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Aug 16, 2005 8:39 pm

Watching Mitt

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is one of the more interesting presidential candidates to follow in the coming months. While there are numerous challenges that Romney needs to confront (such as whether Americans would vote for a Mormon president; the possibility that his opponents will destroy him on flip-flops regarding abortion; and the fragile state economy), Romney offers something extremely attractive to the GOP: a charismatic Blue State Republican.

While Democrats need to focus on regaining control of the White House and Congress, the GOP has turned its attention to expanding its reach into Democratic territory so that the party can secure a long-term governing majority.

If Republicans could win the 2008 presidential election with someone from the “bastion” of American liberalism—Massachusetts--the victory would have major political reverberations. Right now, there are no potential Democratic candidates who are threatening to make serious inroads into the red states, so the real action will likely take place in the blue sections of the map.

Democrats must play defense. Meanwhile, Republicans will try to drive onto Democratic territory with the hope of gaining votes from the exurbs as well from certain immigrant and African-American voters.

Importantly for Governor Romney, his only real competition in the region is New York Governor George Pataki whose charisma problems and liberal spending/social policy record will probably render him a vice presidential candidate at best.

If Romney plays his cards right in the coming months, the governor can easily emerge as a formidable opponent to John McCain, Bill Frist, and other GOP hopefuls.

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Oscar Chamberlain - 8/16/2005

"There are no potential Democratic candidates who are threatening to make serious inroads into the red states,"

I think Edwards could, which is not to dispute your main point, that Romney could be formidable.