Why, Mitt, Why?

Romney's potential third run baffles pundits
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2015 1:55 PM CST
Mitt Romney speaks at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann)
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(Newser) – The most common reaction on both the left and right to the news that Mitt Romney is genuinely serious about another White House run seems to be ... why? Some examples:

  • Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: In a blog post headlined "His time has passed," the onetime Romney backer writes that "he may have been the best of a crummy field in 2012, but in 2016 he’d be a very flawed candidate in a field of more exciting contenders." Unless he can come up with specific answers to a series of questions (about the 47%, etc), she thinks his friends must explain to him that "we need to find someone who can win—and that person is not you. ... Running for personal redemption is a rotten rationale for a presidential campaign."

  • Jonathan Chait, New York: He swears he won't believe Romney is running again, even during his oath of office. Among the reasons: Remember when Romney warned of unemployment doomsday under President Obama? No doomsday. "Romney's sole advantage, his self-styled persona as a business guru who can get under the hood and fix the American economy, would seem to have little remaining credibility."
  • Jazz Shaw, Hot Air: "I still have all the respect in the world for Mitt, but his time has come and gone. He can still play an important role in the national discussion and will certainly be able to help steer some significant fundraising operations, but I think he should keep his hat out of the ring this time."
  • Jamelle Bouie, Slate: He is among the few who think Romney could make a strong candidate. Bouie argues that Romney wasn't a "bad" candidate in 2012, but he was up against an incumbent and an improving economy, and that kind of political math rarely works. "There won’t be an incumbent in 2016, and there’s a good chance Americans will want a different party at the helm," writes Bouie. "If Romney were the nominee, there’s no doubt that he could win the presidency."

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