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Mitt Romney, the GOP’s “Unifying Figure”?

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s “Unifying Figure”?

Romney Republicans focus on “mainstream” candidates with “broad-based appeal”

Love him, hate him, or feel ambivalent toward him, Mitt Romney was “right about everything,” and that is standing him in good stead with the GOP.  Indeed, Politico is reporting that Romney is “working to rid the GOP presidential primary of the mayhem that marked his own race”:

Mitt Romney is working with an unlikely collaborator — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — in the hopes of ensuring that the GOP primary produces a mainstream conservative without any of the mayhem that marked his own race.

The two, who speak monthly, aim to convince the wealthy contributors bankrolling various candidates to work together to avoid the kind of primary election chaos that Romney believes laid the seeds for his defeat in 2012. The former Massachusetts governor is also considering endorsing a candidate to achieve his goal.

They’re unmistakable signs of Romney’s newly assertive role in the Republican Party but also of his determination to guarantee the GOP an unbloodied nominee with broad-based appeal.

I can’t help but wonder if Romney is actually right about what went wrong in his own race, though, because there is a lot of push back from the base when it comes to “mainstream” Republicans who have “broad-based appeal.”  We typically don’t see them as viable conservative candidates (to put it mildly).  The idea of the need to rush to center (or center-left) with a “moderate” “electable” candidate to win a general election is misguided.

Yet following his 2012 defeat, Romney claimed that he lost, in part, because he didn’t get enough of the Hispanic vote.  This seems a misread of the results, including the number of conservatives who didn’t turn out for him (though Karl Rove disputed this).

To win, Romney would have needed an impossible 70% of the Hispanic vote because of the incredibly high turn-out of black voters (who tend to vote Democrat).

Focusing on turning out the white vote makes much more sense for the GOP (even Hillary is working on broadening her appeal to the white, working-class voter).  According to the Washington Examiner,

Conservative author Ann Coulter says Republicans shouldn’t count on picking up Hispanic voters if Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., becomes the nominee, and instead says the GOP should focus on expanding the universe of white voters.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner media desk, Coulter said the white vote is key, even as the party has made an effort to reach out to more minorities, whose political influence has increased.

“Drive up the white vote,” she said. “You don’t see Democrats thinking, ‘How do we get more of the evangelical vote? How do we get more of the gun owner vote?’ No, they know that isn’t their base.”

She has a point.  Progressives are great at getting Republicans to do counterintuitive things, and one example is getting them to focus on voters they have no hope of winning over.  Ever.

With this in mind, Romney may not be the best person to become the figure-head of the Republican Party.  And as Politico reports, that seems to be the idea:

For a failed nominee who waged a presidential bid that many in his party found disappointing, Romney maintains a striking degree of influence. In part, it’s because of his unique mix of business acumen and political skills, but it’s also a recognition of his deep access to the complex, jungle-like world of super PAC donors. In a party that lacks a unifying figure, he’s eager to fill the void.

“I think he realizes he has a good role to play,” said Ron Kaufman, a longtime Romney friend and adviser who is a Republican National Committeeman. “He can be a senior statesman.”

As the Democrats move further and further left, Romney Republicans seek to fill that center-left void.  The “mayhem” they seek to avoid is a serious primary challenge by a Constitutional conservative, so setting Romney up as a “unifying figure” of the Republican Party seems a bit of a stretch at this stage of the primary process.



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Is the GOP really stupid enough to try to foist another Prog-Lite candidate on us? Don’t they realize that “the center” is what’s killing this country?

Nominate a true conservative, start talking about shrinking the size and scope of the federal government… and I mean “shrinking” in non-DC terms… not “shrinking the rate of growth” but actually reducing the size and scope of it. Do those things and watch “the base” come out with fervor.

Or, nominate another squish and scratch your heads on election day when the conservatives stay home (again).

Romney is rich. He knows lots of rich people. Therefore, the party respects him and listens to the wisdom he accumulated by running a terrible campaign.

Sure. Makes perfect sense to me.

Maybe if this Romney had shown up at the debates…

What a joke. Not just Mittens Romney, but that Politico is here to ‘help.’

The bozos hogging the leadership positions of GOP are living in their own little world, apparently along with Sheldon Adelson.

You support the spineless, pathetic hacks running the party– but prepare yourself for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

As a party, the GOP is dead. It leads no one, and it stands for nothing. At best, it’s a little parasite, feeding off a large, sleeping constituency of conservatives. Those conservatives had better wake up and take a mental syrup of ipecac and puke out idea of the GOP being ‘their’ party.

But there is the Tea Party. It won massive victories in 2010, 2012 and 2014. It could again in 2016, if either (1) the GOP gets out of the way, and/or (2) the conservative base gets it out of the way. If Mittens runs again, there will be a third party candidate, and the scummy Hillary Clinton could actually win.

A SWOT analysis (alternatively SWOT matrix) is a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or in a business venture.

Mittens presents us with a unique problem/potential good in this view of things.

Kept in the right sphere of influence, he has an enormous potential for sound advice, insights, and application of his talents and experience.

Allowed to operate outside that constrained sphere, he poses threats to the kind of reform executive we desperately need in the next President.

The question is, who can steer him, and how? Because he is out there, and cannot just be silenced. So who best to use his great potential while keeping him on track to help a real Conservative to be elected and while in office?

Juba Doobai! | June 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Romney finding a mainstream candidate? ROFLMAO!

Last presidential primary season Mr. Romney was the inevitable candidate, so every other candidate of the week just served to highlight the Republican voters’ lack of enthusiasm for Mr. Romney. This time things have reversed. Ms. Clinton is the inevitable Democratic nominee, but there is a lot of ambivalence about her in the Democratic party. The result of this is that candidates who are not serious contenders, like Senators Warren or Sanders, get excess attention. All the attention to these people just demonstrates how the Democrats are going to be left with a candidate that they cannot get enthusiastic about. In contrast, there are several strong Republican candidates, who have run mostly positive campaigns up to this point, giving Republican voters more say in the outcome of their primary.

WITW makes any Republican think even a single anti-1A, anti-2A, pro-redistribution-provided-it’s-not-my-money-being-redistributed Democrat would vote for any Republican for President? Why on earth would we attempt to ‘appeal’ to them?

    Anchovy in reply to Daiwa. | June 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Because this time we know for sure Lucy will not move the football?

    maxmillion in reply to Daiwa. | June 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    It’s not driven on trying to attract. That’s too positive for these people. No, this is fear-based. They’re afraid of who they’ll alienate and lose.

They’re clueless.

OUR next candidate needs to be vetted by use of the following test as a threshold matter:

Signs You’re Not An Alpha Male

NC Mountain Girl | June 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm

A small part of the problem was the primary contest meant Romney had no money over the summer for counter advertising when Obama was bisy defining him as that rich boss you always hated.

A bigger part of the problem was that Romney had the worst media strategy I can recall. He advertised as if it was 1988 and the way to reach voters when in the ad wells around nightly news shows and NFL football games. There were entire segments of the population that never heard Romney’s message because they were watching small viewership cable channels and streaming video on-line.

The biggest problem was that Romney had spent so much of his life editing his Mormon, Republican self for the consumption of people around Boston that he forgot how to be a natural human being. {This time it’s Hillary who has that problem.)

Then there was that disastrous GOTV software. A friend who is a registered Independent got three calls from locals who identified themselves by name for Obama and zero from Romney in a county that usually goes Republican for President.

The only issue Romney can really help with is the first.

Henry Hawkins | June 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Mitt was right! Mitt was right!

In hindsight, yes, and the things he was wrong about are not counted. But you can’t win an election in hindsight. Mitt lost his fight because he wouldn’t fight.

Spiny Norman | June 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

…focus on “mainstream” candidates with “broad-based appeal.”

Like Ronald Reagan… oh, wait!

The “mainstream” doesn’t appreciate being pandered to by bureaucrats, which is what this strategy always ends up doing. An honest conservative, who can articulate a positive, optimistic vision for the future, will attract the votes from a very broad spectrum of American society.

He failed to unify Republicans, and get us to turn out to vote, in 2012 when the opponent was Obama. Given that fact, why would anyone imagine he could ever unify us against a lesser evil?