Why Romney's Authenticity Problem Won't Go Away

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 07:43 AM

The first time I saw Mitt Romney on the national stage I thought what everyone invariably thinks: He's straight out of central casting to play the role of president.

Unfortunately for Mitt in 2008, presidential aspirations were only skin deep.

That's partially the problem, of course, that Mitt Romney is, as the old expression goes, great from far but far from great.

Don't get me wrong, by the time the Republican nomination process wove its way to New York in '08, I voted Romney. What choice did I have? My first and second choices, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson respectively, were already out and my long-time belief that it should be "anyone but McCain" was turning into "anyone but McCain or Huckabee."

Now gearing up for 2012, with neither Huckabee or McCain in the race, the Romney option seems much less appealing.

It's not Mitt's personality or stiffness that is causing the conservative mass exodus. And it's not, as has been implied by some, his religion. It's that he's simply not conservative enough for a Republican primary.

Nobody who isn't strictly pro-life is going to get out of a Republican presidential primary. Mitt says he is but sometimes denies he was ever pro-choice. Conversions to the pro-life position are fine, Ronald Reagan was such a convert, but honesty remains the best policy. Romney's waffling will cost him Republican votes.

His biggest roadblock, though, is his recent defense of his misguided Romneycare program for Massachusetts. This seems to have sealed his fate among conservatives. It's unlikely that he'll have the support of the very influential Club for Growth this time around because of it. National Review has already rethought their 2008 endorsement.

In short, 2012 is a different universe from 2008 and just because Mitt Romney seems "next in line" doesn't mean that he should be the Republican nominee. In fact, if a history which includes "next in line" Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, and John McCain has taught us anything it's that he specifically shouldn't be.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [11]

Robert from New York

This is all very funny to watch but if you want to go straight to the point about Republicans, skip the first 2 minutes and 40 seconds and go from there.
Finally, a breath of fresh air!...

May. 17 2011 02:17 PM
Karol from NYC

Thanks, Rusty. I'm not a journalist, I'm an opinion writer. I never hide my point of view or biases. I layed out why I voted for Romney in 2008 but can't do it again in 2012. Maybe you're right and there's a large moderate Republican bloc who wants a Romney-type. Having been around so many Republican primaries, I've yet to see this large voter group but every election is different and maybe something has changed.

May. 17 2011 01:48 PM
Rusty Dils from New Mexico

Hi Karol, This is Rusty Dils. I have a dramatically different viewpoint than you do. Keep in mind that every month, week, day, and hour that goes by, the internet as a tool to easily access information is becoming stronger by an order of magnitude. I think there are more people in the middle, than on the far right and left. These people are taking the time to watch romney's speechs on the internet, and I believe will be able to make up their own mind about him, without as much help from all you journalist. I think this is a positive thing, and will be enough in my view to not only get Mitt nominated, but also help him to replace our current administration, hope you have time to read this comment, Thanks, Rusty Dils

May. 16 2011 08:04 PM

It probably won't go away because dweebs like you keep bringing it up.

Then kool-aide sippers read your article and say, Duh, I ret it on da web, so it musk be tru. Then they wander back to the trailer park and spread the news.

If Romney is having such a HARD TIME being authentic, those folks placing him in 1st place in 90% of the polls don't agree.

I remember people SWOONING over Obama, "He's the real deal.". "he so personable".


May. 16 2011 04:53 PM
Karol from NYC

My posts on different candidates who I won't support should not be construed as hateful toward the person. I'm sure Mitt Romney is a lovely man, I just don't want him to be our nominee, I don't think he's strong enough to beat Obama nor conservative enough to represent Republicans. I wish people wouldn't take what I write so personally, it's ok to disagree without hating each other.

May. 16 2011 02:10 PM
Larry from NY

Everyone knows Romney is the biggest fraud this side of John Kerry.

I dunno who this Karol is, but how bout discussing the only Republican hope we had, no longer in the race?...and I'm not talking about Haley Barbour.

The key to the Republican Primary will be who Huckabee endorses....period!

May. 16 2011 11:24 AM
Gerard from Staten Island

"Don't get me wrong, by the time the Republican nomination process wove its way to New York in '08, I voted Romney."

I'm so glad you admitted this so I didn't have to.


Romney is in a bit of a Catch-22. He can't be the standard-bearer for a campaign based upon repealing Obamacare when he signed into law the legislation that served as Obamacare's template. On the other hand, if he flip flops on this issue it simply serves to reinforce his second worst attribute in the minds of voters, i.e. having no firm principles.

May. 16 2011 11:12 AM
urban conservative

I, too, voted for Romney in the 2008 primary and it was certainly a decision I made after drawing the current in the old voting NY machines.

The 2012 field will have a lot of candidates stepping forward and it will come down to who voters feel confident in as the primary season draws near. Romney could still be a contender, as well as a Cain, Huntsman and even a Paul Ryan if he's convinced to run. Some pundits are even now saying Ron Paul will play a significant role, even though he'd be a 78 year old at his swearing in.

May. 16 2011 11:04 AM
Sir Alan Cash from Houston, TX

The writer myopic rant seems far from credible to be taken any serious. To a greater extent I was not sure if she was tasked with a small fee to produce this.
Whether this was the case or not, she sounded more like a novice with some poor choice of words. Some journalists indeed.

May. 16 2011 09:30 AM
Susan from OHIO

Romney makes a lot of since to this Republican. I can't lean to far left, or too far right without tipping over. The United States of America needs to balance itself once again. We are walking a thin tight rope at the present time. So many paradigms. This whole election thing is not about the candidates as much as it is about the electorate.

May. 16 2011 08:44 AM
Mike from New York

This is all ;pundit talk. The American voter doesn't see Romney with an authenticity problem. This original stemmed from his switch on abortion - but that is long over.

Romney has been VERY clear about his previous positions.

Karol, it's time to stop doing research by using editorials.

May. 16 2011 08:39 AM

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