Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

How Romney Is Turning Himself into Goldwater '64 How Romney Is Turning Himself into Goldwater '64

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

How Romney Is Turning Himself into Goldwater '64

March 28, 2012

Mitt Romney is delivering up so much delicious red campaign meat to Obamaland these days that I had to wonder whether they're already making plans for the re-election dinner party in Chicago. So I called a friend who is working for the president's re-election, and this person joyfully confirmed: yes, ol' Mitt is the gift that keeps on giving.

If Romney keeps giving like this, he may give the Obama campaign more than enough fodder to take out his candidacy on foreign policy alone. Most recently I wondered whether the Obama team would turn him into Michael Dukakis on the basis of his aide's Etch A Sketch gaffe. Now I wonder whether the better play isn't to cast Romney as Barry "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" Goldwater, whose trouncing by LBJ in 1964 had a lot to do with public fears that he was a warmonger.

I had already written about Romney's lurch rightward on foreign policy. Previously he has virtually threatened war with Iran and the perpetuation of war in Afghanistan. But Romney's remarks to CNN about Russia, calling Moscow "without question our number one geopolitical foe" and saying that the Russians "fight every cause for the world's worst actors," seemed to mark a new level of indiscretion for the hyperventilating former Massachusetts governor.  

Set aside the merits of the comment. Yes, Obama did give Romney an opening when, mistakenly speaking through an open mike, the president suggested to his counterpart, Dimitri Medvedev, that he'd have more "flexibility" to negotiate missile defense and other issues after his re-election. And yes, the Russians are acting pretty aggressively these days; the re-election of the revanchist Vladimir Putin virtually ensures the tensions will continue. We also know that Romney is desperately tossing bouquets of toxic word-flowers at his rightwing base, trying to make up in aggressiveness what he lacks in conservative credentials.

But is it really smart politics for the all-but-certain GOP nominee to be appearing as a warmonger to a war-weary America? And at a time when Russia and the U.S. are already involved in something of a proxy war in Syria, as my colleague Jim Kitfield wrote this week? Certainly the Obama team doesn't think so, and they are gathering up every TV and Youtube clip of Romney's Goldwateresque statements right now.

They'll have their own word bouquet to deliver to the American public in the general election campaign.   

More Blogs
Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
Comments
comments powered by Disqus