Romney: The Candidate the Media Forgot

Written by David Frum on Tuesday May 31, 2011

The media is following Sarah Palin's every move while they also ignore the GOP's clear front-runner: Mitt Romney.

The media is following Sarah Palin's every move, but as I write in my CNN column today, they also ignoring the GOP's clear front-runner: Mitt Romney.

Sarah Palin has mesmerized the cable shows by revving a bus and riding a Harley.

Pundits debate when Texas Gov. Rick Perry will join the presidential race and when Newt Gingrich will quit.

Meanwhile, the man who was and is the actual front-runner in the Republican presidential race rates barely a mention in the media commentary.

I'm talking about Mitt Romney of course, the former governor of Massachusetts who has polled first in almost every Republican presidential preference poll since January 2009. Yet somehow the commentariat will not believe it.

Romney's long-standing advantage is dismissed as pure name-recognition. Wait till the other candidates open fire on his health care record, his abortion flip-flop, his prior support for same-sex unions! His balloon will pop as soon as Republican primary voters start paying attention.

And yet ... it turns out that Republicans who are surveyed by pollsters are paying enough attention to have popped more than a few balloons already. Not just self-evidently absurd candidacies like Donald Trump's, but presumptively serious candidacies like Newt Gingrich's have already imploded. Smart and appealing politicians like Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels have tested the waters and found insufficient support.

Meanwhile, Romney continues to raise money, collect important backers and ride along in first place in the polls.


Well maybe it is all name ID.

Or maybe -- does this give voters too much credit? -- they are thinking about the close match between skills Romney has and the skills needed in a president. ...

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