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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Romney Reboots

Thinking about 2012

by Ramesh Ponnuru

In the early stages of the undeclared race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney is the frontrunner. The former governor of Massachusetts has the best-developed national network of supporters of any of the potential candidates. He is the one doing the most party-building across the country; of his potential rivals, only Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty comes close. He is the one to whom other Republicans are most likely to turn for answers on economic policy, and on many issues he is the only one giving them. When the auto companies came to Washington only Romney had a plan (“Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check,” he wrote in the New York Times).

He knows more about a larger range of policy issues than most of the other Republican candidates. All the candidates can, presumably, say something plausible about Afghanistan; not many can give a credible answer to a question about the role mark-to-market accounting rules played in the financial crisis, as Romney recently did in an interview with me.

A Republican strategist with no ties to Romney recently heard him speak and came away impressed by how much better a speaker he has become. “His stump speech has gotten very, very good. It’s very honed.” In a recent Rasmussen poll, Romney narrowly beat Sarah Palin as the candidate Republican voters most favored. Even the narrowness of that win may work to his advantage. Romney is not so far out in front that he has to worry about meeting high expectations. Nor has he ever made himself the center of attention. Thus he has avoided much criticism and kept voters from getting bored with him. He has been detached and analytical rather than angry...

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.