Meet Mitt Romney Again, for the First Time

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 3 2012 10:49 AM

Meet Mitt Romney Again, for the First Time

Michael Calderone was first with the news that "as many as 60" conservative bloggers met with Mitt and Ann Romney at Washington's Capitol Hill Club yesterday. (The Club is right next to the RNC, and spitting distance from the House of Representatives offices.) I've gotten my own sense of the meeting from conversations with attendees.

- The interaction with Romney himself lasted for a little more than an hour. Before he spoke, attendees were treated to a presentation (with charts) about the Hilary Rosen story, a Twitter/blog-driven controversy that the Romney campaign used to win some news cycles. Romney was proud that his wife didn't "lose her ability" to work on economic issues.

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- Romney did not shift from the "Obamacare" argument he made during the campaign. Massachusetts, he said, could afford a mandate; the country couldn't. He did not win converts. But he got a question about how he'd adapt if Obama's law was struck down by the Supreme Court, and impressed attendees with the answer.

- The topics, as first reported by Calderone, included the Fast and Furious story, whether the Romney campaign would leak to the MSM or to blogs, the economy, and the national debt. Social issues, I'm told, did not come up. Nor did the story driving the MSM that day, the departure of Romney foreign policy spokesman Ric Grennel.

- Romney was funny. This may be the learned fact that was the most new to the most people.

- The fact that the meeting even happened was welcomed as a great victory, a long time coming. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, also at the meeting, remarked on the newness, and how Republicans needed to do more of this. (This sounded like boilerplate to me, but it clearly impressed bloggers who had moaned incessantly about the pain of a Romney nomination.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.