Many Utah Republicans are hoping these days that Mitt Romney will run for president again in 2016.
How do I say this?
Mainly because Romney keeps saying he won’t.
But there are other factors, as well.
And a few are yet to play out in Utah and across the nation.
Here are just three:
— I don’t see Congress making much progress on the immigration issue over the next two years.
And if the U.S. Senate falls into Republican control – with Barack Obama still in the White House – I don’t see a way forward for comprehensive immigration reform, even though most Americans want it.
Utah has gone about as far as it can on its own on immigration.
There is not way to get the federal “waivers” that recent Utah legislative action calls for.
Without comprehensive immigration reform, even if Romney did win the GOP nomination in 2016, I don’t see him – or any Republican – winning the White House.
The Hispanic vote will not line up with the GOP.
— It’s my guess that in 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court will legalize gay marriage.
The decision may or may not be on Utah’s Amendment 3. (We seem to be at the head of the line right now, but justices could well decide to take another state’s anti-gay marriage law, Utah’s is kind of messed up with the second part of Amendment 3 seeming to punish gay Americans.)
In part because of his Mormon faith, Romney would be on the wrong side of the legalization of gay marriage – a big minus for him in 2016 across the nation.
— Women’s rights could be a real issue in the 2016 presidential race, especially if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Again because of his faith, Romney will be against giving the priesthood to women in the LDS Church.
Hard to see how much this could play against Romney – there are a lot of Catholics out there who don’t want female priests, either.
But, again, I don’t see Romney’s stand on giving LDS women the priesthood helping Romney outside of his conservative GOP base.
In short, instead of expanding the national Republican Party in 2016, I see a Romney candidacy narrowing it.
And, assuming Democrats put forward a good candidate, that spells doom for another Romney presidential run.
Romney is a smart guy.
And does he really want to go down in American history as a man who lost three runs for the U.S. presidency – 2008, 2012 and 2016?
Kind of puts him up there with Ralph Nader.
Back in 2008 I wrote a column for the Deseret News about how the GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., would not pick Romney as his vice presidential running mate.
Boy, did I get all kinds of hate emails on that column.
But I was right. McCain didn’t pick him.
Many Utahns today may want Romney to run for president again.