The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Mitt Romney Comes to Des Moines, Attracts Massive Media Coverage

Posted on | August 10, 2011 | 25 Comments

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at
a fundraiser for the Polk County Republican Party.

Wow — what a crowd! I just got through covering Mitt Romney’s speech to a fundraiser for the Polk County GOP, and it was kind of eye-opening to see how much more media coverage the national front-runner gets.

So far in Iowa, I’ve been to events for Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. If they get a couple of local TV stations and two or three newspaper reporters to an event, that’s “good coverage.” But at today’s Romney event — held at the home of a local businessman — it was a totally different level of coverage: The Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, Gwen Ifill, Charlie Cook, Al Hunt, Carl Cameron of Fox News, etc. I counted no fewer than 12 TV or video cameras recording Romney’s speech. Here’s my brief report at The American Spectator:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney? said Wednesday that America is “in crisis” as a result of President Obama?’s policies.
“I think you have to tell people the truth, and America is in crisis,” the former Massachusetts governor told a gathering of Republicans here. “We elected as our president a person we didn’t know very well. . . . There were people who said, ‘I wonder what will happen if we choose as president a man who has no experience?’ Now we know – and it’s not a very positive thing,” .
Romney spoke at a backyard party at the home of Des Moines businessman Nick Van Patten. The event was a fund-raiser for the Polk County GOP.
“You’ve got a lot of people in this country who are hurting, who are suffering by virtue of the president’s policies,” he said. “You may ask, ‘What did he do that was so bad?’ My answer is, well, almost everything.”
While he hasn’t made a strong effort in the upcoming Iowa Republican straw poll, Romney will participate in a debate Thursday at Iowa State University in Ames.

Mitt was accompanied by his oldest son, Tagg, and Tagg’s 15-year-old daughter Allie, who was making her first-ever campaign trip with her grandfather, whom she calls “Papa.”

My wife called me and said she saw me on Fox News, walking through the background. Given how many photographers were following Romney around during the event, I’m sure some people will pick up their newspapers tomorrow, see a picture and wonder, “Who’s that dude in the hat in the background?”

I’ve got more photos and video of the media mob scene — I even bumped into Duchess Rebecca — but right now I’m on deadline for Thursday’s American Spectator column. Please hit the tip jar.

UPDATE: By the way, I’d said this morning that I planned to hit the Romney event and then run up to Ames for a 7 p.m. Tim Pawlenty rally. That didn’t happen because, although the Romney event was scheduled for 5 p.m., the candidate didn’t arrive until about 6 p.m. and by the time he spoke, it was nearly 7 p.m. So there was no way I was going to make it up to Ames in time to hear Pawlenty, and also I saw a chance to get online quick with that brief news account of Romney’s speech, so I found the nearest McDonald’s and logged onto their WiFi. Once again (as on Monday night), I’ll be filing my Spectator column from a McDonald’s.

UPDATE II: Romney just rolled out this online campaign ad:



  • McGehee

    You can tell he’s the front runner because the media people outnumber the actual audience.

  • victoria_29

    Wait until Rick Perry announces Sat afternoon. Y’all get crowds & media.

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  • Anonymous

    Is T-Paw the new silent Cal?

  • Anonymous

    The MSM orgasms over Romney and that is exactly why I don’t like him.  They did the same thing with The Maverick in 2008 and look what we got, The Won.

  • Mitch Tracy

    Looks like the press have picked their favorite.

  • ThePaganTemple

    No he’s the new George Harrison from the early Beatles era. Everybody knows he’s there but nobody really gives a fuck.

  • Chris Smith

    After the 2008 debacle, anyone, D or R, endorsed by the media is at least suspect, if not rejected outright.

  • Anonymous

    And now we know who NOT to vote for, amirite?

  • Anonymous

    I keep asking how can the only Republican that can’t bash Obama on Obmneycare be the best choice to beat him? I suppose if he gets the nomination I’d have to vote for him….then go home and wash with a wire brush.

  • Adjoran

    This is because it was a private home and once the guests’ checkbooks were accommodated, there wasn’t much room for the idly curious.

  • Adjoran

    Fortunately, Obama is supplying us with so many blunders to point out there won’t be much time devoted to any single issue, so if Romney is weak on health care, he would still have plenty to talk about.

    But he should be able to deflect the inevitable comparisons with a direct answer like, “Our Massachusetts plan was at least laid out clearly so employers and citizens knew what to expect.  We didn’t hide the details or the true costs or grant waivers to our cronies.  And it still cost a lot more than we figured – so how can Obamacare not be considered a huge expense and drag on the economy?  When businesses don’t know what their health care costs will be, they cannot commit to hiring new people, Obama is leaving them in the dark.  He wants us to just trust him to work it all out.  How’s it working out for you so far?”

  • MAR1217

    Romney has a very attractive son and granddaughter; I don’t want him as President but God bless them and thanks for the photo, Stacy.

  • Deetz

    Check out Romney’s crowd. #tcot #teaparty #gop #rnc

  • Bob Belvedere

    Once again, TPT, brilliant observation…and eloquent, too.

    Further questions:
    -Who’s Ringo?
    -Is Rick Perry Paul McCartney?
    -Is Sarah Palin John Lennon?  Or Mick Jagger?
    -Is Herman Cain George Martin?
    -Is Newt Brian Epstein?

  • Bob Belvedere

    No…go home, drink heavily, and make sure you’ve got enough MRE’s, guns, and batteries.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Do I have to?

  • ThePaganTemple

    Tonight’s the night of the big debate. Here’s hoping Mitt shits his magic underwear. And I do not mean that figuratively.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Can the press be sued for purposely promoting one candidate over another? This is a serious question. Another one-why in the hell don’t more people lambast them to their faces when they have the chance. Just come right out and accuse them of trying to manipulate an election. We all know that’s what they’re doing. It should be a big issue in the election. But it would really be stupid for Romney to try to make an issue of it. It should be a major issue now. People should point out there are reasons why the press favored McCain, and now Romney, and they should point out what those reasons are to the general public.

  • Anonymous

    Are these Romney events like the Cindy Sheehan events in Crawford, where she was surrounded by the media, and pretty much no one else?

    Or do we have a ton of asses to kick (obviously metaphorically, but these days it requires a tremendously long disclaimer, which probably means it’s better not to bother using commonly understood phrases anymore) to defeat Mr. State-run healthcare?

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