Monday, February 12, 2007

Mitt Romney Offends Group (Not For Flip-Flopping This Time)

Immaculately coiffed wanna be Republican Standard bearer Mitt Romney has offended a Democratic Jewish Group. It seems that Romney's choice of using the Henry Ford museum doesn't sit too well with the National Democratic Jewish Council. To be helpful, they point out that Ford, whose anti-semetism is very well known, was honored by others before Romney decide to grace his museum with a visit.

Ford was also bestowed with the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by Adolph Hitler.

"NJDC is deeply troubled by Governor Romney's choice of locations to announce his Presidential campaign. Romney has been traveling the country talking about inclusiveness and understanding of people from all walks of life. Yet he chooses to kick his presidential campaign on the former estate of a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe

In a way this reminds me of how Reagan launched his campaign for President in 1980 in Philadelphia, Mississippi at the behest of Trent Lott and others. Philadelphia is a small town. I drove past it once. The scenery isn't all that great, but it did have a claim to fame. It was the town where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Shwerner were brutally murdered in 1964. How about that for some symbolism that the Republicans took the southern strategy seriously?

In Reagan's case it was smart (but evil) politics. In Romney's, it's a sign that he isn't ready for prime time. He is having enough trouble dealing with evangelicals who could never see themselves voting for a Mormon. He now might have lost Arlen Specter's vote too. Symbolism does matter. Romney decided not to use Salt Lake City, or Boston for strategic reasons, but either of those choices may have turned out better for him in the long run.