Thursday, January 24, 2008

They Really Hate Him

All of the attention over the last couple of weeks has been focused on the battle between the Clinton and the Obama campaigns, but what’s also interesting is that some of the Republican candidates aren’t doing a very good job of concealing their dislike for Mitt Romney.

“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig,” Senator John McCain said in New Hampshire this month after reporters asked him about Mr. Romney. “You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

Mike Huckabee’s pugilistic campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, appeared to stop just short of threatening Mr. Romney with physical violence at one point.

“What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn’t get in the way of my thought process,” Mr. Rollins said.

The Romney collective is dismissing this as just campaign envy; Romney has a lot of money to spend while the rest of them are running on fumes. But mostly it seems that they resent his flip-flopping on the issues like abortion and gay rights, which is seen as hard-core pandering, his attack ads on TV which he can buy with his outrageous fortune, and his maddening sense of entitlement which boils down to, “Hey, I’m the poster boy for looking presidential with the Gleem smile and the perfect family; I should be president.”

It must be especially galling to John McCain who went through the 2000 primary against just such an opponent, got his head handed to him by Karl Rove, and paid his dues by sucking up to Bush and Company over the last eight years, leaving him with the feeling that if anyone is entitled to be the next Republican president, it should be him. Then in walks this matinée idol with a political pedigree and the same simplistic nostrums about a CEO presidency and “Washington is broken” that worked so well for the last guy, and the GOP voters are eating it up. No wonder McCain’s pissed.