actually putting "MA/US Treasury" on the check... it's miraculously NOT A TAX! It's a COMPLETELY INVISIBLE $9400 "non-burden". See how that works!? It's easy when you know how!
More reality: Romney-care has a bunch of lower-tier options that they subsidize on a sliding scale for low-income people. You have to apply for this, so there is a new state organ that deals with processing these applications). It's basically a mini-Mass.-Medicare, and I'm sure the providers will be just as thrilled to see those "Commonwealth Care" cards in their patients' hands as they are to see Medicare cards. But just you wait; Mitt will say HRC-care will create more "government bureaucracy" if he already hasn't.
Romney's plan "would also seek to lower premiums by urging states to deregulate their insurance markets to encourage competition."
Super Reality Check! (beeebooobeeebooobeeebooo
): How can you "de-regulate" a forced-purchase system and have it make any sense at all? It completely obviates the point! Are they going to offer $1.39/year policies that cover only ingrown toenails?
[edit: I might be reading this last bit wrong in that he might actually be, on the national level, stumping for the current hodgepodge/status quo of every state doing its own thing; I have to admit to not researching what he is currently saying to voters these days. It would be perfectly, exquisitely, within keeping for him to try to BOTH win brownie points touting the MA plan to voters by implying (but not promising) that's his vision for the US.. AND curry favor with Republican hardliners by saying "don't worry.. only for those commies in MA, though..". That would be a Classic Mitticism!]
Since everyone in MA is to be covered, the ins. costs are necessarily going to be higher, all else being equal. The ins. co.s are guaranteed their slice of the pie, so Romney/Republicans are happy on that front, but to those who were paying somewhat less before due to cherry-picking, and those who chose to forego insurance altogether to save $10k/year are indeed paying a kind of tax. TANSTAAFL. (Romney will give you that free lunch, though, by gum!)
The Romneyverse is of myriad and subtle, frequently warped, dimensions.
That said, if I had to vote for a Republican, I'd pick Mitt over McCain in a heartbeat. I'm not ready for the Iran bombing to start just yet, thanks..