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From the right: Hysteria for the Republican Party

TNH Columnist

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 01:02

There is no clear favorite for the Republican nomination in 2016. Historically, there is always a candidate who is seen as the likely nominee, but three years out that appears not to be the case, making it all the more likely for a dark horse candidate to emerge, or one emerging whom no one would have ever considered at all.

A few weeks ago Chris Christie stood at the zenith of political greatness. The New Jersey governor was not only seen as America’s governor, but also the GOP golden boy. He led in the early primary polls, was running even with Hillary Clinton, and coming off a crushing re-election victory, poised more than ever to rebrand the GOP for the better in 2016.

Then Bridge-gate happened, and while Christie appears to be weathering the scandal, it is to say that his presidential dreams are in limbo. Christie’s derailment for Democrats is a call for utter joy and further the coronation of Hillary for president in 2016. Yet, for Republicans, Christie’s fall is now another in a long line of GOP rising stars to bite the dust.

Taking Christie out of the running leaves the GOP in disarray. If not Christie, then who? Scott Walker? Maybe, but could he unite the party? Marco Rubio? Too untried, plus he’s up for re-election in 2016. Rand Paul? Too libertarian. Ted Cruz? No. Jeb Bush? Good, but his last name is baggage.

The scattering to find a candidate three years out is daunting, but perhaps Republicans are looking too hard for Mr. Right. Perhaps the candidate is not one of the usual suspects, but instead someone already tested, already tried: 2012 nominee Mitt Romney.

 Now, I’m sure the mention of Romney raises more than a few eyebrows. Romney ran for president and lost to Barack Obama. To many in the party, the thought of Romney being the nominee for a second time would be preposterous and dastardly. However, consider the following. Despite his loss, Romney has remained in the public eye and arguably is more of a household name now than in 2012. A new documentary showcases a softer, more human side of the candidate. He is a constant fixture on late night shows, including a recent episode with Jimmy Fallon where he slow-jammed the news. He’s on all the Sunday talk shows, his wife Ann published a best-selling family cookbook, and Romney continues to raise money for the GOP, something he does with great finesse.

Yet above all else, a recent Purple Strategies poll for the GOP nomination in New Hampshire shows that Romney is anything but old news. Romney leads the poll with 25 percent and his closest competitor, Rand Paul is at 18 percent. Romney crushes other potential rivals Christie and Bush, showcasing that maybe Republicans are still not over Mitt. 

Consider the scenario. The GOP field remains bitterly divided over the next year with no clear frontrunner for the nomination. Romney, seeing a path to the nomination, mounts a campaign for president on a platform of “I told you so” or a more polite version of “I knew this would happen.”

In a nation that will arguably still be mired in economic hardship and political gridlock, Romney can position himself as the man who can turn around the economy and unite the country. There is nothing to hide with Romney. No scandals to pop up. No positions to recant. We know him, pure and simple. If the people of the Granite State already believe Mitt Romney to be the frontrunner, then imagine what would happen if he did decide to run.

If anything, the documentary “Mitt” shows a side of Romney not seen by a vast majority of the public. Romney comes across not as the scripted robot the Democrats claimed him to be, but a decent, well-rounded person and a true family man. Seeing that side of Mitt Romney, why not hop aboard the Romney 2016 train? 

To those who say Mitt Romney is not going to run I respond with three points. First, in politics the word “no” is never an absolute. Second, age is hardly an issue, as Romney would be the same age as Ronald Reagan when he won the presidency in 1980. Third, historical precedent is actually on Romney’s side. Richard Nixon lost the election of 1960, but came back eight years later and won the nomination and election. Reagan ran three times before finally winning the nomination and thus the election.  

For Romney, the third time may be the charm.

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Fri Feb 7 2014 07:37
Just to mix things up the GOP should try a new strategy and nominate someone who isn't seen as out-of-touch or borderline insane.

You know, simple, common sense things like: Put down the gun and stop talking about overthrowing the government. Accept that America is made up of more than Christian while males. Understand that someone working 3 jobs but stills falls under the poverty line does not like being referred to as lazy and a "taker". And whatever you do, no matter how tempting it is, never say anything about rape unless it's to say it's a crime and you are unconditionally against it.

This would be a good start.

Thu Feb 6 2014 18:17
The republican party needs a fresh young face with the ability to reach out to all Americans and everyone else in the world that want to dream and make the dreams reality. Instead they will bring in some "conservative" that will not work with others unless they are "conservative". If you want that position you must believe in the"conservative" Gawd, believe and support in the "conservative" businesses who in return can pay rectum excretion to unfortunate employees, give entitlements to those "conservative" individuals with "conservative" connections, so only those that they choose can succeed in saving this country and the world. The rest of the group on uneducated non conservative idiots that live here and abroad need not apply. The "conservative" agenda kinda sounds like the KKK to me. We will burn and destroy those who are trying to stand up against our American "conservative "values and we have our "conservative" Gawd to remind us that we are the righteous "conservative" tribe that was chosen for this mission. If you don't believe us just ask Gawd. Now leave me alone I need to go to Washington to get started on my "conservative" mission.
Beau O.S.
Thu Feb 6 2014 13:11
I discussed the Romney prospect just last night after viewing the documentary.
My First and Foremost opinion is "how presidential" this Gentlemen was AND remains.
I - as a Bored Republican - look forward to a 2nd Romney candidacy.
If the Country cannot see this man as a DOER / FIXER - then we might as well have.... the " last guy out turn off the lights" !!!
Wed Feb 5 2014 19:06
It doesn't matter. The fanatics that make up the GOP base would vote for Hitler if he ran under the Republican "brand." Their hatred of the American people is that great.
Wed Feb 5 2014 15:04
Doubtful that Mr. Romney will be the nominee, but an interesting piece on the state of the republican party nationally.
Wed Feb 5 2014 14:46
I read this as a piece of satire, nothing more. Well done Mr. B.
Tue Feb 4 2014 23:44
Being more of a household name now than in 2012 is no reason to run a third time. Romney ran for 6 years over two Presidential cycles and did as well as he is going to. We're not going to see a grand transformation of the Romney persona, or a different result, if he runs again.

Jon Huntsman has a more substantive record and was considered more electable than Romney by the Obama campaign. He's the one the party should be looking at for 2016.

Tue Feb 4 2014 18:33
This is just about the dumbest political commentary I have ever read.
Tue Feb 4 2014 15:02
Any tax returns? Still a hypocrite? Got a great PR firm that made a movie for him?

WHO CARES? please proceed, if you haven't learned already, who are we to stop you?

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