The EFM Feature

David Brody has a new new entry where he discusses perhaps the one thing that Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton have in common: A host of enemies. Here’s Brody:

Mitt Romney is the Republican version of Hillary Clinton. They are diametrically opposed on nearly every issue but when it comes to the ‘people out to get them” factor, they are one in the same. Hillary Clinton has a lot of enemies who are out to get her. Mitt Romney has a lot of enemies who are out to get him.
The latest example? Watch this video put out by the Massachusetts Democratic Party. They blast Romney for distancing himself from the Republican Party. Click here. You see here’s the problem for Romney. He’s getting blasted by the Democrats. He’s getting blasted by Republican presidential candidates. He’s getting blasted by conservative grassroots activists. All of them have one common theme: that he’s a flip flopper. How does he overcome this?

The Romney campaign responds that he is being attacked because he’s a threat, and that’s certainly true, but it’s an incomplete answer. As a serious and articulate social conservative candidate (especially, *gasp* a social conservative who takes his faith seriously), he represents a particular kind of political challenge. Let’s break it down further:
Sam Brownback attacks Mitt Romney because (1) he perceives that Governor Romney — as the social conservative frontrunner — stands directly in his path; and (2) unlike Mike Huckabee — who is a real gentleman — Sam Brownback is a nasty campaigner.
John McCain attacked Mitt Romney because he perceived Romney as the primary reason his own campaign was faltering. As Governor Romney succeeded in winning over conservatives in Iowa and New Hampshire, it was disrupting McCain’s strategy of winning those states by wooing the right.
The Democrats attack Mitt Romney because he represents their worst political scenario: An articulate, credible, social conservative who can actually win over the middle. They attack him as a flip-flopper now — to try to derail him with the Republican base — but they’ll hit him as a conservative extremist if he wins the nomination — to try to derail him with the moderate middle.
Why the consistent “flip-flopper” theme? Because it is the one point of vulnerability. Changes in position always lead to those charges. You can’t hit the Governor on integrity issues. You can’t hit him on his record of accomplishment in the private or public sectors. So what’s left? Alleged flip-flopping. But unlike Senator Thompson, Governor Romney has developed a clear and coherent response to questions about his abortion conversion, and the attacks are becoming less and less effective.


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