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Cellular politics

Mitt Romney still isn’t going to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008. I know he’s the trendy choice, but barring a significant shift in the party, he doesn’t stand a chance of getting past the primaries. He’s got to tack too far to the left in order to effectively govern in Massachusetts, and that’s

On the way into work this morning, I heard a commercial from Mitt about stem cell research. This is a very topical issue in Massachusetts right now; our House and Senate just passed bills concerning this research which explicitly allow both embryonic stem cell research and something called “somatic cell nuclear transfer.”

Romney came out against the latter, but — in the radio ad — explicitly states his support for embryonic stem cell research. This is probably necessary for him from a political standpoint; he can’t afford to get too far away from the mainstream of Massachusetts politics, and the mainstream is in favor of the entire bill. If he wrote off embryonic stem cell research entirely, the reaction would be fairly intense, and you can’t run for President from a state that dislikes you. Let alone govern effectively.

On the other hand, it’s going to kill him on the national scene. This is a hot ticket issue for people who vote in the primaries. It won’t affect him in New Hampshire or Iowa, but it’ll be a big deal for Super Tuesday. In 2000, Bush didn’t stomp McCain until Super Tuesday, in the south; I’d predict the same kind of dynamic here.

2 Comments

  1. Yeah, Giuliani has exactly the same problem but more so. Although he’s at least a Christian — I think being a Mormon is a pretty big blocker for would-be Republican candidates. (Remember when Hatch ran?)

    I hadn’t considered that he might be going for the VP slot. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.

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