Saturday, January 10, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 2

The number three. So much a part of our culture. Three outs in an inning. Three strikes in an out. The third time is the charm.

All of this relates to the news that broke yesterday that Mitt Romney has told donors that he is indeed interested in making a third run for the White House. While I may never have expected that after 2012, and while this all feels a little different in regards to modern Presidential campaigns, I maintain that Governor Romney remains the best person for the job. If he really is going to go for it, as the saying goes, my heart is with him. I will just have to wait for sure to see what his next public comments on the matter are. This is all happening at a time when I was finding myself gravitating towards what looks like a very likely run by Jeb Bush. If I back Romney, it is nothing against what kind of President Jeb Bush would be. I think very highly of him. I just think that Romney might be a "safer" option in a way and believe it or not could better unify the GOP, at least eventually.

Several months ago, besides thinking that Romney almost certainly would not run, I also had great doubts that Jeb would actually go through with a campaign. Now, we are faced with what seems like a nearly impossible probability that both men may seek the Republican nomination. In one way, as a proud establishment Republican, that is great news that we might have such good options. On the other hand, it is kind of scary, because I really do not want to see too much intra-party conflict or anything happen to split the eventual vote and open the way for a far less electable GOP nominee. So much remains undetermined as to how the GOP campaign may unfold.

On the surface, I would analyze that the potential duel entries of both Romney and Bush would be very bad news for other establishment hopefuls such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Most expect Christie, a now infamous Dallas Cowboys fan to run, but I have my doubts. I would not support him in a primary even if he did run. Rubio surprised some people this past week by appearing more open to a 2016 run than some expected. All this means also means that Paul Ryan, the 2016 Vice Presidential nominee seems pretty likely to not run for the White House. Ryan, now Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee also seems to be growing a beard. That looks like a sign of someone who has no intention of running for President in the short-term. (Unless he just wanted to test it out before it's too late.) Ryan publicly stated last year that he would be willing to support Romney and also has contributed the statement "Right to Rise", which is the name of Jeb Bush's new Political Action Committee.

Beyond the names of Bush and Romney, scores of other Republicans seem to be looking at the race. The winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has just quit his job at Fox News and seems ready to give politics one last shot and the quasi-winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses Rick Santorum, a former Senator from Pennsylvania has all but declared he is in. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker looks to be serious about running and could be in the best position to benefit if both Romney or Bush fail to live up to political expectations.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who would start off with a considerable base of support, seems very much wanting to run, but there are issues at home surrounding if he can both run for President and reelection at the same time. The same can be said for Indiana Governor Mike Pence and whether or not he can run for two offices at once. (My advice to all of those people would be to not seek both if they are truly serious about winning the Presidency.)

Outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry, despite facing a bogus indictment seems very likely to make a second bid for the White House and it seems like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, in his last year of office, seems to want to give it a go as well, despite less than stellar job approval numbers at home. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is a strong possibility and could really battle it out with Paul for much of the same base of support, although Cruz is far superior on foreign policy matters to traditional conservative voters. Both of them may have to compete with boomlets for Dr. Ben Carson, an African-American, and would be first time candidate for political office, but who has already gained a lot of notice among grassroots conservatives over the past few years. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, who lost a 2010 U.S. Senate race in California also seems like she might take advantage of the opportunity to be the only female in a crowded field.

Beyond those names, at least a half dozen somewhat prominent Republicans may also run. Ohio Governor John Kasich could be the most intriguing of any of those, but perhaps he feels like he can afford to stay on the sidelines for a while and see how things shake out.

All of this is fascinating and should make for quite a wild ride through the 2015 "Invisible Primary" for Republicans. I think my party will have some good people to choose from, including someone like Jeb Bush, if he runs. His very early activity in this cycle though have had the definite effect of speeding up the process for many others, including the 2016 nominee, who would need to compete for the same base of voters and donors. It is definitely possible that the former Governor of Massachusetts will look at the reality of the situation and determine that the time is right for others to rise to the occasion.

When all is said and done though, I have been for Mitt Romney twice before, and while this would certainly be his final chance, he came pretty darn close last time, and if he and his family truly want to undertake the sacrifices once again for a chance to finish the job, I cannot not be loyal to the person I have believed so deeply in. We have seen the horrors of global jihadism over this past week and I know that the next President must be prepared and devoted to the cause of freedom and American strength.

Millions of us got it right in November of 2012 and more and more have come to realize it since. I would be proud to have Willard Mitt Romney lead us once again.


At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Zreebs said...

Romney has received relatively good press in the past two years, but despite that, he still performs very poorly against Hillary.

Romney doesn't need to unite the GOP. It is already United. Romney is polling relatively well right now, but don't scratch too far below the surface. See below:

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Zreebs said...

I know that you would like your posts to appear objective, but I couldn't help but notice how your comments about Huckabee giving "politics one final try" - which imply that he was a failed politician. Huckabee lost the same race that Romney did, and he lost his first race - I believe for Lt. gov. But other than that Huckabee was a very successful politician, who as much as anyone helped make Arkansas a solid Republican state.

It is not as if I a a Huckabee supporter. I dislike him more than Romney, but that is not my point. It is just that you seem to have different standards for Romney vs. other politicians - at least that is how I see it.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Zreebs, Romney will NOT run in 2016: seriously c'mon!

He's just jerking people's balls.

On my home state Governor here in TX: Perry's delivering his farewell speech to the Legislature tomorrow afternoon 2:30pm.

5 days before Abbott takes office as the 48th Governor of TX on January 20th.

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Zreebs said...

personally, I found it hard to believe almost anything Romney says, but I do believe him when he says he wants to be president. Romney's announcement has brought out critics in the GOP including surprises such as the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ has said Romney will have to prove he is a better candidate now than 4 years ago, and it suggested he might not be able to do so. My guess is that Romney didn't expect the backlash. In short, my guess is Romney is less likely to run today than a week ago.


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