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Old 05-30-2007, 04:47 PM  
alnorth alnorth is online now
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So, Mitt Romney stopped by...

As I was walking in to work, I noticed this simple little sign in the lobby saying that Mitt Romney would speak in our cafeteria in a couple hours. (Obviously I live in Iowa) No big notice weeks ahead of time, no huge company-wide e-mail, no buzzing excitement, no conversations, I was stunned. I asked a few people about it, and some were interested, but mostly it was a sigh and "oh, thats right I guess it is time for the candidates to start visiting us." Dude, if this would have been Kansas or Missouri, I dont care who it is from which party, if it was a serious high-profile candidate this would have been tremendous news, but to Iowans its more like been there, done that, I have too much work to do to be bothered to walk down a couple flights of stairs to see someone who could be the next president.

So, I walk down at the appointed hour, and noticed I didnt get there early enough, room is packed, standing-room only, but nowhere close to even 1/5th of the building. He's pretty tall, he definitely looks and speaks like a polished career politician with a decent sense of humor. A lot of his speech was a bit of the same feel-good stuff we hear from both parties, with some obligatory 9/11 and world issue stuff thrown in. I think the one thing I did like about his appearance was the way he would try to avoid giving simple vague answers to questions from the audience, favoring open honesty. For example, to a question on an obscure insurance bill in congress, "Most politicians would give a quick answer to that question that sounds good, but I havent studied that issue, and would need to read the bill before giving my opinion."

On social security, he said that it would likely be the easiest problem to solve out of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, requiring one or more of 4 possible solutions 1) Raising taxes, 2) raising the retirement age, 3) reducing the cost of living adjustment, 4) partial privitisation, with him favoring a combination of the last 3 options.

Energy, he said that he would try to steer the country towards energy independance, but this would likely take a couple decades, and require an investment of money, effort, and time similar to the manhattan and Appolo projects.

On immigration he was more vague, favoring more immigration for highly skilled workers and less for unskilled workers, but not really touching on the problem with illegals already here, amnesty, etc.

I'm still voting for McCain in the Iowa caucus next year, but if he flames out, I have a better opinion of Mitt Romney now than I did yesterday.

Last edited by alnorth; 05-30-2007 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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Thanks for the summary. I respect that he won't rule out raising taxes. He knows it might have to happen, like it or not, and it would be silly to make a promise he might have to break.
I think he's smooth enough to talk his way through allegations of flip-flopping.
Like other posters here have said though, he might hit a snag in the road if he starts getting tough questions about his religious beliefs.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:09 PM   #3
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I'll vote for the first candidate who favors reduction of goverment before raising taxes.

When a fortune 500 company is doing poorly, what's the first thing they do? Reduction in force.

Ever heard of a Reduction In Force at the federal level that didn't involve the military (the cheapest of all government employees).
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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Iowa is so relavent as a primary why? This should be round robin.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I'll vote for the first candidate who favors reduction of goverment before raising taxes.

When a fortune 500 company is doing poorly, what's the first thing they do? Reduction in force.

Ever heard of a Reduction In Force at the federal level that didn't involve the military (the cheapest of all government employees).
On that note, he had a funny story about the courthouses in Massachusetts. Some of the state budget folks told him that the courthouses were nearly 100 years old and would need replaced. Keeping in mind the small geographic size of the state, and thinking about how many would be needed to ensure that you could get to a courthouse by car in an hour, he figured that the state needed 6 courthouses, maybe 12 at most. When he asked how many courthouses were in the state, no one knew, and they eventually came back and told him there were 112 courthouses in little bitty Massachusetts. To sum it up, he forced the state to close and consolidate many of these courthouses, and the savings from less security and operating costs went a long way towards building the brand-new courthouses the state needed.

He also bragged about closing a huge $3 billion state budget deficit he inherited at least 3 times in the speech. He was fairly proud of that, and wanted to make damned sure everyone in the room knew what he did for the budget as governor.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth
On that note, he had a funny story about the courthouses in Massachusetts. Some of the state budget folks told him that the courthouses were nearly 100 years old and would need replaced. Keeping in mind the small geographic size of the state, and thinking about how many would be needed to ensure that you could get to a courthouse by car in an hour, he figured that the state needed 6 courthouses, maybe 12 at most. When he asked how many courthouses were in the state, no one knew, and they eventually came back and told him there were 112 courthouses in little bitty Massachusetts. To sum it up, he forced the state to close the vast majority of the courthouses, and the savings from less security and operating costs went a long way towards building the brand-new courthouses the state needed.

He also bragged about closing a huge $3 billion state budget deficit he inherited at least 3 times in the speech. He was fairly proud of that, and wanted to make damned sure everyone in the room knew what he did for the budget as governor.
I'm a fan.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I'll vote for the first candidate who favors reduction of goverment before raising taxes.

When a fortune 500 company is doing poorly, what's the first thing they do? Reduction in force.

Ever heard of a Reduction In Force at the federal level that didn't involve the military (the cheapest of all government employees).
The whole political format has changed over the past 20 years, the republicans and democrats have become the same in respect to big government.

There are several areas that can be cut, but something I see is the dependence on the the government for things we should be handling on the state level.

Federal mismanagement is running rampant and has since the 90's. The only way to get better is to identify all of the agencies that need rif to be part of their daily routine. We have far too many gov employees that do not do their job and cannot be fired. That's our federal unions in action. I saw first hand the federal union members trying to circumvent security procedures on a military installation because they felt they were excessive. Excessive was having to show your Photo ID to get on the base and submit to random searches.

As has been pointed out, there are many problems and I don't see any party or candidate that is up to the job.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:37 PM   #8
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I haven't decided who I will vote for, I do know who I won't vote for, but I do like that Romney is a very successful businessman. He knows what it takes to run a business, and that's something we need in Washington.

Without business in this country everyone is screwed.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
...he might hit a snag in the road if he starts getting tough questions about his religious beliefs.
Put me down as one nondenominational evangelical Christian who thinks that it's only the Democrats who would like to think that Romney's membership in the LDS Church is an insurmountable problem.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
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I almost forgot another funny little quip he threw out there, when he remarked that its easy for Americans to compete against Europe, because they enjoy short working hours and lots of vacation, but that economic competition with Asia is one of the biggest challenges facing us now.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco
Put me down as one nondenominational evangelical Christian who thinks that it's only the Democrats who would like to think that Romney's membership in the LDS Church is an insurmountable problem.
I don't know about that. Cochise did a good job of explaining certain incompatibilities between Mormonism and other forms of Christianity that could be problematic. Belief that God lives on a planet called Kolob (admittedly not a belief held by all Mormons), belief that only Mormons go to the celestial heaven while everyone else is relegated to the second and third tiers of heaven, belief that God had a corporeal body separate from Jesus (Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus appear as two separate beings in his vision), etc. I don't mean to offend any Mormons, and will happily be corrected if I am wrong, but I think these beliefs could be problematic for some voters.

All it would take is for some reporter to simply ask Romney if he thinks non-Mormons can go to heaven. I suspect he would never answer such a question, but if he is really pressed, it would be interesting. Once he starts describing the three tiers of heaven and where everyone will end up, he could lose some people.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
I don't know about that. Cochise did a good job of explaining certain incompatibilities between Mormonism and other forms of Christianity that could be problematic. Belief that God lives on a planet called Kolob (admittedly not a belief held by all Mormons), belief that only Mormons go to the celestial heaven while everyone else is relegated to the second and third tiers of heaven, belief that God had a corporeal body separate from Jesus (Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus appear as two separate beings in his vision), etc. I don't mean to offend any Mormons, and will happily be corrected if I am wrong, but I think these beliefs could be problematic for some voters.

All it would take is for some reporter to simply ask Romney if he thinks non-Mormons can go to heaven. I suspect he would never answer such a question, but if he is really pressed, it would be interesting. Once he starts describing the three tiers of heaven and where everyone will end up, he could lose some people.

Kolob?

Kobol?

I guess the Quorum of the 12 isn't the only "Mormon" element in the mythology of Battlestar Galactica.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
I don't know about that. Cochise did a good job of explaining certain incompatibilities between Mormonism and other forms of Christianity that could be problematic. Belief that God lives on a planet called Kolob (admittedly not a belief held by all Mormons), belief that only Mormons go to the celestial heaven while everyone else is relegated to the second and third tiers of heaven, belief that God had a corporeal body separate from Jesus (Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus appear as two separate beings in his vision), etc. I don't mean to offend any Mormons, and will happily be corrected if I am wrong, but I think these beliefs could be problematic for some voters.

All it would take is for some reporter to simply ask Romney if he thinks non-Mormons can go to heaven. I suspect he would never answer such a question, but if he is really pressed, it would be interesting. Once he starts describing the three tiers of heaven and where everyone will end up, he could lose some people.
Yes, he could lose some if he focuses on his religion, but he probably won't.

I'm looking to elect a president, not a spiritual leader.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco
I'm looking to elect a president, not a spiritual leader.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco
I'm looking to elect a president, not a spiritual leader.
Hey, I'm in 100% agreement with you. I'm just talking about other voters out there that could be a hurdle. Time will tell.
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