Mitt Romney has successfully captured the imagination of the editors of America’s two leading conservative magazines.
Does any sensible American — a category that excludes political junkies and newspaper columnists — want to read a long magazine article speculating on the next one?
The Weekly Standard and National Review, two of the nation’s most influential conservative magazines, clearly think the answer is yes. Each is running a cover story on the presidential prospects of Governor Mitt Romney. Terry Eastland’s 6,000-word piece in the current Weekly Standard is introduced by a humorous cover illustration of a smiling Romney surrounded by donkeys. ”Mitt Romney of Massachusetts,” it says. ”Can a Republican governor of a Democratic state become America’s first Mormon president?” Eastland’s conclusion: Quite possibly. ”Romney would make an appealing candidate,” he writes. ”He just might be ‘the right guy at the right time.’ ”
On the cover of the forthcoming National Review, meanwhile, a full-length photo of Romney — every inch the confident executive — is emblazoned ”Matinee Mitt.” Then: ”Charming. Smart. Conservative. Now starring in Massachusetts, Governor Romney could be a premier attraction in the ’08 GOP primaries.”
The question remains: can Romney also capture the imagination of the GOP primary voter who has made a habit of voting against people from Massachusetts. My bet is no. Romney has issues with his pro-life platform and I think there is a latent, subconscious bias against Mormonism among many evangelical Christians who participate in GOP primaries.
But the Mitt’s promoter should get a major pay raise for getting Romney the publicity he’s gotten thus far.