October 16, 2007
Winging It (Bob Franken)
@ 10:58 am
Will somebody please tell me why the other GOP candidates are having a cow over Mitt Romney’s claim to represent the party’s “Republican Wing”?
First of all, though, will somebody please tell me what the hell the “Republican Wing” is? Whatever it is, even Fred Thompson came out of hibernation to challenge Romney’s claim to it.
Obviously it’s not the George W. Bush lame-duck wing. The candidates rarely talk about him. What they seem to be bickering about is their claim to another president’s legacy. That’s Ronald Reagan, of course, who has been elevated to GOP sainthood.
So let’s examine this. Which one best captures the Reagan essence? Is it Rudy Giuliani, who would also like a tough national security image to obscure his sometimes tumultuous family life?
Maybe it’s Fred Thompson, who hopes that his professional acting skills carry the day. That would explain why he rarely campaigns in person. “I’m not really a hard-working candidate — I just play one on TV.”
John McCain really came out swinging after Romney made his “Republican Wing” remark. McCain charged that Mitt Romney, in effect was a notorious flip-flopper. But wasn’t McCain the guy who had so bitterly fought the same religious conservatives he’s so ardently courting these days?
The fact is that the religious and social conservative leaders are not particularly enthusiastic about any of the leading GOP candidates. But all eight will be there proselytizing this weekend at a so-called Values Voters Summit here in D.C.
Each will be trying to convince them that they must look past their past transgressions in their common fight against the devil. That’s Hillary Clinton, by the way, their Anti-President.
That’s it! The “Republican Wing” of the party is the anti-Hillary wing. That’s what the candidates are scuffling about: who is the best one to beat her. And what if she doesn’t win the Democratic nomination. Well, I guess the Republicans will just have to wing it.