Romney reveled in tying McCain to two of the more liberal members of the Senate, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), with whom McCain is working on comprehensive immigration reform, and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), with whom McCain has reformed the campaign finance system.Tough stuff in a Republican primary campaign. Kennedy in particular is seen as the definition of the bleeding heart liberal, reviled in all corners of Red State America - tie a candidate too closely to him and he's sunk.
“My fear is that McCain-Kennedy would do to immigration what McCain-Feingold has done to campaign finance and money in politics, and that’s bad,” Romney said.
Of course, it's a dangerous strategy for the former Governor of Massachusetts. Forced to deal daily with a Democratic State House in what is widely considered the most liberal state in the Union, he's bound to have skeletons in his own closet. And some of those skeletons tie him directly to the state's senior Senator, Teddy Kennedy.
The two men joined together on issues as provincial as stopping a local wind farm:
Kennedy said yesterday that he would have preferred to give Romney veto power over the Cape Wind project to set a precedent in which offshore energy projects can't move forward without a state's consent.to joining together to squeeze more money from the federal government:
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) met with HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on Tuesday to push for the continuation of a state Medicaid waiver that amounts to $585 million in federal Medicaid matching funds annuallyand of course, on Romney's claim to fame, Universal Health Care:
Whereas before, Romney was touting the initiative as an example of his ability to deliver as a Republican who works with Democrats to get good things done, now he's making statements like "I was a little concerned at the signing ceremony when Ted Kennedy showed up."All perfectly reasonable, of course. It's what politicians do to get things done. It's why arch conservatives including Orrin Hatch, Bill Frist and George Bush have joined forces with Kennedy over the years.
That point is bound to be lost on the Republican primary voters, however.