Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Thoughts On Romney's "Run"

For a few weeks now, the conventional wisdom has been that Mitt Romney is running for the 2016 nomination. Not surprisingly, that raises a huge number of thoughts in my mind. Here goes...

● He’s Not Actually Running: My first thought upon hearing the news was that he’s not actually running. His wife seemed surprised by the idea and made it clear she won’t agree to another run; and I don’t see her changing her mind, not after the very firm stance she took. Romney will not ruin his marriage over this fool’s errand.

Moreover, Romney hasn’t done any of the intense effort it takes to be a viable candidate, e.g. fundraising, speeches, creating an agenda, door to door greetings, assembling of local, statewide and national teams, etc. With his prior Boy-Scout-like preparation efforts, this screams out that he’s not running.

“Ah hah! But don’t you see, Andrew?!!” scream the ideologues. “That’s the clever part! This is his shot at vengeance... he doesn’t care if he wins so long as he stops the Bush family from running again.”

//shakes head.

Look, I know the conventional wisdom storyline (Fox presented it all weekend): obsessively hating the Bush family, Romney decides to jump into the race to throw the election to someone other than Bush! Huzza! And with everyone knowing that Romney is obsessed and only cares about stopping Bush, the theory continues that we can dismiss things like his lack of a legitimate organization. Indeed, to the twisted contrary, his lack of preparation becomes self-serving proof of his obsession and his plan to run.

But that’s garbage.

First, this doesn’t fit his personality. Romney is not a guy who acts emotionally, and he lacks the Machiavellian instincts that would let him try to harm another person. Nor has there ever been any indication of any sort of obsession in his personality.

Secondly, to make even a fake run will require something like $100 million. There is no evidence anywhere that Romney would be willing to spend that kind of money just to tweak the son of someone he dislikes.

Third, even a fake run requires basic campaigning, which means subjecting Romney and his family to a death-march level of travel, appearances, meetings, speeches, dinners, etc. This could destroy his family. Would he do that just to tweak some guy?

Forget it. The onlyTHE ONLY reason Romney would run would be that he honestly thinks he can win, and he knows that’s not happening. Why? Read on.

● America Hates Losers: With America’s obsession with winners, Romney has no chance. Basically, when you fight in some sort of head to head competition, America judges you on the outcome. Win and you can do no wrong so long as you keep winning. But lose and you are shunned and pushed aside for the next best thing. Indeed, ask the Super Bowl losers, each of whom are forgotten, having been dismissed as the biggest loser of the year, even if they dominated the league until a last second dramatic loss in the Super Bowl itself. This is no different.

When politicians lose the big one, they are finished. They aren’t given a second shot at the nomination. They may get a cushy job on Crossfire or they may become respected elder statesmen and are slowly ushered off to pasture, but no one on their side wants to fight the powerful American impulse to write them off as losers. Why pick a candidate who faces such an uphill struggle before even saying a word? That’s just not smart.

● Why Else Would Romney “Run”: So if Romney isn’t running, what is he doing? He could just be trying to raise his status again now that the election is upon us. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was all followed by a surprise book. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he’s just messing with the media.

● Finally, Would I Support Romney?: Absolutely, but there are caveats here. Despite my initial misgivings about Romney, it soon struck me that he could very possibly be the genuine Reagan II. His lose was a true lose to the country and the cause of conservatism. So I would wholeheartedly support getting him into the White House. That said, however, being a prior loser is just such a huge burden to overcome that I simply don’t think he can win. So, to me, it makes no sense to back him.



Fredd said...

I could support Willard, or anyone else who emerges from the primary with an (R) behind their name. Even the lamest, milquetoastiest (yes, that's a word, look it up), unelectable radical Republican Tea Party lovin', tax cuttin' right winger would out perform the current occupant of the White House with half his brain tied behind his back. Or her back.

Mitt included.

Anthony said...

I'd vote for Romney in the unlikely event he survived the primaries but I don't think Romney could beat Hillary.

While Romney and the fat cats he was laughing with probably disagree, a sizable chunk of the bottom 47% vote Republican (otherwise the Republicans would not be so strong in the South) and sizable chunk of the upper 53% vote Democrat.

Tennessee Jed said...

I feel quite the same. Romney could be a really good president. But, he ran a lackluster campaighn last time. Remember, less people voted for Obama in 2012 than 2008, but Romney couldn't even get as many voters as McCain did.

He didn't talk about how he is going to help the middle class. Republicans will lose in 2016 if they keep doing things like loosening restraints on wall street rather than how they will make lives better. This is a lot of the stuff you covered in your book. The Clintons cannot be underestimated, and this time, the media will be fully on her side.

I still feel Scott Walker is the best we have right now. Run him on his record and stress how we can roll back government waste and still help the private sector create jobs.

BevfromNYC said...

Look, Romney lost because of evangelical Christian/Republicans who have some long-running irrational fear of Mormons just like they had some long-running fear of "Papists" when Kennedy was running. He was a good candidate, but did not have the killer instinct to get down and dirty in the campaign trenches. Though he was much more tech savvy than McCain.

I am not sure who I am leaning toward at this time, but I think what you say is true. Romney will not be running and he is just jerking the press and Dems around.

On a side note: For some reason it is not nearly as annoying as the "Will She run?/Won't She Run" BS of the Hillary Clinton non-campaigning. However, I understand that as long as she does not officially declare, she is free to charge those astronomical speaking fees that go to the "Clinton Foundation For Good Deed-Doing" for which she is then handsomely rewarded...

AndrewPrice said...

Fredd, I'll support whoever wins as well. I just don't think Romney's actually running.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Same here. I would absolutely support him if he wins the primary, but I don't think he can win the primary and I seriously doubt he can beat Hillary. Moreover, as I say, I just don't see him running.

And yes, I think a huge part of the problem Romney had was that he failed to connect with average people. He came across as an elitist who doesn't fit culturally with the rest of us. That's where guys like Christie are so smart to be seen at NFL games and doing other things that average people do. Interestingly, Hillary has the same problem as Romney -- no one would mistake her as someone who has ever been on a bowling team or spent an afternoon at WalMart.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Agreed on Romney and the Clintons. Romney could not have faced an easier setup -- historically unpopular president with no agenda and who runs poor, angry campaign and loses 9 million votes in the process...yet, Romney couldn't beat this. That's not the kind of performance that makes people want to give him a second shot.

And yeah, never underestimate the Clintons. That said, the truth is really "never underestimate BILL Clinton," and this time we are facing Hillary. She lacks the charisma and instincts of her husband, her support seems soft and grudging, and she's been turning off her own base more and more. Plus, her history isn't exactly that of a dynamic winner so much as a hanger-on.

Still, Clintons are dangerous.

Scott Walker certainly interests me. I intend to look deeper into his record soon because he seems to offer a lot as a candidate.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I thought Romney would have surprised us and been an amazing president, though he was an awful campaigner.

Like you, I just don't see him running. All the evidence suggests that he is completely unprepared for that and that his family wants no part of it. I think he's just playing with the media, and they are happy to run with it because it lets them spin hours worth of alternative outcomes.

On Hillary, yep... that's why she does it. She can get rich right now without any restrictions. Once she declares, all the rules kick in.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, wouldn't it be funny if Romney did win and the nomination came down to a race between Romney and Bush? I could see talk radio going insane as they decide to back Romney as the "anybody but Bush" candidate, especially having spent the last cycle backing everyone as the "anybody but Romney" candidate! I could even see them calling Romney "the only genuine conservative in the race" at that point! LOL!

Talk about irony!

Koshcat said...

His poor campaigning last time makes me unenthused to support Romney. People were begging to get rid of Obama and it looked very good after the first debate. After that it went all downhill. If he can't even keep up and beat Obama how can we trust him to take on Putin?

I know it is a little different but both running a campaign and running the executive branch both require a lot of the same skills.

BTW, my in-laws still insist that Obama cheated and stole the election. I told them to take a break from watching Fox News.

Koshcat said...

I doubt he will run because the wife always wins.

Why he is out there? Maybe he is testing talking points for other candidates (i.e. Bush) and seeing what resonates well.

Tennessee Jed said...

my concern is that Democrats will rally around Hillary because they realize if Republicans hold the white house and both houses of congress, AND are in a position to maybe add a conservative supreme court justice, they could lose all they hold dear. Some serious sets backs of what has been a relentless march towards statism. Women get caught up in "the first woman president" thing. Sharpton gets the black vote out (think Joey Biden's ''there gonna put you back in chains" quote). And, they are basically running as co-presidents, at least in the campaign. Billy will be JFK's RFK if you will. People still think of Clinton's presidency fondly before the popping of the tech bubble. Never mind that Bubba actually worked as a moderate Democrat during much of that time. Until I see a Republican candidate who doesn't bore me to death, I still fear her plenty

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I hear that sometime too: Obama stole the election by handing out Obama phones, paying for gas, other bribes, and shipping in illegals to vote in multiple states. Oy.

Agreed about Romney. His really poor campaign would make me think twice too about supporting him. That does suggest a lack of some critical skills for a politician.

Interesting point about him just floating trial balloons. I'll have to think about that.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That is one thing the Democrats are very good at -- rallying around their candidates no matter what. Our side doesn't do that, sadly.

I guess we'll see how everything goes. Let's hope for the best!

Kit said...

Don't really have much to say other than you are probably right, Andrew.

He was a poor candidate.

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