I'm One of You—Really!

You have to imagine that Mitt Romney gave himself quite the pep talk this morning before his big Conservative Political Action Conference speech in Washington. Where his address at the 2008 CPAC signaled the end of his campaign, this afternoon he needed to jumpstart his 2012 run, especially since the people in the audience have been the hardest for him to woo. But, true to form, he did far more resume-waving than rabble-rousing. Romney paid lip service to social conservatives more than usual, emphasizing that his “will be a pro-life presidency” and that he “will fight for a federal amendment defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.” But the appeals sounded a tad desperate. As Commentary’s Alana Goodman noted, “The speech said, without actually saying it: “I promise I’m a conservative just like all of you!’” Romney even stepped on one of his strongest selling points—that he’s the most electable Republican—by exclaiming, “Of course we can defeat Barack Obama! That’s the easy part!” Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both of whom also spoke today, were rewarded with far more excited whoops and hollers than the man blessed with the media’s stamp of inevitability. Mitt Romney needed a game-changer after being Rick Rolled on Tuesday. This wasn’t it.


So They Say

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.” 
Rick Santorum, on women serving in combat 


Daily Meme: CPAC Sound and Fury

  • Congressman Allen West: “[T]he public good is a misnomer, created by our liberal friends. It is not the public good that matters, it is the personal good." 
  • Cal Thomas: “Well I’m really glad, Genevieve, that you played the Rachel Maddow clip, because I think that she is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception.” 
  • Ann Coulter: “Democrats are like your degenerate brother-in-law who borrows money for rent, spends it on crack and hookers, then asks for rent money again.” 
  • Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association: "All that first term, lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term.” 
  • Rick Santorum: “I don’t believe life begins at conception. I know life begins at conception.” 
  • Victoria Jackson, former SNL cast member, reacting to Occupy DC protesters: “They’re communists, and they’re angry.” 


What We're Writing

  • Steve Erickson says that Democrats dreaming of a brokered Republican Convention should be careful what they wish for.
  • Jamelle Bouie sees political genius in the White House’s handling of the contraception mandate.

What We're Reading

Nate Silver makes “the bettor’s case for Santorum.” 
Peggy Noonan analyzes the GOP’s low turnout and the public’s “big tune-out.” 
Steve Kornacki says that CPAC shows one thing for sure: Obama’s winning. 
George Will slices and dices the Republican candidates’ rhetoric on defense policies. 
William Finnegan writes that the Republican candidates’ extremism on immigration will be hard to moderate in the fall campaign. 
David Corn profiles “Dr. Gingrich and Mr. Newt.”

Poll of the Day

In Florida, Rasmussen finds Obama leading Romney 47-44—but in a dead heat with Santorum.