April 13th, 2012

Two smart candidates, they felt smart

Another thing I noticed about that Fox News poll was question #11:

Which candidate do you think is smarter?

Barack Obama 42%
Mitt Romney 33%
(Both are) 6%

Putting aside the question of just how smart Barack Obama is, this shows me that a lot of people aren’t really familiar with Romney. Because he’s really smart. And his smartness includes the dimensions on which Obama is usually considered smart by his admirers (again, the point isn’t whether you agree with them): articulateness and academic credentials.

Romney is very well-spoken, and he seems to perform just as well without a teleprompter. What’s more, even though we don’t know Obama’s grades but only his degrees, Romney’s got the same top degree, only more so. Romney is a graduate of Harvard Law who earned a simultaneous MBA from Harvard Business School, a tricky and difficult feat that not many accomplish or even attempt.

Unlike with Obama, we even know quite a bit about Romney’s grades. Take a look:

Romney graduated in 1971 [from Brigham Young] with a 3.97 grade-point average. Because he ranked at the top of his class in the College of Humanities, he was chosen to speak on graduation day…Mitt decided to attend Harvard Business School, but his father thought he should obtain a law degree, so he enrolled in a joint program at Harvard Law School. In 1975, he graduated from Harvard Law cum laude and from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar and was in the top 5 percent of his class.

Back in December of 2011, the NY Times spotlighted Romney’s years at Harvard Business School:

Mr. Romney recruited a murderers’ row of some of the most distinguished students in the class. “He and I said, hey, let’s handpick some superstars,” said Howard Serkin, a classmate…

Mr. Romney served as a kind of team captain, the other members said, pushing and motivating the others.

“He wanted to make straight A’s,” Mr. Serkin said. “He wanted our study group to be No. 1.” Sometimes Mr. Romney arrived early to run his numbers a few extra times. And if his partners were not prepared, “he was not afraid of saying: ‘You’re letting us down. We want to be the best,’ ” Mr. Serkin added…

Mr. Romney was in his element. His class performances were outstanding; his peers described him as precise, convincing and charismatic. He won the high grades he craved…If Mr. Romney melded with the school intellectually, he kept some distance from it socially. He was married and a parent. In the liberal precincts of Cambridge, he and his wife, Ann Romney — pictured wearing matching sweaters at a fall 1973 business school clambake, with their two sons on their laps — seemed like they were from “out on the prairies,” Mr. Brownstein said.

The future governor abstained from things many other students were doing: drinking coffee or alcohol, swearing, smoking…

I especially note this, in contrast to Obama:

Today, Mr. Romney does not speak much about his business school degree. But he remains quite attached to the star study group he put together all those years ago, faithfully attending dinners the men hold every five years…[H]e does not miss a chance to return to that setting. Mr. Romney even showed up the year he was put in charge of cleaning up the troubled 2002 Olympic games, stopping by for an hour before flying to Athens for a meeting of the International Olympic Committee…

The men gathered most recently in 2009, after Mr. Romney’s unsuccessful presidential bid. His old friends asked him about the experience, and he pointed out how much simpler decisions are in business than in politics. “You end up taking into consideration things that wouldn’t be important in a business decision,” Ronald J. Naples remembers him saying.

Not an unsmart man. Not at all.

[ADDENDUM: By the way, here’s that photo that appeared in the NY Times.

Almost hippies! Except for Ann’s collar and earrings. Otherwise, she’s got a bit of a Patty Hearst vibe going. And those matching fisherman knit sweaters are a little much. But that particular fashion was protean: it worked for preppies and it worked for the hip, depending on how neat or how raggedy the sweater was.]

64 Responses to “Two smart candidates, they felt smart”

  1. texexec Says:

    Romney is one of the most competent and accomplished presidential candidates we have seen in decades.

    If we give him a solid conservative Congress, his potential is extremely high to be one of the best presidents in a long, long time.

  2. Teri Pittman Says:

    Yet more Romney stuff I didn’t know. Those sweaters are enough to get my vote 😉

  3. Libby Says:

    This reminds me of when the conventional wisdom that John Kerry was smarter than GWB. Kerry (and people like Obama & both Clintons) strike me more as policy wonks, who can talk theoretically about a political topic, expounding on all that must be done to address an issue – more study, more government, social engineering, etc.. While people like Bush and Mitt (and yes, I know there’s a big difference between the two men), are more apt to demonstrate their intellect by doing something successfully. For some reason we’ve come to value the guys who can talk big about what everyone should do to fix a problem instead of the quieter guys who roll up their sleeves and actually do their part to fix it.

  4. Mac Says:

    Astonishingly attractive couple.

    As for smarts, I think it’s been clear for a long time that Obama is overrated in that dept. Not that he’s stupid or anything, but he has the vocabulary and the opinions that register as “smart” to liberals.

    But then liberals in general overrate themselves in that dept. Some of the smartest people I’ve known–I mean just in raw brainpower–were apolitical or conservative engineers who lacked those “signifiers” that make one an accredited smart person.

  5. T Says:

    First, we must always keep in mind that for liberals it’s all about appearance. For example, they are incredibly hard pressed to recognize that the “dimwit” Geo W Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard, whereas the credentials, alone, cast Kerry as smart. Romney, for them, falls under the same “Bush” assumption because he’s not a Democrat.

    Credentials aside, it takes a special kind of critical thought to be able to successfully operate in high finance as Romney has. This could serve our country well. I do, however think of him more as a manager than as a visionary. Perhaps at this point in time, that’s precisely what we need.

  6. rickl Says:

    I’ve never been able to understand who so many people think that Obama is smart. Cunning and devious, certainly, but smart? I just don’t see it.

    I guess that’s ’cause I’m not that smart.

  7. Gringo Says:

    Obama is the smartest person in all our 57 states. He is fluent in Austrian. If we follow his advice and inflate our tires, we won’t need to import any oil from Canada, nor drill in federal lands.

    The teleprompter speeches, Ivy League credentials and the books went a long way towards generating the appearance of intelligence. He is not stupid. You cannot pass the bar exam without a certain level of intelligence.

    The longer NObama talked, the longer it was apparent that he had gaps in his knowledge and that he was much better at repeating propaganda points instead of giving a cogent argument.
    Not only in level of intelligence, but in terms of having accomplished things, Romney has it all over NObama.

    Romney will destroy NObama in a debate. Mark my words.

    Will Romney crush NObama in November. I hope so.

  8. Curtis Says:

    He passed the bar exam. Big deal. And I wonder about the legitimacy of that. He passed it probably because passing the bar exam is nothing more these days than parroting PC.

    I’d put myself up in a head to head test one on one against Obama any day in a battery of tests.

    Spelling: Spell “rendezvous.”
    History: When did Ghengis Khan rule?
    Chemisty: What is the first element in the periodic table?
    Grammar: Name the parts of speech?

    You know damn good and well Obama couldn’t answer one of those questions. Hi is someone’s bitch. Any home schooled student is smarter than that idiot and could smoke his ass in math and physics, something the progressives know shit about.

    Obama is a fraud, a conceit, a liar, a prop, but dont’ waste your time hating him; hate the thing behind him.

  9. texexec Says:

    “Romney will destroy NObama in a debate. Mark my words.”

    Amen brother, and I can’t WAIT to see it.

    “Obama is a fraud, a conceit, a liar, a prop, but dont’ waste your time hating him; hate the thing behind him.”

    …or hate the people behind him who propped him up to be the front man for their socialist agenda.

  10. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I knew it, this couple is just too perfect. He’s handsome, smart, and what we used to call in Boy Scouts – morally straight. She’s gorgeous, personable, well-spoken, and conservative minded. They have five children who, by all accounts, are doing well. What’s not to like?

    Just a few of the themes we will hear in the next few months.
    1. Neither he nor any of his sons have served in the military. Chicken hawk.
    2. He’s rich. Out of touch.
    3. She was a stay at home mom. Spoiled country clubber – equally out of touch.
    4. They’re both………..MORMANS! Yes, that cult posing as a religion. Salt Lake City will be calling the shots.
    5. He’s rich. Evil capitalist with dirty money in his past.
    6. Blah, blah, blah.

    We know it’s coming. Barack Obama is known for exceptionally low down, mean politics.

  11. Steve Says:

    neo, you just love this guy don’t you? I am convinced Romney is very intelligent. No doubt much of his business success comes from contacts he made at Harvard Business School. George W. Bush is also a Harvard Business School grad. No doubt the Bush family is very comfortable with Romney and his views. George H.W. Bush has endorsed him. I bet they recognize another big government ‘compassionate’ conservative when they see one. Care to guess what they think of the tea party and non-establishment Republicans like Sarah Palin?

  12. T Says:

    JJ formerly . . .,

    Your list lacks the yet to be announced sex scandal. If you remember, Obama has a way of finding dirt on his political opponents to besmirch them (Ryan in Chicago). Through the press it was even tried with McCain (remember the affair that wasn’t with the lobbyist). Mitt seems so squeaky clean (and I truly hope he is) that this tactic might just be a fool’s errand this election cycle. We can only hope they attempt it and, like Hilary Rosen it blows up in their face

  13. ErisGuy Says:

    That Romney is a Mormon, successful in business, and well-credentialed in academia (though not in STEM)*, is all to his credit. Good for him. Maybe good for us.

    * I haven’t been too pleased with government by Harvard and Yale grads, nor with government by managers and lawyers.

  14. texexec Says:

    I admire the Bush’s.

    George H. W. Bush was a perfect example of a man who lived according to the principle of “noblesse oblige”. He was born into a wealthy Eastern family of great influence but volunteered to serve in the Navy as its youngest pilot in WWII. During his service, he was shot down and rescued, yet got back into action.

    He could have used his family’s influence to get into the financial business after he graduated but chose instead to move to West Texas, live in very humble surroundings, and build a successful oil business.

    In Texas, he was known to enjoy hunting in the briar patches of South Texas and have a beer with the guys in local joints. He has parachuted while in his 80’s.

    His son W. showed boldness in invading Iraq in spite of opposition from all directions. His stuck to his guns even as the Monday morning quarterbacks (many of whom had said we should eliminate Saddam Hussein) second guessed his decisions. He has shown class and grace in his retirement by not criticizing his successor who blames him for everything.

    W.’s brother, Jeb makes a lot of sense to me every time I hear him in an interview. He married a Latina and has raised a lovely family. Many of the Bush’s speak Spanish.

    Typical Northeastern establishment Republicans?

    I don’t think so.

  15. Don Carlos Says:

    Mitt and Ann Romney are now our Horatius at the bridge.

  16. Steve Says:

    texexec, under GWB the federal budget increased approx 100% and the debt increased approx 100%. Who cares whether they are nice people.

  17. NeoConScum Says:

    Obama being very smart is a ‘hoot. Nuthin’. Off Mr.Teleprompter he’s a blathering fool. I’d love to nail him down on,”Specifically, Mr.President, what are the 10-best books you’ve read in the last year..? Need more time, Sir? Okay, I’ll make it easier..What are the 10-best books you’ve read during your presidency.?” Crickets. Unaccustomed silence. Promise.

    George W. Bush? He was a voracious reader. Dozens & dozens of books devoured each year of his 2-terms. And, seeker of wisdom. History, Biography, Philosophy, Politics, etc. I still smile when I think of the once revealed tidbit that Dr.Bernard Lewis, the peerless scholar and expert on all things Arab, was a quiet(“under the treeline”)visitor to the Bush White House many, many times.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve: Love? Hardly. I’m basically quoting a NY Times article here about him. Are they in love with him?

    I happen to think he’s smart. There are some facts in here that a lot of people don’t know, and I thought they might be interested in learning them. This particular post was occasioned by the fact that the respondents in the poll thought Obama so much smarter than Romney, and I wanted to set the record straight about his academic record, as well as his continuing friendship with people he knew at school. That’s about it.

    One other thing—I’ve noticed over and over people saying supposedly definitive things about Romney that aren’t true (such as, for example, that Mitt inherited a lot of his father’s money—when in fact he gave his entire inheritance away to charity). I like to set the record straight when I can. I happen to think that we should make decisions based on facts rather than sound bites that are repeated over and over around the blogosphere as though they’re truths.

    And one of those facts is that a lot of Tea Party conservatives have endorsed Romney. And although I would guess Romney isn’t on board with every aspect of the Tea Party, I don’t think he’s got any problem with their basic goals.

  19. Promethea Says:

    Neo . . .

    Good job doing what you’re doing. We all need to rally around Romney.

    Ace of Spades had a good excerpt today from a speech Romney made recently. I’ve now become a Romney supporter.

    Instapundit and his wife, Dr. Helen, have been pushing the meme of manhood recently, and I think we all need to get on board and support the kind of man who knows how to do things (besides get a taxpayer-funded salary) and to support a well-run family.

    I’m sure I’ll have more to say on these subjects in the next few months. Anyway, I sense a big shift in the wind, and the marxist metrosexuals are going to be hoping they don’t lose their jobs soon.

  20. Promethea Says:

    I hope Chicago area tea party supporters will attend the rally at the Civic Center at noon on Monday, April 16.

  21. SteveH Says:

    I’ll give Obama clever. But smart? No

  22. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Just a stray thought. After examining the picture of the young Ann and Mitt, I suddenly realized that they were the couple that inspired “Love Story,” not Al and Tipper. : > )

  23. JC Says:

    They’re both idiots, chosen and annointed by an academia which has long since abandoned both knowledge and wisdom as desiderata. They both gamed the system, and the system lay there like a paid concubine, who moaned “Genius” and “Brilliant” when stroked appropriately.
    Once again we have a choice between stupid and evil.
    I weep.

  24. expat Says:

    There is a huge diiference. Obama went into occupations where he would be judged on his talk (remember he didn’t even get all the asbestos removed from Altgeld Gardens). Romney went into fields where he could be judged by bottom lines. Lefties don’t care if a protest or sit in fails to improves the lives of people you claim to represent. Investors care if you lose their money. We can see how well Obama functions in the latter arena by his Solyndra investment. Finally, Obama always fit in with the current social fads of the left. Romney was an outlier as a hard-working married father during the 70s revolutions.

    I personally needed the exposure to the real world that radical feminists and black power types were trying too improve. This gave me the experience I needed to reject their extremism and to avoid being intimidated by the academic BS. Romney took another path. That doesn’t make him stupid or evil. It just means the experiences that informed his conservatism were different from mine. But I am pretty sure what are called his flip flops are really experience based. I actually trust that kind of philosophical base more than an untested academic one.

  25. texexec Says:

    “Who cares whether they are nice people.”

    Steve: I care and so do lots of other people. A man who could easily have dodged the draft at the start of WWII but chose instead to defend his country, placing his life on the line is a lot more than just a “nice person”.

    One of the things I like about Romney is his character. Character means a lot to me. Makes it possible to believe what a person says.

    You don’t think the spending during GWB’s tenure had anything to do with Congress? Especially the last two years?

  26. NeoConScum Says:

    Steve: GWB, you say, isn’t a fan of the Tea Party and Sarah? Based on what?
    Does anyone here happen to know if The Boy King has spent 2-full weeks(at one time)at the WH in the Oval Office in 3-years…errrrr…working? Doing the deal? Trudging? Grinding? Sweating(ya know, at WORK)?

  27. CV Says:

    They were at a clambake on a chilly New England beach, right?

    I think they look cute in their sweaters.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but a bright, earnest, sincere leader with a proven track record sounds pretty good right about now.

    Regarding Obama’s intellect, I remember a comment by one of his law faculty colleagues at Univ of Chicago. The guy said, of Obama (paraphrasing big time here) “he has a good mind but it’s very much oriented toward the means justify the ends.”

    I think we’re all painfully aware of that at this point.

  28. CV Says:

    Er, what I meant to say was the ends justify the means.

  29. NeoConScum Says:

    Has anyone yet seen Obama’s grades from Columbia & Harvard? None that I know about. And another early ‘Tell’ from the future Boy King: While serving as Editor of The Harvard Law Review he didn’t publish an article of his own. Legal Eagle buddies tell me that it’s very rare NOT to do it. But then there is that stunning record of dozens of ‘present’ votes in the Illinois legislature.

  30. SteveH Says:

    How did we get to a place where Obama and Romney are seen as remotely similar men? We can detest they both pander as politicians but that would be like saying all plumbers are the samer because they deal with sewage waste.

  31. Hangtown Bob Says:

    The only thing that the results of this poll tell me is that 6% of the respondents don’t understand english and/or logic.

  32. Ritchie Emmons Says:

    The focus on “intelligence” is a very liberal thing to do. They hold intelligence at about the top of the list of desirable credentials for a politician (aside from that politician’s liberal political beliefs). The reason Obama hasn’t released his grades is probably because they weren’t that good. Thus, the “intelligence” meme might take a hit if the grades were made public. And it’s why it stung liberals when it turned out the “moron” GWB had better grades than Kerry.

    Conservatives, rightly, focus less on intelligence and pay more attention to things like wisdom, principles and character more so than intelligence. Remember, Woodrow Wilson was apparently the smartest guy around. LBJ and his Whiz Kids were also apparently the smartest guys around. Look how that all worked out for us.

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    JC: No doubt you’re far more brilliant than both of them put together.

    Romney’s career at Harvard Business School, by the way (if you bothered to read my post or the linked article) is hardly that of an idiot. Nor—and what’s far more relevant to your accusations—is it that of an academic. Romney was very successful in the non-academic world.

  34. Gringo Says:

    Steve: GWB, you say, isn’t a fan of the Tea Party and Sarah? Based on what?

    The above question show that in line with most ex-Presidents, Dubya has been fairly quiet out of office. It is difficult to remember what he has said while out of office, because he has not make many politically tinged public utterances when he has been out of office.

    By contrast, Jimmah Carter has never stopped with his public utterances- many made to influence foreign policy- in his three decades as Ex-POTUS. When ∅bama becomes Ex-POTUS, he is going to make Jimmah seem like Silent Cal Coolidge, by comparison.

    [Barbara Bush did make a disparaging remark about Sarah Palin, but she is not her son. Moreover, we implicitly grant those above 80 the right to say what they damn well please.]

  35. neo-neocon Says:

    CV: That’s the best summary of Obama’s intellect I’ve ever seen: “he has a good mind but it’s very much oriented toward the ends justify the means.”

    I have long felt that Obama is very smart and very strategic. He also thinks he’s smarter than he is.

  36. Trimegistus Says:

    Romney is stupid. Because he is a Republican. Republicans are all stupid. Towering intellects like Sarah Silverman and Bill Maher say so, so it must be true.

  37. Don Carlos Says:

    What, pray tell, does the NYT mean by “murderer’s row”?

  38. T Says:

    The problem I have with discussions of “intelligence” is that the word is a catch-all that doesn’t really mean anything in and of itself. The criteria are so varied that it can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Obama intelligent? It depends upon what criteria one chooses. His academic pedigree speaks to intelligence, but he has demonstrated that he is woefully historically ignorant(speak Austrian, faux Arab inventions) and perhaps linguisically ignorant (corpse-man) too.

    Is the fact that he may be Machivellian to the extreme mean that he’s intelligent? Is being manipulative a sign of intelligence? I don’t have much use for comparative discussions in this vein. I will say, personally, that as nice a guy as he might be (have no basis to judge that) I don’t find him particularly clever or knowledgable, and I wouldn’t trust him if he were my neighbor and shared my property line.

  39. NeoConScum Says:

    Gringo: Well said. He loves and honors his parents but is very much his own man. As president he wanted to DO things, ie, ACOMPLISH things(Most particularly Post 9-11). He’s not a man riddled with insecurities and self-doubt. (I well remember and understand Rudy Guiliani’s statement to his police commissioner during the 9-11 immediacy:”Thank God that George Bush is president.” Amen, Rudy, Amen.) Carter was a micro-manager and lousy at Leadership. Billy Clinton, largely due to a bats*** pathological childhood, wanted more than anything to BE Somebody.

    History will be profoundly grateful and generous to George W. Bush.

  40. Don Carlos Says:

    The victors write the history. Let us not yet be so sanguine as to assume Good will triumph over Evil in our lifetimes.

  41. Gary Rosen Says:

    “When ∅bama becomes Ex-POTUS, he is going to make Jimmah seem like Silent Cal Coolidge, by comparison.”

    If BO loses the election he will be the sorest loser, ever. I suspect he would not make a formal concession even if the result against him were decisive. And the day after he leaves office he will begin a world tour to tell everyone he was voted out because Americans are “racist”.

  42. Steve Says:

    texexec, are you saying GWB was a fiscal conservative but it was Congress’s fault? That is quite simply lame. Every president has veto powers. He did not use them to rein in the deems spending. The same in TX.

  43. expat Says:

    I’ve always wondered how much Bush compromised because he didn’t want to risk the remaining support for Iraq and anti-terrorism measures. I really don’t know how he would have governed without those constraints. For instance, would he have pushed harder on Freddie and Fanny?

  44. NeoConScum Says:

    expat: Answer? YES.

  45. NeoConScum Says:

    Obama, like Clinton and Carter–but, especially Clinton–will never shut his piehole post after 2012. He’ll concentrate on filling his vaults with massive speaking fee green and will get perpetual orgasmic glee from criticism of his successor(s). Dem ex-Prezzies MUST be heard, seen and(cough)discussed. Repub ex-POTUSs, geared far differently and doing rather than being somebody, don’t give a rip about the froo-froo after the glare of their white house years.

  46. CV Says:


    That description of Obama’s intellect came from Richard Epstein, his former law faculty colleague. He was interviewed by Peter Robinson of NRO here:


    Epstein said (of Obama):

    “..His mind is pretty good, but it is a clever means/ends mind. He has never written a scholarly article in his entire life. What this guy is about to do, in my opinion, is to engage in a series of proposals that would redistribute wealth that we do not have….

    That interview took place in early 2009. Prophetic, to say the least!

    Epstein didn’t know Obama well (no one does, apparently) but he definitely has his number.

  47. texexec Says:


    Have you carefully researched possibilities of Bush’s vetoes being overridden?

    Expat made another good point above. The situation was very complex.

    Do you know who really has the most power to control spending in the TX government? A non-“lame” answer is the Lt. Governor.

    From Wiki:
    “The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.

    Under the provisions of the Texas constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Texas Senate. By the rules of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The Lieutenant Governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. He or she also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.”

    Many knowledgeable persons about Texas government are of the non-lame opinion that the Lt. Governor in Texas is actually more powerful than the Governor.

    Did you know that the Lt. Governor during Bush’s first term in Texas was a Democrat?

    When situations are complex, often, oversimplified talking point opinions are the lame ones.

  48. Mac Says:

    “he (Romney) gave his entire inheritance away to charity”

    I hadn’t heard that. Neo, could you give us a source for it? Not that I’m doubting you (perish the thought) but I would like to be able to use it in arguments and would like to be able to direct my opponents to a source that they would acknowledge as authoritative.

  49. NeoConScum Says:

    CV…Now that’s nailing his(cough)intellect down with steel nails. Not deep, but nimble ends justify means stuff. No trail of “depth” anywhere because he’s never demonstrated it. Yet his fawning multitudes still blather about his “smartness” and “depth” and “intelligence”. Like most things Obama no evidence of any.

    Mac…Google “Romney’s Inheritance” and have a nice read. He gave his father’s inheritance entirely to BYU as scholarship money.

  50. neo-neocon Says:


    Here’s the source on Mitt and his father’s estate.

  51. Rob Says:

    Obama’s smartness (or the lack thereof) is, for me, academic. He’s wrong on the issues, so I don’t care how smart he is. However, I’m astounded to hear Romney described as smart and well-spoken. Romney has a lot of trouble putting sentences together and you’re out of luck if you expect to find a cogent narrative in most of his speeches. Yes of course you can point to his academic affiliation with Harvard from many years ago, but please….not everyone who graduated from Harvard was brilliant and like any other school it’s turned out its fair share of nitwits over the years. So please, don’t try to pass Romney off as anything but a dunce. This, after all, is why I did not want him to be my party’s nominee!

  52. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob: are you kidding me?

    Methinks you haven’t listened to many of Romney’s speeches lately. Here’s the one he made at the NRA, a speech that was praised by a lot of conservatives. And he was quite good in the debates (which are extemporaneous), even against such supposedly great debaters as Gingrich.

  53. Rob Says:

    I’d praise his speeches too, were we in mixed company. He’s unquestionably the nominee now, so of course conservative pundits are going to praise his message. That’s exactly what they should do. And alas I suppose that even I should stop bitching about Romney, since we’re saddled with him. I’ll save my resentment for the conservative incumbents who put Romney where he is. We conservatives need to clean house.

  54. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob: you misunderstand me. I am NOT talking about conservative pundits. I’m talking about commenters on blogs, people who previously couldn’t stand him. They are reluctantly saying that they previously underestimated him, and that the more they see and hear of him the more respect they have for him. I’m seeing this all over the right side of the blogosphere, in commenters I’m familiar with from the past, who seem quite sincere and have no special reason to change their minds, because they’re not pundits with a following, just ordinary citizens.

  55. Rob Says:

    Okay. Fair enough. All I can say is that their reactions surprise and puzzle me. But if more people are being moved to vote against Obama, so much the better.

  56. Baklava Says:

    Thank you Neo for the material.

    I am of the belief that some peopl WANT to HATE.

    Such cold dead hearts that actually push blood through their bodies somehow so that they can type messages.

    I don’t get it.

    I was excited about Cain, Bachman, even Santorum.

    I cannot understand the people saying that now we have a choice between evil and stupid.

    You people are NEGLIGENT and you don’t even TRY!

  57. jvermeer Says:

    Romney is a problem for the left. In their worldview there are only two types of non-leftists.
    1. The stupid e.g. Bush I, Bush II, Quayle, Palin, Reagan, Ford, Agnew, Eisenhower.
    2. The smart and evil e.g. Nixon, Cheney, Coulter.
    Romney is harder to fit into the narrative.

  58. Rob Says:

    Baklava, I see your point, but I don’t want to hate. I do want to WIN. Winning this contest is all that matters. And if we win, then I want a president who is up to the job and who will effectively pursue a conservative agenda. Yet here we are, saddled with a nitwit like Romney. What the hell is our party thinking? Is someone asleep at the wheel? Don’t get me wrong. I will vote for Romney, but only because I’d vote for a houseplant before I’d vote for Obama.

    My feeling is that there is a problem in our party that runs very deep and that, in the grand scheme of things, might present even graver threats to our country and to the conservative movement than the reelection of Obama. We need a good old-fashioned house cleaning.

  59. davisbr Says:

    …actually, that photo and the accompanying text went a long way to quelling my remaining quasi-disdain. I smiled, even.

    I knew kids …young couples …who looked like that …sincere, and already “solid”. Generally, they impressed the hell out of me at such times and places.

    And over the years, as they remained together, and raised their kids (however varying the results), they continued to impress (my early train wreck of a personal life notwithstanding, making my opinion always suspect, I was and am always impressed with what that degree of commitment shows, and “doing what it takes”, and what it says-without-saying: bravo).

    And hell, I’m pre-disposed to admire and accept Mormons anyways (call it reverse discrimination), having personally known so many over the years.

    Uh, don’t take that as an affirmation of their doctrinal beliefs, LOL: I studied Mormonism with Mormons for a year back in the day, and even then, thought it was just goofy, however sincere and committed they were (which was the attraction for me of the studies, along with my predisposition to always being truly curious about all things religious, along with my innate politeness and respect for “different” beliefs – even those I find suspect – that I seemed to have been born with) …with modern genetics, their primary doctrinal assertion is inarguably untenable …that said: their family structure and support is solid, and generally exemplary, and on the personal anecdotal level, I’d rather associate with them as secondary, than with a great many closer to me as primary, relationships.

    …and if I still don’t particularly care for Romney’s populist and conservative credentials (unlike, say, Palin’s …and I admire the Palins in much the same way, btw: I did my homework on them before the attack machine was able to fully engage, and that positive impression has remained firmly in place), I won’t have a problem pulling the lever in November.

    At least he’s not McCain LOL (who’s only redeeming act in ’08 was Palin: I admired her more than I despised him …which assertion still holds true).

    So …this post was actually something that hit close [enough] to home, neo; grist for the mill. Personal stuff. Tnx.

  60. Book Says:

    Obama keeps demanding to see all of Romney’s tax returns. I think Romney should turn around and demand to see Obama’s college transcripts.

  61. Nolanimrod Says:

    I should think, as a therapist, you would focus on the 6% who thought both were smarter than the other one.

  62. neo-neocon Says:

    Nolanimrod: ah, but I think they’re correct. It depends on the day :-).

  63. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    >>> Geo W Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard

    Even more critically, since then (the media didn’t bother to check, of course) the records of all three have been examined, and Bush’s grades, while certainly mediocre, were slightly better than the other two.

    Irrelevant side note:
    >>> Dick Clark, 1929-2012
    I’ll believe he’s dead when he doesn’t show up on NY Eve.

    And I’ll comment on President Downgrade with this:

    Stop It Already — He’s Not So Smart

  64. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    >>> I will vote for Romney, but only because I’d vote for a houseplant before I’d vote for Obama.

    Good enough. I’m no fan of Romney, though that’s hardly a well-founded dislike — I simply know that Romney can’t do worse if he aspired to be the Antichrist (well, if he actually achieved it, that would be a different thing) than The Great Big 0.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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