Saturday, January 17, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 3

So, I have been doing a lot of thinking this week. Maybe something can be worked out?

Perhaps, Mitt can be President on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Jeb can be President on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Dick Cheney gets Sundays.

In all seriousness, it has been another interesting week of speculation and consternation for many, as just about all of the action on the White House front is on the GOP side. After all, Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, has yet to utter one public word about the Charlie Hebdo situation and events in France.

As readers of this blog would certainly know, I was for Mitt Romney in 2008 and felt he should have been President then, I was for him in 2012 and obviously feel the same way. After that defeat, I never expected he would truly try to get back into the Presidential game, and thus, everything that is going on right now feels a bit like uncharted waters for me. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the man should have be President now. If he were, I think he would be doing a great job and would be at the beginning of a reelection campaign for 2016. He is not President today because of the mistakes of others, not mine, and thus I am not going to avoid supporting him for President in 2016 because of their errors.

Of course, in America, the voters as a whole have the ultimate say and my one vote is just a part of that. I can understand that, but I also think I know a thing or two about politics and I recognize that the 2016 is in the extremely early stages. With that in mind, so many are already trying to drown the Mitt 3.0 campaign with the bathwater. Various right-wing pundits, especially from Fox News and The Weekly Standard, as well as the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal have never liked the idea of Romney for President, and now that it is once again a possibility, they are going to great lengths to try to discredit him. The Beltway elite and media theme this week has been that there has been some kind of great backlash among Republicans against the idea of Romney 2016.

In some quarters, that is very true, but just about all "normal" people, even GOP primary voters have yet to begin focusing on any of this. Despite a "bad week" for Mitt, polls will show that he easily leads the GOP field nationally as well as in the first states of Iowa and New Hampshire. By any measure, he would start off as the frontrunner, but as big of a Romney fan as I am, I recognize that such numbers are mostly due to name recognition and it will be a long, long time before this gets close to the first actual contests for delegates being held.

Many still wonder if Romney is really going to run after all. I honestly have no idea. As I have stated before, in a selfish way, I certainly want him to, but this is a lot to ask of him and of his family. It has to be a very difficult decision. The last two time non-incumbent nominee was Democrat Adlai Stevenson back in 1956. He lost a third attempt for the nomination in 1960, and since then, former Democrat nominees Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern both failed once (maybe even twice in both cases) in desires to return to the top of their ticket.

For two years now, Mitt Romney has said publicly that he has absolute no plans to run for office again, but he apparently began saying otherwise privately early this month, and he made his first public comments last night at the Annual RNC Winter Meeting, held this year in San Diego. Romney gave a relatively brief, broad-minded speech in which he said that he was indeed thinking about the future and how he can help shape it, and while he clearly sounded like a potential candidate for President in his remarks, the tone came across to me as being from someone who has genuinely not made up his mind.

Many of my fellow Republicans and Americans definitely want Mitt Romney to run. Others do not, including many who backed him in November 2012 or even in earlier Presidential primary fields, in what was then thought of as "weaker fields" than the one that most have expected to emerge this time. As I have said, I never expected this to be "real" in January of 2015, and thought if anything, maybe a vacuum in the field could in effect help Mitt be "drafted" into the fray months from now.

If he decides he wants to do this the traditional way though, it is going to be a lot of work. A lot of fundraising, interviews, meeting voters in small gatherings, candidate forums, and eventually crowded debate stages. Governor Romney has earned a lot of name recognition and respect, but many are not going to give him an easy ride, especially when a losing candidate for President (putting aside the fact that the Democrat front-runner was also once a losing candidate for President) has a hard time being seen as a "winner." If Mitt Romney decides that the long, hard slog of another campaign, especially a primary process, is not worth it, and that he can contribute to the cause in other ways, I might have a twinge of disappointment briefly, but I will not at all hold it against him personally. He has already given it his best shot before.

As I have said all month, Mitt Romney would be a strong candidate and would make a great President. I continue to say the same thing about Jeb Bush. Many activists in the party are apt to say no to both names and want a "fresh face/fresh name" and I think there are other good candidates and good potential Presidents who could fit that bill as well. On the other hand, somebody like Rand Paul (hardly a "fresh name" by that standard) would be a very troubling potential GOP nominee, and if he were by miracle to win a general election, a less than ideal President.

There is so much unknown in the next several months, but I hope the Republicans who do run for President will do their best to keep Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment in mind. Others who ran in 2012 and failed to do so are a big part of the reason that Mitt Romney is not running for reelection with the near unanimous support of the party today.  

Without a doubt, Mitt Romney would have a tough road ahead of him, but having watched him run for President for eight years now, he is never someone to be underestimated.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, you need to include my home state's former Governor Rick Perry (R) as a contender for the White House in 2016!

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Zreebs said...

I don't know why you think Romney "can't be underestimated". He was one of the favorites in 2008 and he struggled to beat a bunch of losers in the 2012 primary before being crushed by Obama in every tossup state except NC. I thought he was a poor candidate. He can try to redefine himself yet again, but I don't see it successfully happening. So now Romney is concerned about wealth distribution? Well good. Bring it on.

I also find it amusing that you invoke Reagan's 11th commandment when it was Romney who I recall had lots of negative ads in the GOP primaries.


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