All That Money and Nothing to Say

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Let me interrupt Joe and Ana’s debate over whether the public will blame the Democrats if Iraq goes to hell to draw your attention to one of the bright lights of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, the erstwhile Massachusetts governor who wants to be the consensus choice of conservatives for president in 2008. Romney held a blow-out fundraiser in Boston yesterday, earning commitments in excess of $6.5 million. That’s a lot of money, and it showed that Romney will be able to compete in the all-too-important “money primary” that separates the serious contenders from the pretenders.

But, assuming all those checks come in and clear at the bank, I have a suggestion for how the Romney campaign might invest some of its new wealth. In ideas! Any conservative worried about 2008 will come away more so after he or she checks out the website for “Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PAC“. Political campaigns traffic in bushels of b.s. all the time, but this site sets a new standard for pablum. Click on the “issues” link and you’ll learn that Romney is in favor of “defeating the jihadists”, “stopping runaway spending” and “Getting Immigration Right.” How bold! For utter banality, it’s hard to choose among the “10 Issues America Must Address to Remain the Economic and Military Superpower” listed on the page. Here’s my favorite:

2. Competing with Asia:
China and Asia are on the move economically and technologically. They are a family oriented, educated, hard-working, and mercantile people. We must be ready and able to compete. This means ensuring our children are educated to compete in this new market, our trade laws are fair and balanced, and our economy and tax laws welcome new investment. If America acts boldly and swiftly, the emergence of Asia will be an opportunity. Trade and commerce with these huge new economies can further strengthen our economy and propel our growth. If America fails to act, we will be eclipsed.

Who knew China and Asia “are a family oriented, educated, hard-working, and mercantile people”?

Now that Gov. Romney has created an exploratory committee, effective yesterday, he and his campaign have an official website. It should be a lot more sophisticated than the The Commonwealth Pac site, right? NO! On the “Issues Watch” page at, the same 10 items, with the same gaseous language, are listed, followed by a quote or two from Romney himself.

Romney is a smart, impressive politician. His biggest problem was supposed to be the unease social conservatives feel about Mormonism. But the unease has extended to questions about how conservative Romney really is. Republican activists looking to be reassured won’t be by anything they find on these campaign web sites. – Jay Carney