Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Surreal Politics of Orange County: Romney and The Machine

Did you catch the big news last night? Mitt Romney is in:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney returned to his native state of Michigan on Tuesday to kick off his bid officially for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Romney evoked memories of his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, as he spoke from the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. His presidential bid comes 40 years after his late father made an unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination in 1968.[...]

"Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success," Romney said. "If there ever was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now."

And the bigger news? The Orange County Republican machine LOVES him.

(From OC Blog's Red County magazine)

... Governor Romney has visited Orange County on a number of occasions and has raised a significant amount of cash on behalf of his PAC. During one OC event in late summer, Romney organizers raised nearly $1 million. In the process, he has also gained the support of influential business and community leaders and impressed political enthusiasts with a series of speeches that clearly and articulately conveyed his grasp of the important issues. In short, presidential candidate or not, Mitt Romney is the real deal.

Oh, yes! The OC GOP machine is wasting no time picking their candidate for 2008. In just ONE NIGHT at the swanky St. Regis in Monarch Beach, Romney raised a cool million. The OC GOP has also chartered a private jet to fly Romney back and forth for past events. Obviously, they seem to love him...

But why? Why do they love him? Perhaps is it because the masters behind the machine have hand-picked Romney as their company man?

After all, Romney was won the devotion of OC's most powerful man himself, Mike Schroeder. Schroeder has now agreed to drop everything and become Romney's California political director. And of course, OC GOP chairman Scott Baugh is also giving Romney his full support. Well, it also helps that "Romney's biggest finacial [sic] supporter in O.C. also employs the county party chairman".

So why Rommey? All the polling suggests that Romney's far from front runner status. Many conservatives still don't see him as a "true believer". And oh yes, Rommey has that "Mormon problem" that may cost him many Christianist votes. So why would the OC GOP get behind THIS GUY?

I'm guessing that this is nothing more than a power play. If Rommey somehow gets the nomination, then the OC GOP machine will have their own candidate to manipulate, control, and use to their own advantage. But even if Romney never gets that far, his candidacy can still be used as a power play. Perhaps they can use Romney to deprive McCain the nomination, or Giuliani, or someone else that they don't like. Or perhaps, they can use him to get attention. But no matter how Romney loses, the OC GOP will find a way to win.

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

No comments: