The EFM Feature

First, before I say anything else, the credit for last night’s victory goes primarily to Scott Brown and the people of Massachusetts. It was one of those rare marriages of man and moment. Well done, Senator Brown.
But as with any major political campaign, there’s credit (or in the case of a loss, blame) to go around, and it was deeply heartening for me to see the role Governor Romney and his key advisors played in the race. While it’s too early to make sweeping statements about the long-term effect of the Scott Brown win, this could be the moment when Mitt bonds with the conservative movement. If there was one weakness in Republican perception of Governor Romney in 2008 (aside, of course from Governor Huckabee’s tribalistic populism) it was the perception that he wasn’t really a movement candidate, that he was coming at the nomination from outside the core conservative community.
What about now? When his fingerprints and support are all over the most exciting movement victory since 1994?
I particularly love the way Mitt helped. It was textbook Mitt. He was for Scott Brown before being for Scott Brown was cool, setting him up with the absolute basics of a campaign: office space, fundraising, fundraising lists, and — critically — the right people to help run the campaign. The core members of Mitt’s 2008 campaign team migrated over to Scott Brown and helped plan and execute one of the most astute, dynamic campaign strategies I’ve ever seen.
All of this was done without Mitt taking center stage, without him attempting to capture the limelight, or to divert attention away from the winning candidate. I love the venture capitalist analogy Nancy draws below . . . he did exactly what venture capitalists do. He invested early in the right person.
So now, when members of “the movement” ask me for evidence that Mitt is “one of us,” I’ll just say, “Scott Brown.” Playing a vital role in the most important conservative insurgency in almost two decades is a nice new addition to Governor Romney’s already-impressive political resume.

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