Let me be clear. Mitt Romney is not running for president.
There will be no third run for the former Massachusetts Governor, no matter what Rep. Jason Chaffetz says.
Why would Romney want to go through that whole sordid process again? Republican primary voters are more conservative (read, crazier) than the electorate as a whole. Will they buy what he’s selling again? Probably not because they’ve got stars in their eyes for Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or whichever candidate happens to catch their fancy that week. Remember, at different points during the 2012 primary race, Romney trailed in the polls to Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Donald Trump even led the pack for a while. Donald Trump! Why would Romney want to subject himself to that again?
Even if he were to get through the primary gauntlet and win the nomination a second time, there’s so much baggage from the first time around.
Remember the tape where he got caught talking about the 47%? Prepare to see that flogged to death…again. I’m sure Romney will love hearing people bring up the subject of his wealth over and over and over again.
How about his general awkwardness around other people? He was painful to watch on the campaign trail.
Remember Romney being eviscerated for flip flopping on his healthcare plan?
There are some movies that are absolutely worth a second viewing. This is not one of them.
Plus there’s the danger they let Clint Eastwood loose again.
Look, I get why there’s an appetite for a third Romney run. The current crop of speculative GOP candidates are less than impressive. There’s also some buyer’s regret about Barack Obama, which is natural after a president has been in office for six years.
Another Romney run is especially attractive around these parts. He has favorite son status among Utahns because of his role in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial ruin and his ties to the LDS Church. But Utah only has six votes in the electoral college, so what plays well here won’t necessarily have legs everywhere else. Utah is not a bellweather.
American politics are full of second and third chances. But, those who take advantage of another shot have to actively work to return to the political arena. Romney is giving absolutely no indication he wants to run again.
Maybe Romney is stoking all this speculation trying to build a sort of critical mass of people who are hoping he will run. Maybe he’s banking on being seen as some sort of political savior. I don’t think that’s Romney’s game here. It’s an extremely risky play, and Romney didn’t make enough money to have a home with an elevator for his cars by banking on the fickle whims of the American public.
Look. There’s enough smoke around the issue of Romney making another run for something to be there. Chaffetz does not say what he said on national TV unless Romney has at least been thinking about it.
Perhaps I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. But I just don’t see Romney jumping into the race again.
Is there really a path to victory for Romney? It so, it’s very narrow.
The more likely outcome would be a third loss for Romney. Is that the legacy he wants to leave behind?
I’m guessing he won’t want to be a laughing stock. After all, there’s the political careers of Josh and the other Romney sons to think of.