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March 02, 2007

Romney's Speech

I'm trying to listen, but Sam Brownback has this Praetorian Guard of college supporters carrying about signs and bursting into cries of "BROWN-BACK, BROWN-BACK, BROWN-BACK!" every five freakin' minutes.

I really wish they'd stop. This sort of thing is so... Manson Family.

General impressions, though I didn't see or hear much of it:

A much more firey, animated speech than the one he gave at the NR Symposium. Unlike Giuliani, he was eager to discuss social conservative agenda items, ranging from keeping taxes low (something Giuliani hinted at in discussing his own eoncomic record, but did not in fact make any promises going forward), encouraging marriage prior to childbirth, strengthening the American family, etc. "Strong military, strong economy, strong familes" was his rhetorical punchline (finished up with a rousing cry of "God Bless America.")

He's definitely an attractive guy and very articulate and forceful in speaking. Really, it's far too early to write off Mitt Romney, as some seem to.

Thinking about his speech and Giuliani's, I now realize a rhetorical tactic of Giuliani's. Romney was very forward about advancing family values and the like. Giuliani, meanwhile, discussed his first principles -- freedom, accountability, safety, order, pro-business policies, etc. -- and kept noting that other positive goods would inevitably flow from such policies. He didn't name all of those positives, but one can guess he's talking obliquely about the issues he didn't mention in his speech -- if there is more hope and less hopelessness confronting welfare-trapped young girls, he suggests (again, implicitly), fewer out of wedlock births (and fewer abortions) will reslut as a natural consequence of young girls simply having some alternative to the permanent welfare culture, and will derive more self-respect from working than they can get from attracing irresponsible men to have sex with them.

Again, he didn't say this, but kept hitting the "broken windows" theory of social cohesion -- take care of the little things, and the big things will begin taking care of themselves. Actually, maybe here it's "take care of the big things and the smaller things will take care of themselves," depending on your priorities, but that seems to be his thinking. His implicit message is that he doesn't have to bother pushing an overtly pro-family agenda, because taking care of the economy, defense, and crime will naturally combine to enanct a pro-family agenda of their own.

So maybe here we have a hint as to how Giuliani intends to avoid criticism of his social liberalism -- his claim is that just like government doesn't actually have to begin its own businesses to create businesses -- it simply needs to create the proper economic environment for business, and then people will create businesses themselves -- he doesn't have to bother being a Culture Czar, as a better, safer, more prosperous society is naturally one that creates the right social climate for good social outcomes.

Eh. It's something, I guess.

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posted by Ace at 04:33 PM

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