Mitt Romney loyalists are trying to gin up the narrative that Republicans just can’t get enough of Romney.
“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” Spencer Zwick, “a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council,” claimed to the Washington Post. The Chamber of Commerce, which has vowed to wage war on the Tea Party and push through amnesty legislation, glowingly praised Romney, alleging he would be in a “commanding position” if he entered the 2016 race.
Romney is reportedly set to make trips to West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, and Virginia to campaign for Republicans. Yet besides the media, most of the people clamoring for another Romney “comeback” are his loyalists and closest advisers, who defied all statistical models to lose an election many thought should never have been lost.
In a July article for Politico Magazine, Emil Henry, who “served in multiple roles in the 2012 campaign, including adviser to the economic team, television surrogate and fundraiser,” laughingly alleged that “Romney is re-emerging as the de facto leader of the Republican Party.”
Henry claimed that Romney could make a comeback like Nixon, apparently missing that Nixon appealed to cloth-coat conservatives, while Romney, as his father did, represents to many the mink-coat, Rockefeller wing of the GOP which conservatives have been battling since the 1950s. Establishment candidates like Romney traditionally lose (Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush in 1992, Bob Dole, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)) – unless they are lucky enough to win “Reagan’s third term,” which advisers like Roger Ailes and Jim Pinkerton understood rallies blue-collar Americans (George H.W. Bush in 1988). Bush was also lucky in 1988 to face an opponent like Michael Dukakis, another Massachusetts governor who gave a scholarly, Romney-esque answer when CNN’s Bernard Shaw asked him if Dukakis would want the death penalty for someone who “murdered and raped” his wife.
Others alleging that Romney is “poised for a comeback” have quickly forgotten how Romney made President Barack Obama, one of the most elitist and crony capitalist presidents in recent memory, seem like a common man who cared about average Americans when compared to him.
Henry, in Politico Magazine, also tried to assert that Romney is “not a career politician,” but didn’t note that Romney can only claim that because he lost his Senate race to Ted Kennedy, the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, and the presidential race in 2012. Perhaps Romney is an “attempted career politician.” Moreover, Romney’s waffling on a myriad of issues ranging from health care, abortion, his support for Ronald Reagan, and his primary state of residence is the characteristic that defines him and career politicians like John Kerry, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton.
In 2012, Romney did not excite the conservative base, turned off working-class voters who believed he did not care about their concerns, and lost minority voters by huge landslides. He wasn’t even good at the inside-the-beltway game – he actually thought Donna Brazile was Gwen Ifill.
Republicans need blue-collar Reagan Democrats and more minorities to win presidential elections. Romney – and his loyalists – disastrously proved in 2012 that he can attract neither, and there is no indication Romney would be able to do so in 2016.