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Romney on the Rise

Good article by Neil Swidey from last Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine which examines the effect the George Romney "brainwashing" event in 1967 has had on his son Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts and potential 2008 GOP presidential candidate.

"The brainwash thing - has that affected us? You bet," says Jane Romney, Mitt's sister and an actress in Beverly Hills. "You go, 'OK, can't go there. Don't want to get into that.' . . . Mitt is naturally a diplomat, but I think that made him more so. He's not going to put himself out on a limb. He's more cautious, more scripted."

For Mitt, the episode was even harder to make sense of because it happened in the middle of his two-year stint as a Mormon missionary in France. When he left Michigan in 1966, his father was en route to resounding reelection as governor of Michigan and the drumbeat grew louder for his presidential run. When Mitt came home in 1968, his father was already a footnote. Since then, he's heard plenty about his father's fateful interview, but, amazingly, Mitt Romney had never seen the actual footage until I showed it to him last month........

The article is an interesting look at the Massachusetts Governor, whose stock continues to rise in the pre-season nomination phase we are currently in for 2008. With Virginia Senator George Allen's recent Macaca gaffe downgrading his status a few clicks, Romney is fast emerging as the alternative to the two moderate heavyweights McCain and Giuliani. Allen's bigger problem (who in many ways was poised to become the conservative choice in the race) is the reality that the country is not exactly pining for another southern, folksy-talking politician wearing Cowboy boots. So, Macaca or no Macaca, 2008 was probably not going to be George Allen's year, simply because he reminds people too much of George W. Bush and he appears to be not seasoned enough, especially when compared to Giuliani, Romney and McCain.

But back to Romney: If the Mormon issue wasn't floating around in the background, he would almost certainly be the clear frontrunner for the nomination. Expect to see Romney's stock continue to rise as many conservatives unhappy with the prospect of McCain or Giuliani start to line up behind the Massachusetts Governor.