Actually, it turns out that Public Policy Polling puts Sarah Palin and Romney in a tie for first place among the GOP contenders. Politico also reports that Romney leads in some of the “early battleground states” like New Hampshire.
Still, Palin seems to find a way to steal his thunder.
Whether her thunder-stealing is intentional or not is up for the debate. But she did end up in New Hampshire hosting a clambake just as he made a visit after announcing his candidacy. And while she was there, she took a shot at him for his Massachusetts healthcare reform law. (This, along with his history as a flip-flopper, his lack of charisma, and other items are among his shortcomings as a candidate.)
Romney is downplaying healthcare in favor of playing up his experience in business, which looks to be his big message for this election cycle. The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza notes that in 2007, Romney was very focused on “family, God, abortion, and judges—issues of paramount concern to the religious right.” This time around, his big announcement came with a speech focused on economic issues.
Romney’s 2008 campaign spokesman Kevin Madden appeared on CNN’s In the Arena telling Eliot Spitzer, “I think he’s found that one big argument [for why he wants to be President] and I think it’s the argument that the American public is really focused on and that’s the economy.” Madden goes on to say that, this time around, Romney has a much “clearer message” and a bigger “connection with the American public” with talk about getting people jobs.
Still, The Daily Beast reports that while Romney was giving a speech in New Hampshire, reporters were heading over to Palin’s aforementioned clambake. Reporters left an event starring the frontrunning Republican candidate for the presidency of the U.S. to go to a clambake headlined by a woman who may not even run for office. For Romney, that’s problematic.
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