FACT: Mitt Romney insists that he is not going to run in 2016, publicly and privately.
Fact: The press is full of speculation that Romney might run in 2016.
Fact: Romney is in high demand as a spokesperson/endorser in mid-term elections. As the last presidential candidate for the party, he is its senior statesmen, save for the former presidents and tradition holds them above politics. (Except, of course, for Bill Clinton which is a matter for another time.)
Conclusion: Mitt Romney is under enormous pressure from party insiders and money people to run in 2016, hence the massive amounts of press speculation, driven by these people applying pressure as opposed to the Romney himself. Hence, Romney has begun to soften his public stance ever so slightly. One would think this softening is more a nod to those that are so loyal than it is any actual change of heart, given the definitiveness of earlier statements.
All of that is fair enough. But one would think after two election cycles, the Mormon card would be played out or someone would come up with a far more imaginative way to play it. But based on this FoxNews story it seems the playbook on this one has not changed at all.
…a former Mitt Romney ad guru has made little reminders like this the centerpiece of a strange new social media campaign aimed at softening the public image of his Republican Party.
The campaign is called “Republicans Are People, Too.” Right now, it’s a low-budget endeavor, with an online and social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The man behind the push, Vinny Minchillo, told FoxNews.com he’s trying to “catch a wave” of interest by launching “Republicans Are People, Too” shortly before the midterm elections – though he’s not advocating for any particular candidates.
It also recycles a phrase once used by a pro-Republican drive in the wake of Nixon’s resignation, and bears a striking resemblance to the 2011-2012 “I’m a Mormon” ads, which stressed the ordinary-ness of Mormons — Minchillo said he never noticed the similarities.
OK – is this mention the “I’m a Mormon” campaign not entirely gratuitous? Can it serve to do anything other than try to link the Romney campaign of 2012 to the “I’m a Mormon” campaign?
This Fox story carries a byline for Alana Wise, but googling her turns up almost nothing. There is a LinkedIn Profile for an NBC Intern, but I have no idea if it belongs to the Alana Wise that wrote this piece, nor do I have anyway to tell the time frame of the profile. But I am going to guess that Ms Wise is very young, still learning the ropes, and got thrown this story on a lark.
What is stunning is that the story has garnered more than 2000 comments and seen a little under 1000 social media shares of some sort. A very quick scan of the comments would indicate that while no one mentions the Mormon shot explicitly, the now equally tired “Romney is not a real Republican” canard (Often the Mormon card in code) does rear its head. This last observation should go a long way towards explaining Romney’s unwillingness to run again. Political opinion can shift with a headline, but this kind of bigotry is a deep seated mistrust that cannot be overcome so readily.
I do not look for Romney to run again unless the party fails to coalesce around someone; leaving him the only individual capable of carrying the party banner forward in some form. But I am profoundly saddened that given his current status in the party, this kind of stuff still shows up. It does not bode well for the party or the nation.