Romney 2016

Mitt Romney’s Wart

Mitt Romney attends the Republican National Committee's Annual Winter Meeting aboard the USS Midway in San Diego on Jan. 16. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

“If he runs again in 2016, Romney is determined to re-brand himself as authentic, warts and all, and central to that mission is making public what for so long he kept private.”

Phillip Rucker

You know, it is a bit early to break out the the full-blown morbidity of Mitt Romney dishonoring his own wife by reminding us all yet again what a godless, lying sack of excrement she married.

Then again, it’s kind of hard to forget; he’s made such a point of saying he won’t run for president. This time last year, this ws the word:

“Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. People are always gracious and say, ‘Oh, you should run again.’ I’m not running again. I will say this: It was a great experience. I loved it. It was just a fabulous thing to experience, and that’s the one thing in the film that I felt you can’t communicate — was just how honored you feel, what an extraordinary experience it is. But that being said, I loved it. But look, I want to make sure that we take the country in a different direction. I think that Chris Christie and Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, and the list goes on, have a much better chance of doing that, and so I will support one of them as they become the nominee.”

(Parker)

Then again, Rucker’s morbid article for the Washingont Post doesn’t just leave us chuckling at the idea that Mitt Romney’s problem is that he cannot figure a way to artificially prove his authenticity. Some of it is the sort of authenticity we just don’t want or need:

But Romney’s friends and family believe he could have overcome such character concerns by talking more about his church service.

“He just didn’t talk enough about how he, as a man, was able to do so much to help those in need,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who also is a Mormon. Being a volunteer bishop, as Romney was, is “a high calling in the Mormon church. You spend most of your time helping people with their problems — everything from financial problems to work problems to marital problems to sexual problems.”

Right. I read that, and now I’m (ahem!) paying it forward. No, no, don’t thank me.

Just remember, part of the setup has to do with watching Mitt Romney try to wriggle and squirm off the hook he set; with the November midterm drawing nigh, Mitt Romney said he wasn’t running, nor was he planning on running. Remember that. He spent last year, at least until the midterm, telling us he wasn’t running, even having Ann Romney, his wife, push the line in October.

Meanwhile, that’s all in the future. Somewhere in there we ended up with the troika of Orrin Hatch, Mitt Romney, and “sexual problems”. Something about squirming goes here.

So, really, don’t thank me. But you’re welcome.

____________________

Rucker, Phillip. “Romney, ahead of 2016 run, now calls Utah home, talks openly about Mormon influence”. The Washington Post. 27 January 2015.

Parker, Ashley. “An Interview With Mitt Romney”. The New York Times. 18 January 2015.

Bierman, Noah. “Ann Romney backs Mitt’s denial of running for president”. The Boston Globe. 14 October 2014.

The End of Mitt Madness? Please?

Ann Romney

The “sharelines” at the Los Angeles Times website are a dubious idea: Here, this is what you are supposed to share! In a way, it’s kind of like Upworthy telling you how you are supposed to feel. To the other, it is not so different from lede points, or whatever the hell they want to call those bullet summaries of stories.

Maeve Reston covered the launch of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at a Boston hospital. The article opens with a line about Mitt Romney’s presidential potential, but that “shareline” feature makes it clear that even if one doesn’t give a damn about Ann Romney trying to get other people to fund a research center with her name on it there is still a political nugget for the non-story obsessing Beltway reporters: “‘Done. Completely,’ Ann Romney says in squashing speculation about a third White House bid by husband Mitt”.

We’ll have to see how this goes. After all, the Reporters to Draft Mitt movement seems to be arguing that they know the former Massachusetts governor will try a third time because, well, you just can’t believe a word coming out of his mouth.

This time it came from Ann Romney. One wonders if the journalists on the draft board will notice.

On another matter that has been the subject of much political babbling lately — a potential third run for president by her husband — Ann Romney was happy to wave off the possibility.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-ann-romney-new-center-study-neurological-diseases-20141014-story.html“Done,” she said. “Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done,” she said, referring to her five sons. “Done. Done. Done.”

Asked whether there were any circumstances under which she would encourage the former Massachusetts governor to attempt another run — or if she would support him if he wanted to run — she said she hadn’t “been pushed to that point mentally,” but that they would make the decision together.

She reeled off a long list of what she called “really interesting” potential Republican contenders, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and her husband’s 2012 choice for vice president, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

The desperation really bleeds through. “Done.” Okay, but are there any circumstacnes under which you might decide that he shouldn’t be done?

Really?

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More Mitt, But Why?

"In the two years since Romney was caught on tape, he just cannot come up with a clear explanation of an easy-to-understand short series of sentences that were responsive to the question presented. But there is one possible explanation he hasn't yet put forward: He said what he believed." (David Corn)

“In the general election, you don’t have to be any one ideological thing in order to win over the country. But you have to not be a liar.

“Here’s how else Mitt Romney is like an Etch a Sketch. It is not just speaking French, it is not just outsourcing jobs to China, it is not just fudging his conservatism, it’s fudging everything, all the time. And this is hard to talk about in the day-to-day news context, because there are such low expectations for politicians to be truthful, and because the word ‘lie’ is underused and overused to the on the where everybody’s a little bit touchy about it.

“But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies all the time about all sorts of stuff and doesn’t care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign.”

Rachel Maddow

While the old axiom that there is no such thing as bad news no longer seems so axiomatic, perhaps the best reason to speculate whether or not Romney will run for president is that he generates a lot of press attention. Over at msnbc, Chris Matthews today raised the spectre of the GOP’s low-yield crop of contenders in the wake of Mark Leibovich’s swooning vignette, while David Corn of Mother Jones drives home the takeaway:

Leibovich is right; this seems to be the first time Romney has tried to place responsibility for his comment on the person who asked him the question. That supporter was not rambling. Here’s what he asked: “For the last three years, all everybody’s been told is, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.’ How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you’ve got to take care of yourself?” That was a straightforward query, succinctly put, not rambling at all. It was Romney who took the point to the next level and proclaimed that a specific number of Americans were lazy freeloaders who could not and would not fend for themselves.

To recap: Romney has gone from side-stepping the remark, to owning the thrust of this comment (though noting it was not well articulated), to saying he was wrong, to denying he said what he said (and contending his words were distorted), to claiming he was only mirroring the rambling remarks of a big-money backer. This last explanation is certainly not fair to the 1-percenter who merely expressed his very 1-percentish opinion. Does this mean that Romney was thrown off his game by a simple question—or that he was trying to suck up to a donor?

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Why Mitt Will Run for President … Or Not … NYT Magazine Edition

Mark Leibovich, dreaming of Willard.

With a war on, one might expect the news media to give this kind of attention to whip counts, but apparently that’s something wonky that needs to be reserved for more politically specialized discussions of current events. After all, what proportion of voters actually know what a whip count is?

Of much greater fascination, perhaps because it is something journalists can pretend is simple and human and episodic like reality television, is pressing Mitt Romney to run for president. Leibovich tries his spin for the New York Times Magazine, opening with a picturesque description of the Romneys at home—nine paragraphs about tchtchke, geese pooping on the lawn, and the troubles of being rich and having more stuff than anyone actually needs.

Then comes four paragraphs on the troubles of being rich and losing a presidential election, and while it’s true that everyone has their troubles, and privilege doesn’t mean a person is without worry, and, sure, there must be a “human story” in Mitt Romney, somewhere, they are really bad paragraphs setting up the inevitable:

Romney, for his part, is noticeably playing along. He recently told a radio host that he was not planning on running for president but allowed that “circumstances can change.” A recent column by the conservative pundit Byron York noted that Romney had kept in close contact with many of his advisers and aides. As we spoke, Romney compared the barrage of 2016-related questions to a scene in the film “Dumb and Dumber.” After Jim Carrey’s character is flatly rejected by Lauren Holly, she tells him that there’s a one-in-a-million chance she would change her mind. “So,” Romney told me, embodying the character, “Jim Carrey says, ‘You’re telling me there’s a chance.’ “

This was the obvious opening for me to ask if there was a chance. Romney’s response was decidedly meta—”I have nothing to add to the story”—but he then fell into the practiced political parlance of nondenial. “We’ve got a lot of people looking at the race,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

As deftly as Romney plays the self-deprecating bridesmaid, he is open about his dread of becoming irrelevant. After his father, George Romney, a three-term Michigan governor, lost the state’s primary in 1968, he struggled to get meetings. “I remember my dad becoming quite frustrated,” Romney said. “He used to say that Washington is the fastest place to go from ‘Who’s Who’ to ‘Who’s That?’ ” In the saturated media landscape of today, the son has been luckier. “I have been able to get on TV, get key interviews, get op-eds published,” Romney said. When I showed up in Wolfeboro, as Romney led me to the living room, he made sure we were on the record. “You have a tape recorder? Notebook?” he asked me as he was describing the potential mold problems of New Hampshire storage. He wanted to make sure I got this.

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