Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The man from Belmont enters

He looked good, there’s no denying he looked good. Oh, Romney, I mean.

Of course I mean Romney. The guy always looks good. He had that same stiff little walk, the same pitch-perfect delivery, the same rousing populist but conservative oration, the same picture-perfect family.

I’ve covered several of these announcements and Mitt did as well as can be expected. And the coverage thus-far reflects it. He’s chiseled, he’s handsome, he’s the well-spoken outsider. I really liked the jabs at Washington insiders and The Neophyte, that’s a rare touch of personality from The Mittster.

A couple problems:

One: That plane looks like it might hit him – a rare slip by the usually spotless Romney advance team.

Two: The national media, already gravitating to the flip-flopper storyline, appears to now want to hit him for being a bit too perfect.

Consider this lede from Roger Simon at Politico:

Mitt Romney is so good he is almost too good. Candidates want people to come away from their events thinking “presidential,” not “slick.” But Romney is so polished and looks so much like a president would look if television picked our presidents (and it does) that sometimes you have to ask yourself if you are watching the real deal or a careful construction.

And three: The Mormon thing just keeps on coming. America ’s most-watched cable network (CNN) and most-read paper (USA Today) both featured it prominently today.

Does Mitt have what it takes to win again? Sure. And the more people underestimate him, the better he’ll do.

But the Republicans are suddenly acting a lot like Democrats. They can’t settle on any one candidate to like, let alone a new standard-bearer. Their not getting any help from the White House and the press will now only give them reasons not to like these guys.

For the man from Belmont, it’s got to be a pretty unsettling place to be.

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