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O Mitt, Mitt! wherefore art thou Mitt?

O Mitt, Mitt! wherefore art thou Mitt?

Is Mitt really the best chance Republicans have?

It’s happening again. Just when you think he’s gone into the sunset — the ‘Romney in 2016’ wave of hysteria sweeps across pundit land.

So here we are again this weekend asking ourselves — Will Mitt be the GOP nominee in 2016?

From the FRONT PAGE of The Washington Post today:

“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.”

For a party without a consensus leader — nor a popular elder statesman like Democratic former president Bill Clinton — Romney is stepping forward in both red and blue states to fill that role for the GOP.

“There’s a pretty big void in the party right now for national leaders, and Romney’s in a unique position, having been around the track, to help fill that void,” said Scott Reed, a veteran GOP strategist who oversees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political operation.

There is nothing wrong — factually — with any of the comments made about Romney’s current positive profile. But should that (and would it) translate into a successful 2016 run for the two-time loser for President? (McCain beat him in 2008, Obama in 2012)

I’ve been arguing for many months that the total Democratic fixation on Hillary Clinton bodes ill for the bench strength of that party. Yet this constant reanimation of Mitt seems to be set in an opposite environment — the GOP bench is very strong, especially for 2016 prospects.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) fueled this current round of Mitt in 2016 talk in July.

And Professor Jacobson correctly pointed out at this blog last month that Mitt has been right on many important topics.

Depending upon which of the Republican candidates survive the Democratic-Media Industrial Complex “kill the baby in the cradle” strategy of crazying Republican rising stars, Mitt may be the last man standing, again.

Matt Lewis contributing editor at TheWeek.com and Daily Caller columnist has been one of the dissenting voices when it comes to Mitt 3.0. But now Matt is revving up the topic as well this weekend.

First, in the intervening years since 2012 — and on a range of issues, not the least of which is Russia — Romney has been proven right. And second — perhaps more important — one of the reasons so many observers viscerally disliked Romney was the cloying “goody-goody” quality that this fortunate son seemed to ooze. But do you know what the cure for that is? Losing.

That’s right, Mitt Romney the scrappy underdog — the loser who’s out to redeem himself — is a more attractive Mitt.

You know the term “lovable loser?” He should embrace it.

There’s a reason why Rocky gets knocked out by “Clubber” Lang early on in Rocky III. The rest of the movie is about the comeback. This journey involves Rocky shedding the trappings of fame and wealth — and getting real.

Romney would similarly have to get real. No more phoniness. No more telling us what he thinks we want to hear. He would have to be utterly authentic, and he would have to show that losing caused him to encounter pain and reflection. (The good news is that the Netflix film, Mitt, already helped show this side of Romney.)

Could Romney III be like Rocky III? Maybe, if the narrative is true and convincing.

Look, I like Mitt Romney. I was a Newt voter in South Carolina in 2012 — so Mitt wasn’t my first choice. Or my second. But he would have made a far more level-headed, effective and competent President than Barack Obama. Mitt probably trumps John McCain on those attributes, I might add.

I suppose this is a bad comparison since the two men have nothing in common — but back in 1966 there was probably a 45-year old curmudgeonly conservative laughing at the prospect of Richard Nixon coming back again in 1968.

Stranger things have happened, I just feel as if the fixation on Romney hurts the focus on really strong candidates that the Republicans have waiting in the wings after we get through November 2014.

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Comments

This is fine with me. Keep the focus on Mitt. Nobody who is being looked at this early is going to make it to candidacy. The Repubs have a very nice bouquet of successful governors and I hope they will select from among them.

I would very much like to see Mitt in a position of responsibility for some major project, because he has a very good record for effectiveness.

    Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | August 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Sec. Commerce would be a natural. They guy knows from commerce…

      Yes Willard certainly knows how to make money by begging for bailouts, taking over healthcare in MA, and lying on SEC filings.

      I can’t wait to see who *conservatives* nominate next!

DINORightMarie | August 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

There are lots of things I could say about this post, about Mitt, etc. but let me ask you this: who is asserting Mitt Romney as candidate, according to this WaPo article? (hint: the answer is at the end of the quoted excerpt.)

Yeah. That’s who wants Mitt.

Fluffy Foo Foo | August 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Romney is way better candidate than Newt. Newt can’t even write good popular history books. Whereas Romney has been a governor and organized a successful Olympics.

I like Mitt and think he’d make a great President. Does he excite me? Not really. Is he the most popular kid running for election? No. Would he do right by the country as President compared to either Bush or Obama? I think so.

    tencz65 in reply to Fluffy Foo Foo. | August 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    After playing ‘Pitbull’ in the primaries . He came out though and lough against Obama.Half way though the campaign when Mitt had a wide open door to shut down Obama he wouldn’t use it . What !!! As it ended up i donated and voted Mitt cause that was all i had !! No more ‘Establishment’ Romney for me. We have some very good young Lions if Obama doesn’t call the election seeing how he has the power of God in America !
    note to self . We have No political Gods in America . Sessions & Cruz or Palin 2016 . I’m hoping our Republic stands.
    personal note : if not for Senator Sessions hard work the pass two years ,Barry would be on top of his communist hill

    “organized a successful Olympics.”

    You guys sure do love to bitterly cling to the mythology.

Newt was known for back-stabbing conservatives as Speaker. Backing candidates on the basis of a good speech or debate performance is dangerous – it leads to inexperienced and incompetent buffoons as President.

We have plenty of qualified Governors/former Govs in the stable, but certainly Romney deserves consideration before we make the tragic mistake of nominating a first-term Senator in a frenzy of ignorance.

    Spiny Norman in reply to Estragon. | August 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    How many times does Mittens have to lose before people realize that he isn’t a compelling candidate?

    myiq2xu in reply to Estragon. | August 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Newt is an interesting person and really good at engaging the media but he should never again be trusted with power.

I would be happy to vote for Mitt again.

anyone who wants mitt is a retard.

    C. Lashown in reply to dmacleo. | August 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Honestly, I agree. I think we should nominate someone with a proven (and expected) track record of performance. John McCain is someone the GOP can rely upon to meet expectations, and he would be the perfect example of the Republicans reaching across the aisle.

      Ragspierre in reply to C. Lashown. | August 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Good gawd, put a sarc tag or some damn thing on the end of a comment like that, so we don’t lose our dinners…!!!

I suppose this is a bad comparison since the two men have nothing in common

Only if you don’t consider their counterproductive ideas about health care.

Mittens ran just hard enough, with some help from the MFM, to win the GOP nomination, then he stopped.

he didn’t try to beat BamBam, just went through the motions. he had his chance to win, and threw it away.

i’ll never vote for the scumbag again. thanks for nothing, you stupid RINO POS.

    terimwal in reply to redc1c4. | August 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Agree redc1c4. No more Mitt. Is a two-time loser the best we can come up with? As Valerie said, we have some talented governors. Why can’t we go with someone who doesn’t have “loser” attached to his name? Besides, he didn’t act like he wanted to win against Obama. We need someone with some backbone.

    Spiny Norman in reply to redc1c4. | August 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Backbone.

    In the second debate, Barack Obama and Candy Crowley ganged up on him with a big fat provable lie and he was left flat-footed and unable to effectively respond. I remember yelling at him Say something, you fool! Do it! through the television. But nothing of any substance. A man with the mettle to be President could have slapped that away with relative ease. Mitt Romney does not have the mettle.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Spiny Norman. | August 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      yeah .. I kinda agree … kinda not.

      He had to figure out on the fly that he had been sold out by the Crowley gang … but he shoulda known that probably. His team probably said he was winning, so pull back on the attack a little. That was wrong … he needed to attack every time. MFM are enemies of the state.

      We REALLY need a smart guy like Romney, that knows the ropes of big business. Cruz is pretty awesome, but he doesn’t have that. Walker is pretty good, but he doesn’t have that part of Romney either.

      Of course we need a candidate that can win, while big media gives ten points to any Democrat, and union money and their mob gives another ten. Romney has name recognition, Walker is my other choice. The left and their media is pretty busy destroying Cruz or any tea partier.

      Cruz … maybe as VP. He can’t pull an Obama, cuz is Hispanic not black, conservative not commie, has MFM seeking to destroy him, instead of propagandize for him as they did for Obamassiah.

      Huckabee is only interested in his own campaign, or his own absolutist “let me prove how effin Christian I am” loser candidate, as when he kept supporting his loser in MO. Walker is fine … better than Romney, but more money has been spent demonizing him as anti-union.

      Rand Paul ?? Still trying to get it together on America’s super power role. Says many good things … still looks like a light weight too often.

      At the moment … give me Walker … or Romney Walker. Cruz with the street fighter tat’s might work. But let’s win the senate first.

Romney? Do we have to go through this painful exercise again?

BannedbytheGuardian | August 3, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Mitt has good points . However his team of overgrown preppie NE preppies were totally ineffective & To stop these types ruining elections you need to do a reverse Tea Party & throw all Bostonians into the sea . Some of that fracking technology should be able to severe the land connection & excise the eastern region of Mass ( I quite like the west bits) to become #Wearebetterthanyouland

But no – the Realm of Boston has Its own Q Elizabeth ready to usurp The Great Pretender Hillary. More & more Bostonians will be running the show .

Perhaps Henry James was trying to tell us something .

Personally, Romney is one of those rare candidates that I came to respect more as the campaign went on.

Wherever you are, Mittens: stay there.

TrooperJohnSmith | August 3, 2014 at 11:36 pm

I don’t think Mitt’s predictions that have come true were anything that anyone with at least a heaping teaspoon of functioning gray matter connected by more than a handful of synapses didn’t see coming.

Nostradamus, Mitt is not, but he’s also not a Marxist, narcissistic community organizer, who has never worked a day in his life, written nothing anyone has ever read or never had an original thought. Mitt still believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming, but he isn’t hell-bent on destroying America.

Seriously, if Clint Eastwood’s famous empty chair had run against Barack Øbama for president of the United States, Øbama would still be a distant second in intelligence, common sense and love of country. Way distant.

I’d much rather have Mitt than Rand Paul or even Ted Cruz. I don’t trust Rand Paul and Ted Cruz is very very green. That stunt with him going to the border with Glenn Beck and Dana Loesch handing out toys pretty much ended my interest in him for the moment.

If we could get Scott Walker, then I would be fired up.

I blame Mitt’s wimping out on the fear that he might look like he was trying to show up, or be disrespeckful to, our First Black President. No Republican could have run a truly honest, straightforward campaign against the Teflon Kenyan.

I also think any Republican candidate is doomed in 2016 because half of the Republican party will hate him/her and stay home or worse, depending whether they act on their flouncy threat to vote for the Democrat instead because no difference because RINO.

I recently relinquished my Unaffiliated voting status to become a Republican, though I really have buyer’s remorse. While the Donks hang together and eschew purity tests in the greater interest of strengthening their party’s hold, the Republicans are a circular firing squad. Repubs need to focus on, and campaign on, values-neutral national urgencies, chiefly (and still) the economy. But if Romney and Ryan, the absolute best men available to fix our financial mess, couldn’t get the squabbling factions of the GOP to rally behind them, who else could possibly do so?

I blame these peabrained Republicans for Obama’s 2nd term and am not optimistic about 2016.

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