It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from failed Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney but we got a bit more insight on his campaign and why they lost to Barack Obama.
In a rather devastating postmortem in the Boston Globe today, a bevy of Romney lowlights were revealed which included:
- Obama’s paid Florida staff totaled more than Romney’s entire national staff.
- A rebuke on showcasing Mitt Romney’s personal life which allowed a “caricature” of him to define him.
- Romney being intensely private and also unwilling to be more personal.
- A true drubbing by the Obama team in out-organizing and out-tekking the Romney team.
But what might generate the most headlines from the Globe’s piece is this line from Mitt Romney’s eldest song, Tagg:
He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run,” said Tagg, who worked with his mother, Ann, to persuade his father to seek the presidency. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.
Now, the Globe stated that Romney was “haunted” by his 2008 loss and initially told his family that he wasn’t going to run in 2012.
To be fair, I have no idea how Mitt Romney felt personally and it’s obvious that Tagg cares for his father’s best interests considering he would’ve punched the President for his Dad’s honor if he had his way.
But why would Romney not want to run? Historically President’s that are entering their re-election year tend to draw weaker candidates as very few rising politicians want to face off against an incumbent’s resources. You can trace it back through history, RFK’s initial refusal to primary LBJ, Ted Kennedy’s refusal to run in ’72 against Nixon (though to be fair other issues existed), Mario Cuomo in ’92 (however Bill Clinton did prevail) and Hillary Clinton in ’04 shows how stars prefer open races.
Therefore Romney knew that 2012 was his one shot at the Presidency and considering the refusal of entry by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio; the field was even clearer.
Since Romney’s refusal to run for re-election as Massachusetts Governor, he has been running a national campaign for President. I can’t tell you what his intrinsic thoughts were, but his actions leading up to ’12 spoke as someone who was ready to win the Presidency.
Take a look at the Mitt Romney timeline since 2008:
- Romney drops out of GOP race on February 7th, 2008 to “stand aside for our party”. The belief that Romney dropped out, not to endorse McCain but to be a symbol of unity, underscores his true to desire to be President.
- A late June 2009 piece in POLITICO mentions the continued presence of Romney’s “Free & Strong” PAC remained active and staffers were in constant contact with each other and fundraising using Romney’s name.
- Romney releases “No Apology”, an autobiography, denotes Romney’s view of American exceptionalism and the title refers to the widely debunked “apology tour” that Republicans claim Barack Obama took. No Apology took six months to write (so we can assume it started sometime in the summer of 2009) and an 18-state tour commences following its release. Sound like someone who is reluctant to run?
- Romney endorses Nikki Haley for Governor of South Carolina on March 16th, 2010. Romney’s endorsement of a Tea Party backed candidate (John McCain, by comparisons sake endorsed Henry McMaster) of a crucial early-state primary sort of continues the notion that he’s looking at 2012.
- Romney announces the formation of an exploratory committee on April 11, 2011 and two months later officially begins his campaign.
Now, we’ve essentially traced a few of the biggest news stories following Mitt Romney since the conclusion of his 2008 campaign. Are these the actions of a man with “no desire to run” for President?
Again, I do not know what Mitt Romney was thinking but all the indications point that since 2006, Mitt Romney has essentially been running for President. Could Tagg’s comments be simple damage control to show their belief that the Romney team lost as opposed to the Obama team winning?
Of course they likely are. But the public didn’t buy the Romney’s schtick for the past six years and I doubt they start now.