Update: Why was Romney talking to Glenn & Helen to begin with? Betsy has the answer here.
Here's what she says of the "New Media" way of dealing with this political flare-up:This puts in mind a question Ann Althouse asked yesterday about the influence of the blogosphere on the '08 Presidential election. My answer was essentially "not much". Perhaps I was being too pessimistic. Another blogger noted that it will matter more in the Primaries, Romney said this himself, but in the general election Walter Cronkite rules. I cannot tell you how much that dismays me. Unless Walter and his cronies are caught in a bold-faced lie by the New Media, the New Media doesn't matter much. Mostly, we preach to the converted.
It's up to you whether or not you think that Romney has indeed changed his view or if he's just a political opportunist. You can decide of it even matters what his views on these subjects are. What I think is neat is how both the pro and anti-Romney folks were able to conduct this debate on the Internet within one day's news cycle.
The old-time media was reduced to covering the new media the next day. For example, the Boston Globe is basically reduced to giving the transcripts of the two videos.
This is how politics is going to be conducted from now on and any campaign that isn't ready to jump on these new media techniques and use them will be left in the cold. Or at least that is true as long as sites like YouTube can stay working!
Update II: Ace says "meh". I agree with him on this:
I know this is going to sound crazy to some, but abortion is NOT a deciding issue for me. That's why I can vote for a Guiliani. Will he walk the line? Will he pop this bloated pig of a government? That's what I care about. Ultimately each person will have to answer for a decision like abortion. Ideological purists should find a campus from which to teach and speak, or a church from which to preach. Same thing.
The governing class, no matter what their stated politics, comes out of the same coastal monied class that all good liberal twacks do. That rubs off some.
Voters want their leaders to strongly embrace their particular values, and care about them strongly, but each voter has a different set of priorities he needs his leader to unswervingly support. Meaning that we have politicians who are supposed to care about everything passionately.
We have a word for people who care about everything passionately. We call them "maniacs."
Whilst I put my Amazon Store together (please take a look and comment below), I listened to Glenn and Helen talk to Mitt Romney. I must admit I was totally impressed. Different readers have told me that he's right on the issues and a good leader, but he's not on the national scene and I don't watch TV anyway so I hadn't seen or heard him, well ever.
He seemed concerned about all the things I'm concerned about: War on Terror (he already is forming a plan), Research and Development (what makes America great), Medical research (he articulated his position perfectly--he's for stem cell research, but doesn't want to to "create embryos to kill them"), Gay Marriage (he's against it, but he's for all people being respected and loves gay people and has them working for him--GOOD!!).
Here's my absolute favorite thing he said, "People worry about Universal Health Care. We already have Universal Health Care. Right now there are people who have insurance and then there is everyone else who go to the Emergency Room and get care which is paid for by those who have insurance." (This is a rough translation.) He is absolutely right. Today you and I pay for the illegal immigrants and those who don't have health care. In fact, if I wasn't worried about my credit rating going through the dumper, I'd just say "Forget it, let someone else pay."
Anyway, listen to the whole thing. It's a thoughtful interview and you learn a lot more about this guy. I think he articulates the Conservative message well. In fact, he seemed to me, to most represent a moderately American point of view. I give him huge bonus points for living and working in a nearly socialist state. He must work and play well with others. Of course, so did Bush in Texas, but this being Texas, even the Democrats are more conservative. More than that, Washington D.C. is a pit of poisonous vipers and the most amenable person can be painted extreme.
That last part leads to the following question: Who, in their right mind, would WANT to become President? That's the first question he answers.