Monday, February 4, 2008

Tag-teaming Mitt?

Until he emerged as the sole alternative to Crazy Cousin John, I can't say I was enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, but I wonder why he'd be a bete noir of Republican campaign operatives?
Mitt Romney [is] the candidate who seems to be uniting his Republican rivals almost as much as Hillary Clinton. "The degree to which campaigns' personal dislike for Mitt Romney has played a part in this campaign cannot be underestimated," says an adviser to one of those rival campaigns. ...
The campaigns have denied there's any political collusion going on; they insist all of them simply feel the same way about Romney.
To be sure, the candidates' staffs do seem to have bonded in their dislike of Romney. "It was very common for e-mails to be flying around between the Thompson, McCain and Giuliani campaigns," says the former Thompson staffer, "Saying, 'No matter what happens with us, we all need to make sure it's not him.'" The staffer says that
campaigns would share opposition research on Romney and offer each other tips on how best to undermine him: "Like, 'Hey, I saw you hit Mitt on immigration - have you thought about going after him on this issue?" In some cases, the attitude even extends to the top of the campaigns. The night of the Iowa caucuses, after getting a congratulatory call from McCain, Huckabee told the candidate, according to aides: "Now it's your turn to kick his butt."
(Via Hot Air.) Is it envy? I mean, McCain, Giuliani and Thompson are all old and very bald, while Mitt's a good-looking younger guy with that thick mane of gorgeous hair. So if you're trying to convince Americans to vote for old and bald, you've got to hate the campaign with the young and hirsute candidate.

Also, Romney's a multimillionaire who's willing to self-finance, while the other campaigns -- especially McCain's last fall -- were scrapping for every penny.

So after conspiring against Romney for months, now these professional Republicans have joined Team McCain and are demanding unity. Sweet.
UPDATE: Linked at Memeorandum and The Sundries Shack, where Jimmie says:
It’s a bit disappointing to see that at least some of the folks who worked for the Thompson campaign also played along with the high-school nonsense and, though Thompson himself wasn’t mentioned, it might explain why he didn’t stick McCain when he could have before the South Carolina primary.
If it’s true that Romney hate overrode Thompson’s conservative principles, I’d be terribly disappointed in him. And I’d be glad that he got out of the race.
Class-warfare resentment of the rich guy -- in a Republican primary? Envy is the most unworthy emotion.

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