An Op-Ed on CNN theorizes that Mitt Romney could be a viable GOP Presidential candidate in 2016 should he decide to run. (He has denied any plans to do so).
I don’t know if I buy it. While it looks like he still has a great deal of goodwill within the GOP, he was damaged so much by his own actions and the efforts of the Democratic Party that it seems far too soon for him to be a viable candidate. At the same time, I just don’t see another likely GOP nominee that would be a viable candidate. But I am biased against the GOP in general, so I’d like to hear your opinion, especially if you are likely to be a GOP primary voter.
Idle chatter by a pundit or a member of the Mitt Romney fanclub. Come on- this is just filler. The only reason to write a story like this is that Romney has name recognition and the “take” is supposed to be surprising. (It really isn’t.At all.) There was zero enthusiasm for Romney’s candidacy and the people who didn’t like him before won’t like him now that they’ve seen him go up against Obama and lose. The Republican Party has not moved toward a single position Romney championed; you could make an argument the changes since then have been favorable to a Tea Party type or to Rand Paul, but not Romney. Romney just barely survived the primaries and his supporters will choose another candidate.
I saw that on CNN, too, but I don’t buy it. Romney ran in 2008 and didn’t get out of the primaries; he ran four years later against an embattled incumbent saddled with a bad economy and still blew it in November, to a considerable extent due to self-inflicted wounds.
Nothing I read in Mark Halperin’s and John Heilemann’s excellent behind-the-scenes account of the 2012 campaign, Double Down, makes me think Romney would do any better the third time around. He is very, very unlikely to run, and if he does, I doubt he could win the GOP nomination again. No losing major-party presidential candidate has run again and won since Nixon in 1968, and that was only by a whisker. In the current 24/7 media environment, with the electorate already overfamiliar with the candidates over the long slog of a modern campaign, I doubt a one-time loser could go all the way, let alone a two-time loser.
It’s unlikely, but he’d probably have a better shot in 2016 than in 2012, so why not? Lately, losing Presidential candidates haven’t run again, but I don’t see that this is a hard and fast rule. Sometimes you just have a bad campaign, sometimes it’s just not yet your time but a future time is more likely. Think Richard Nixon.
One guy who I wish would get back into the mix is Al gore. Maybe he just likes being undefeated in Presidential elections though and doesn’t want to risk his perfect record.
But I’ve come to like Romney over the years, even as I disliked him intensely in 2008. He’d be a capable President, not particularly ideological, probably damp down the partisan wars a little. So again, why not?
Here’s the deal, though: however we may feel about Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc., the GOP base doesn’t regard them as clowns, the way they wound up regarding pretty much every conservative pretender in the 2012 cycle.
The real standard here, IMHO, is: the GOP will nominate the most conservative candidate that the GOP primary electorate feels can play a President on TV.
What happened in 2012 was that Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum, etc. all failed the TV test, and Perry failed the ‘conservative’ part by actually having empathy for the DREAM kids. So they went with Romney because he could play a President on TV, even though they didn’t have much faith in his conservatism.
This time, the primary electorate will find that Cruz, Paul, Ryan, and others can pass the TV test, and are plenty conservative enough for them. Romney would have zero chance for the GOP nomination if he ran.
He has this going for him if he tries: The batshit vote could be as fractured as it was 4 years ago. If he’s allowed to pick off the nutjobs coming out of the un-Romney clown car one by one like he was last time, he wins the nomination going away. If there is anybody else running that the monied GOPers can stomach, then he doesn’t win. If he gets to run against Cruz and Paul, he wins. If Jeb Bush goes against him, he loses. None of this gives him a chance against Hillary.
THat’s the main problem. Romney only wins the nomination if no one more viable runs. The GOP really likes their young guns. If we have to hold our nose, we probably hold our nose for Chris Christie, not Mitt Romney.
Then again, if the field is all far right candidates, no Christie, not even a Jeb Bush, then it’s practically begging for a Mitt Romney-type candidate.
His approval rating might be higher if he were contrasting himself with a Republican challenger. I seem to recall hearing about how various poll numbers showed Obama was going to lose in 2012 because no president had ever been re-elected with [insert arbitrary statistical milestone]. It didn’t work out that way.
At the risk of hijacking my own thread…
Why would you like to see Al Gore run again? I posted a similar sentiment on facebook about a week ago because I think that enough time has passed since the 2000 election that he could be a viable candidate as well as a capable and experienced President who knows how to get the job done. I’ll vote for Hillary over any of the GOP crowd, but she reminds me a lot of Romney, i.e. overly pragmatic and willing to say whatever it takes to get elected.
This is meaningless. Elections happen after campaigns, and campaigns are designed (among other things) to improve a candidates approval rating. And Obama has run some very, very good political campaigns.
If the election were held today, there would have been a long campaign beforehand, in which Obama probably would have wiped the floor (again) with Romney.