I don't think Mitt Romney even really wants to be president anymore...

Am I crazy? Am I the only one? For some reason lately I’ve been getting this nagging feeling that Romney doesn’t really want to even be president anymore. I remember watching him in 2008 campaigning, and such, and he seemed like he genuinely wanted to be president and had some decent ideas and motivations for wanting to lead the country.

Now, everything I hear him say, or read about him, he looks uncomfortable, unhappy, and just flat-out uninterested in being president. I almost wonder if he is actively sabotaging his own campaign sometimes, just as much as is tolerable. When you have very conservative columnists calling you out on stupid things you are doing in your campaign, you know you aren’t doing a very good job campaigning.

I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy. But I feel like Romney is just kind of going through the motions these days, and is probably secretly hoping to lose (not too badly, doesn’t want to be an embarrassment in the footnotes of history), and then be able to become a commentator or contributor somewhere for millions, cashing in on his prominence a la Sarah Palin.

And if Romney really did end up becoming president, I don’t see how he would be happy. Despite how much he promised he has turned around and seen the light on social conservative issues, and tea party issues, etc, I don’t think he honestly believes any of it. He panders because he has to, he is expected to pander (again, doesn’t want to be a complete embarrassment to history, that’s his ego). So if he did manage to become POTUS, he’d again just be expected to be a sort of rubber stamp president, going along with whatever the super conservative congress want him to do. I don’t think he’d have any political capital whatsoever upon being elected… and what personal issues are important enough to him that he would even want to push as president? Is there anything that he really, truly stands for?

He was happy and proud of his healthcare achievement in Massachusetts, and rightly so. I think he’d be happy if the whole country could follow that model. Of course he can’t honestly say that. And he can’t fight for it as president, if he makes it that far. The only other thing he really seems to care about is tax cuts… and, there you go.

I believe that Bush really had a vision and dream for America, and wanted to be president, and pushed for it and such. He had ideas, he had goals, and he used his political capital to push for things he wanted. He certainly wasn’t a great president, but at least, to me, it seemed obvious he really wanted the job.

I especially feel that McCain really wanted it at first too, had some strong passion to lead the country and implement his vision. I think he started to lose it, and lose the passion, when the tea party came up, and especially when he got booed by that crowd after he told that old woman that she didn’t need to be scared of Obama and arabs, or whatever.

Same with Kerry. Somewhat with Gore too. He wasn’t as passionate outwardly about it but I got the feeling in 2000 he really had some strong, innovative ideas for the country. I’m still young so I don’t remember or know much about any of the other presidential candidates.

So what do you think? Is Romney’s heart still in it (or was it ever)? Does he have some strong impetus for wanting to be president? Or is he just hoping to fade away gracefully and cash in on his name recognition with a book deal and some sort of pundit job?

I’ve had the same feeling myself. I think maybe he’s only running because he lost a bet with someone.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he has second thoughts. He’s got a really comfortable lifestyle. Lots of friends and travel. That all gets wiped out if he becomes President. Even afterward he’ll have Secret Service hovering around and restricting his life.

After the convention he will gear up and go into full campaign mode. I think he’ll give the campaign all he’s got. But, won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t work out. This isn’t a guy that needs to be President. He’s here to serve if the voters want him.

A ten thousand dollar bet? (You know, chump change)

Underestimating the other guy is a rookie mistake.

However understanding the psychology of your opponent helps you to attack him better.

I’ve noticed this also. His response to the attacks on his taxes has been “yeah, but the economy is still bad.”

I don’t know. Perhaps he really doesn’t buy the crap he has to spew. Perhaps he is not used to being attacked for his business life, which is something his opponents in the primaries (except for Newt in a last gasp) didn’t do. Perhaps he knows what is in the tax returns, and knows what is going to happen when they come out as they must eventually.

I’ll make sure to remind Obama of that at our next campaign strategy session.

Maybe it comes from the feeling that Romney really doesn’t dislike Obama that much, and in fact might even respect him. And since that is really the only reason anyone would even vote for Romney in the first place (a hatred of Obama), it might be demoralizing to him.

Obama has been a pretty meh president to me, so I don’t think it would take much hubris or pride to think you could be a better president than him… but I don’t get the feeling that Romney honestly believes that he could or would.

I assure you he wants to be president more than most sane people can comprehend. If you’re not convinced by the fact that in the last year he’s undercut just about everything he did in elective office and his entire 2008 primary campaign, consider the blatant lies and distortions and (lately) the possible race-baiting in his campaign. Like most politicians, he’ll say nearly anything to get elected, and with Romney it probably goes a little farther. And if all of that doesn’t convince you that he wants it desperately, wait and see what happens over the next couple of months.

If there’s anything to the OP (and I’m not sure there is) it’s because Romney is coming to learn and accept what being a president will really mean – a life of powerlessness and frustration compared to the power he wielded as a CEO. And he doesn’t like it, and he knows there is no way he’s going to be able to keep most of his promises, and he probably doesn’t even like most of the promises he’s made.

Now, if he wants to pick an enemy and start a war, the presidency is the best job in the world for that. But in terms of managing the government as if it were a large company, his powers are really limited.

Or maybe he’s just holding in reserve until the Fall when the campaign really starts.

I think he’s experiencing the same problem that McCain experienced – finding that in order to get elected, he’s having to compromise some of his ideals. I don’t think that means he doesn’t want to be president anymore, just that he’s finding it tiring to be constantly on guard against saying the wrong thing, no longer able to speak his mind because he has to stick to a script that he doesn’t always fully support.

If you notice his hair as really been turning white.

Visually, he’s aged noticeably since the primaries. He’s likely been struck by the stress of running a national campaign - constant stops, constant speeches, incessant shaking of hands, fake smiles, and saying crap he doesn’t really believe.

He can say good bye to his almost perfectly dark coif after he becomes President.

Are you kidding? He reeks with the desire to be the President. Can you seriously not see it?

Not because, you know, they disagree with his policies? :rolleyes:

I meant they hate Obama because of his policies, not him personally. They won’t be voting for Romney because they have examined his supposed policies and like them. That’s all.

There’s obviously nothing to dislike about Obama’s personality. Even his biggest detractors admit he has charisma and is a good campaigner.

In that case “hatred of Obama” is a confusing term to use.

Agreed. It wasn’t what I really meant.

This also seems to have come as a surprise to him, and I’m not sure why that is.

I don’t think the facts of campaign life come as a surprise, but the reality of it, the day-to-day slog, is something you probably can’t really understand until you actually go through it. It’s one thing to know that you’re going to have to plaster on a smile and say the right things, and another thing to do it day after day. Presumably he endured something similar during his gubernatorial campaign, but on a smaller scale and for less time. We’re all getting pretty fed up with the campaign, and we’re not the ones who have to do it.