I’m not ready to give up on Mitt Romney. It may be a pipe dream, but I’m going to hang onto it for awhile longer. As I have said in earlier posts, Mitt has significant advantages that the current GOP candidates do not have, and they will give him more latitude with the timetable for making his final decision.
First, and most important, since he was the candidate in 2012, he has no issues with name recognition. He has maintained a presence on the political scene, so there is no concern with having to introduce himself to the American public. The fact that he has not participated in the debates thus far is actually more of an advantage than a disadvantage. He has avoided the melee of personal attacks and insults that the other candidates have participated in, and that most voters find tedious and tiresome.
Second, he is a thoroughly vetted candidate. He has already been under the microscope with the 2012 election, so it is highly unlikely that anyone will dig up any game changing information for the media or for his opponents. Staying out of the race and above the fray until the New Hampshire primary in February would actually be a good strategy.
As far as campaign financing, coming in late is not a deal breaker for Mitt. He is financially sound in his own right, and well connected with donors, many of whom are probably encouraging him to throw in his hat. As the field narrows, he will be a natural alternative for the billionaire backers who have yet to commit to a candidate, as well as those whose candidates have left the ring.
Everyone knows that Mitt Romney really wants to be President, and the 2016 election will be his best chance. In an interview with James Bennet of The Atlantic in late September, Romney said of the 2012 election, “I wish I could do it again”. During an interview with Brian Kilmeade about her new book, Ann Romney said, “we get a lot of phone calls, people are calling all the time, from our past donors saying ‘it’s time to think about it again’. We are assessing, it’s not like we are making a different decision, we are on the sidelines, we made a decision in January not to jump in. Like everyone else, we are mystified by the race” Although her comments don’t necessarily indicate Mitt will run, they don’t completely rule it out either.
I think there are a couple of conditions that will determine whether Mitt Romney reverses his January decision. One will be what happens with Donald Trump. He has made it clear that he does not want Trump to be the Republican nominee, so if he remains in the lead into 2016, I think Mitt will reconsider. The second factor will be whether he feels that whoever is closing in on the nomination is a strong enough candidate to beat Hillary Clinton. I think he would be supportive of Marco Rubio as a candidate, but I’m not sure he would be of the others. Mitt Romney is a patriot; I think he is extremely concerned about the leadership, or lack thereof, in Washington. I think he knows the country is on the wrong path, and that another four years of a liberal in the White House could be our undoing. I believe he will feel a moral obligation to step in if he is uneasy about the GOP chances in 2016. Time will tell.