Over in the Corner, NRO editor Kathryn Jean Lopez tracks the growth of Romney “buzz” since 2005:
People — TV watchers, high-ranking Beltwayers, you name it — are forever giving me their impressions of Mitt Romney, for months — actually more than that now. From a TV spot, from an Iowa visit (he does that you know from time to time, in case you didn’t know), from a D.C. conference, whatever. They’ve gone from “What are you kidding me? His name is Mitt. Oh and better, it’s actually WILLARD.” to ” He’s MORMON. Forget it.” or, just plain, “Who?”
I first really started paying attention to the governor of Massachusetts, to tell you the truth, when I ran into him at a pre-inaugural party in D.C. in January 2005. I really started paying attention to him later that year when he fought the good fight in defense of human life, trying to hold back a Harvard-instituted Brave New Bay State World (see here and here). And then I started watching people pay attention.(I’ll spare you more links.)
And boy, do they now, as you know.
An e-mail just now: “He was very impressive on O’Reilly last night. I told my wife, “even though he’s a Mormon, I could vote for him”
And there you have it!
Not quite, of course, a) I don’t think that he’s Mormon will kill Romney ’08 by any stretch, as I’ve said, but also b) at some point recently, and I think it was the Khatami foot-down (but it’s also been something cumulative), he made people seriously pay attention and be impressed. He’s gone — in my life anyway, which of course determines the course of American politics — from “that guy K-Lo has a 2008 crush on” to “you know, there’s something about Romney…”
K-Lo was right to jump on the Romney bandwagon in 2005, and she’s right to note the importance of the “Khatami foot-down” we posted about below (Powerline certainly loved it). The Governor was impressive on O’Reilly last night, and his moral clarity and eloquence are critical not only to his presidential hopes but to our national will as we face a mortal threat.
UPDATE: The O’Reilly video is here.