Mitt’s Missed Opportunity

Mitt RomneyWith the presidential election less than three months away, I guess it’s time to give up on Mitt Romney entering the race. A year ago, early September to be exact, I kept a photo on the home page of my blog. It was side by side pictures of Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, and the caption read: The Dream Team, Romney/Rubio 2016.  That was back when I was almost certain Mitt Romney would announce his candidacy for the 2016 election, and I couldn’t think of a better running mate than Marco Rubio.

Of course, Mitt never entered the race, but Marco Rubio did. I made it a point to learn as much as I could about Rubio, and in no time, he had my full support. His autobiography, “An American Son”, sealed the deal for me.

Fast forward to this past March, when Rubio suspended his campaign, and it looked like Donald Trump just might be our de facto nominee. Mitt Romney took to the airwaves soon after and publicly eviscerated Trump. He made a compelling argument for why Trump would be a disaster of a candidate, and I agreed with him. Of course, plenty of pundits castigated Mitt for his effort’s, but I admired the fact that he would as the so-called standard bearer of the GOP, speak his mind.

I was not the only one who thought it might signal his late entry into the race. I’ve never been a supporter of a third-party candidate, (I still resent Ross Perot) but if there was ever a year when it could work, it would be 2016. After Kasich and Cruz suspended, I kept waiting for Romney to jump in and save the GOP, but it never happened. It doesn’t appear that it will.

Governor Gary Johnson is making a bid, as is Evan McMillan, although it’s doubtful that McMillan will have an impact on the race. Governor Johnson is seeing an increase in his poll numbers that may garner him a podium at the presidential debates. However, his pro-choice platform will keep me from supporting his candidacy.

Of all the names tossed around over the last few months, Romney was really the only one who could have proven a threat to Trump. Candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich still have a future ahead of them in political office, so it would have been a huge gamble on their part to run third-party. If they didn’t win, to quote Charles Krauthammer, “the longest political suicide note” in history.

Mitt Romney on the other hand, is unlikely to ever seek political office again, so he had little to lose by getting into the race. He already had the name recognition, he is a thoroughly vetted candidate, and he can most certainly gather the financial backing necessary to be competitive. He would have made a wonderful alternative to Donald Trump, and I truly believe many in the GOP, as well as Independents, would have flocked to support him. I think he could have swayed those Democrats who cannot forgive Hillary Clinton for ousting Bernie Sanders, or those who just plain don’t like or trust her.

This could have been Mitt’s year. I am still not sure what kept him from throwing his hat in the ring, but like many who are never-Trump and never-Hillary, I wish he had decided differently.

Romney’s Trump Card

Mitt Romney

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.

Why Romney Should Run in 2016

Romney Can WiMitt Romneyn In 2016

 

          Donald Trump and Ben Carson are currently the top two candidates in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, with Carly Fiorina holding in third.  With political outsiders in the lead, voters are saying they are tired of establishment politicians.

          Although these candidates are highly intelligent and successful individuals, their common appeal may be their political undoing. We are living in a dangerous world, and ultimately, we will need a leader who can handle himself or herself on the world stage. None of these three has experience in government protocol, legislating, or foreign relations.

Enter Mitt Romney. Although Romney has not declared himself a candidate in the 2016 Presidential race, he still has time. History has a strange way of repeating itself. In 1960, Richard Nixon lost his bid for the Presidency to John F. Kennedy, but came back in 1968 to win against Hubert Humphrey. In 1976, Ronald Reagan lost out in the primary against Gerald Ford, but came back in 1980 and beat incumbent Jimmy Carter. It can happen.

Romney is a devoted family man with a proven business background, and he is a polished and charismatic Statesman. He embodies the best qualities of Trump and Carson. While he does have a political background, he is not a Washington insider, or a career politician.

Mitt Romney is a thoroughly vetted candidate and this places him in a unique position. While the current candidates exchange insults and claw their way to the top of the pack, Romney can afford to sit out this portion of the process. Like Nixon before him, he can wait and announce his candidacy just before the New Hampshire primary, and rescue the Republican Party in the process.