by John Holbo on August 12, 2007

In the 19th Century, Romnementum was a patent medicine compounded of equal parts chaff, opium and horse liniment.

Romnementum was also Agamemnon’s ne’er-do-well brother. Before that, I believe he was a Babylonian demi-god who met a sticky end. (Possibly I’m confusing him with some or other Jack Kirby character?)

But after the Ames straw poll, has Romney given new life to this old notion? What do you think? Does the man have …. Romnementum?

Hugh Hewitt is trying to sell it. As of this posting, his commenters are running cold. Let’s make this a Republican horse-race thread.

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Starboard Prescience Watch III § Unqualified Offerings
08.12.07 at 10:10 pm



Thomas 08.12.07 at 4:54 pm

I love it when the spin game backfires.


bi 08.12.07 at 6:04 pm

De Romnemento non disputandam est. Id venit, vidit, vicit. Finis magna bonorum malorumque, Agamemno maior, omnia terrarum est. Ave!


Jim Henley 08.12.07 at 10:07 pm

Tancredo’s got legs. I care so little about “illegal immigration” that I’ve been very slow to realize just how deeply anti-immigration sentiment runs in the Republican base. It probably has more support among primary voters than the Iraq War itself does. Any top-tier Repub candidate is going to have to be enough on Wall Street’s good side – for the sake of the campaign contributions – to be unacceptably “wet” on immigration to the nationalist primary voter. So Tancredo can tap a Buchanan-sized protest constituency deep into the primary season. At least, to the extent the primary season *is* deep any more.

Also, Tancredo is not a plausible veep candidate, so he doesn’t have to worry about keeping the eventual winner sweet. He can play the old “hold out for platform planks and speaking slots in exchange for a quiet convention” game.

Last four candidates in the race: Giuliani, Huckabee, Paul and Tancredo. There, I said it!


jacob 08.12.07 at 11:36 pm

Why do you (Jim) discount Tancredo as a VP candidate? He seems like a good one to me. In case of a Giuliani, Romney or McCain nomination, he reassures the base and gets them to come out, which they otherwise might not do for a pro-choice/Mormon/pro-immigration nominee. And xenophobia is a strangely bipartisan and frighteningly popular issue. Having Tancredo on the ticket could easily turn Ohio and Pennsylvania to the Republican column.

I want to ask about Ron Paul, though. There seemed to be a lot of buzz about him for the Ames Straw Vote, how he would come from behind, how he had all this quiet support, how his supporters would hitch rides on Romney’s buses and crash the gates–and then he did terribly. Does this suggest that perhaps Paul isn’t the phenom some blogs have portrayed him as?


Tim O'Keefe 08.13.07 at 1:56 am

Tancredo says it makes sense to threaten “taking out” Mecca to deter terrorist strikes against the U.S. Even for the current crop of GOPer candidates, he’s just way too much of a whackjob (I could pull up lots of other stuff) to consider putting on the ticket.


IllegalImmigrationIntro 08.13.07 at 2:33 am

3: It’s usually safe to ignore those who enquote “illegal immigration”, especially when followed by a reference to “anti-immigration sentiment”, something that isn’t anywhere near as great as what we usually discuss: opposition to massive illegal activity and corruption.

Regarding the “quiet convention game”, maybe you could look up what happened during the 2004 version, and try to figure out who profits from similar things to what happened.

5: If it’s “xenophobia”, aren’t you a “xenophobe” too? Unless, of course, you support a completely open border with no restrictions at all. Are you a “xenophobe”, Jacob?

6: You might want to stop getting your news from ThinkProgress (I was laughing as I typed that). You might as well stick with the National Inquirer. See comment #30 from me (on that post) for a clue.

[comment approved from moderation by DD, but give a proper email address please in future!]


JP Stormcrow 08.13.07 at 3:23 am

Even for the current crop of GOPer candidates, he’s just way too much of a whackjob (I could pull up lots of other stuff) to consider putting on the ticket.

Agreed. They don’t let the full whack hang out until after they’re elected.

But that said, the base is looking for dog-whistle assurances that they will in fact go there when elected. And I have come to believe that the most reliable dog-whistle is flat-out apostasy on some “liberal” position. This is where Rudy and Mitt’s seeming weaknesses turn in to strengths – they are close to convincing the base that they are shameless and debased enough to pull something like Bush did with Schiavo. That they’ll take advice from someone like Rove and keep up the good symbolic fight on bashing gays and atheists etc. At the same time the money guys know that will absolutely go down for the Wall Streeters and will send enough gov’t graft to charades like abstinence education and bullshit NCLB-type initiatives to pump someone money into the shameless criminals who front the right-wing Christian movement to keep them in line. And I do think Romney has the edge on that right now, Rudy is going to have end up by basically implying that everyone in New York is some manner of East Coast commie-faggot, firefighters and policemen included – but I’m confident he has it in him.

Shorter Romney – sure I’m a Mormon, but I’m not a fanatic about it or anything – and that goes for anything else that is convenient – just let me know.

Shorter Rudy – 9/11! 9/11! – what Mitt says… except for the Mormon part – 9/11! 9/11!

I agree that Tancredo and Paul hang around to the end even with minimal “real” support, in part because I think they will continue to get some “intellectual” and emotional support for Repubs who in the end won’t vote for them.

Fred Thompson may be the wild card, but I think he is basically a lurker just in case Mitt and Rudy crash and burn.


dsquared 08.13.07 at 7:48 am

Tancredo’s got legs.

I’ve checked and indeed he has, but surely you can set the bar a bit higher than that. The successful candidate will be running for President of the USA for God’s sake.


djw 08.13.07 at 12:44 pm

If we’re talking about Tancredo’s craziness, I vote for his endorsement of building the wall on both the Southern AND Northern borders.


Shelby 08.13.07 at 5:28 pm

The Ames poll is basically meaningless for purposes of deciding horse-race issues. Romney put a lot of time and money into Iowa, which certainly got him a top finish here and might do so when the real poll takes place in December or January. But the compressed primary period this time is going to reduce the impact of those early wins.

That said, Mitt’s got the money to win but not, I think, the credibility with base voters. If Fred Thompson gets serious in a hurry and doesn’t make any huge mistakes, he’ll win it. Otherwise Giuliani will take the nomination by default. Huckabee and Tancredo don’t have any more of a shot at the top spot than does Ron Paul, though they’ll hang around for a while. Paul’s shown the best money-management skills and could be a modest factor until Thompson or Giuliani have it locked up.

Then, Hillary will win with Barack as her veep. (All predictions sincere but guaranteed wrong.)


will 08.13.07 at 6:32 pm

It’s interesting that righties generally think (hope? fear?) that Hillary will win the Democratic nomination, as evidenced by Hewitt’s post and the comments it has gathered. Liberals, meanwhile, perceive a marquee contest between Hillary and Obama, with Edwards as the dark horse contender.


Ralph Hitchens 08.15.07 at 4:47 pm

Despite a deserved reputation for flip-flopping (backing away from nearly everything good that he did as governor of Massachussetts), Romney is clearly the pick of the GOP litter this year. Such a collection of one-trick ponies and absurd nobodies has seldom been seen in recent years.

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