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How Romney’s Ego Trip Will Help Insurgent Candidates

Romney is reportedly pressing ahead [1] with the terrible idea [2] of running for president a third time:

In the conversations, Romney has said he is intent on running to the right of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who also is working aggressively to court donors and other party establishment figures for a 2016 bid.

As strategies for doomed campaigns go, I guess this makes as much sense as anything else. Romney has evidently forgotten that he already tried this approach in 2008, and he succeeded mainly in getting all of the other candidates to hate him. Back then, Romney was a famously recent convert to almost every conservative position he then professed to hold, but went out of his way to attack the records of other candidates for their real or imagined deviations from whatever the movement conservative line at the time happened to be. The absurdity of Romney of all people lecturing other candidates on their insufficient conservatism reflected the extent of his phoniness and showed everyone his desperate desire to be accepted by conservative voters. In this cycle, the desperation and phoniness will be even more obvious.

This time around there will be many more viable conservative alternatives to Romney than there were the last two cycles, and voters that find Bush insufficiently conservative on this or that issue will have many candidates not named Romney to choose from. Meanwhile, Romney’s most likely supporters are “somewhat conservative” and moderate voters that couldn’t care less about Bush’s immigration and education views, so attacking Bush from the right on these issues will leave them cold and offer them no incentive to prefer Romney to Bush. The good news of a Romney run for the other candidates is that it will siphon away some support from Bush in early states and prevent Bush from gaining much early momentum. That makes a long, drawn-out nomination contest more likely than it would have been if Romney had wisely stayed out of the race. Romney’s ego trip makes it slightly more likely that an insurgent Republican candidate will come away with the nomination for the first time in decades.

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13 Comments To "How Romney’s Ego Trip Will Help Insurgent Candidates"

#1 Comment By collin On January 12, 2015 @ 5:06 pm

The 2016 Republican Primary promises to a bigger & better sequel than the original (but still loved) 2012 debacle. At this point I need a scorecard so I can keep track of who is the mostly severely conservative candidate! (For 2015, I still predict Ben Carson leads at some point.)

#2 Comment By grumpy realist On January 12, 2015 @ 5:17 pm

As far as I can tell, Romney is playing the “I’m gonna run for President!” tune simply to keep all the financial air being sucked out by Bush. Either it’s pure dog-in-the-mangerism, or he’s incredibly delusional.

#3 Comment By RP_McMurphy On January 12, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

@grumpy realist:

“As far as I can tell, Romney is playing the “I’m gonna run for President!” tune simply to keep all the financial air being sucked out by Bush.”

To what end — besides, of course, running?

“Either it’s pure dog-in-the-mangerism, or he’s incredibly delusional.”

The latter, I think. Romney is a man who has lived the majority of his life in a bubble defined by his class and religion. The contours of mainstream American culture are imperceptible to him.

#4 Comment By William Dalton On January 12, 2015 @ 7:18 pm

The 2016 convention is supposed to be decided earlier than the 2012 gathering, but I still hope the convention can start without any candidate holding a majority of delegates and that we will have more than one ballot, a convention with open debate and jockeying by the competing aspirants for the nomination, and maybe even a dark horse nominee who had no interest in running for the office. Who knows, we might even have a campaign where the rank and file of Republicans who come to the convention as delegates will take charge of the Party from the paid staff in the party offices, and they will determine the platform and the candidates instead of having a another designated member of the establishment be bulldozed to the nomination and do it for them.

#5 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 12, 2015 @ 7:25 pm


#6 Comment By Uncle Billy On January 12, 2015 @ 7:54 pm

The 2016 GOP Primaries will be a hoot. Candidates falling all over each other trying to prove that they are the most “conservative.” I fully expect Romney to show up at some snake handling Church in West Virginia, brandishing a rattlesnake and foaming at the mouth, while he shrieks jibberish. God save us from these fools. Ronald Reagan would vomit at the sight of these fools trying to please semi-literate “Base.”

#7 Comment By arrScott On January 13, 2015 @ 8:27 am

Gosh, wouldn’t it be terrific to have a contested party convention? A boy can dream. For such a spectacular outcome in the GOP, there must be multiple viable candidates contesting both the establishment donor base and the ideological activist base. If there’s even a chance that Romney could draw money from Bush, then I sincerely hope he runs.

#8 Comment By Adam On January 13, 2015 @ 10:27 am

When you’re partial towards a candidate, you always view their electoral scenario with rose colored glasses. Still, the presence of Romney, Bush, Christie, Rubio, along with the unpalatable Ted Cruz will allow Rand Paul to become a distinct voice in this race. I just hope Mr. Paul digresses from the conspiratorial musings in which his father routinely indulged.

#9 Comment By steve in ohio On January 13, 2015 @ 11:34 am

Like several of the other posters, I think 2016 provides an opportunity for an open convention and not a coronation. Seems like there will be two primaries: one for the establishment candidates–Bush, Romney, Christie and perhaps Kasich or another governor. The other primary will consist of movement conservatives and Tea Party types–Paul, Cruz, Walker and Pence. Since the establishment vote will be divided for a change, I think the other team emerges victorious. However, the establishment will prefer anybody to Rand (except of course an immigration restrictionist) even Ted Cruz (anybody going to Harvard Law cannot be THAT anti establishment). If Cruz refuses to cut a deal, then I see Walker or Pence doing so. The only way conservatives lose this thing would be if the delegates are evenly divided going into the convention. I could see Bush throwing his support to Rubio and conservatives going with Rubio to stop Romney or Christie.

Regardless of the outcome, I don’t see those wanting a sane foreign policy and control of borders very satisfied. A good case could be made for voting for Jim Webb in the Democratic primary. Although his NumbersUSA score was a lackluster C-, his FP views and positions are very solid. Being a Vietnam combat veteran adds to his gravitas.

#10 Comment By Noah172 On January 13, 2015 @ 12:06 pm


Your link from the Onion is funny, as Onion articles tend to be, but at the risk of overthinking a joke, I want to correct this bit:

Marco Rubio: The Florida senator is perfectly poised to help the GOP appeal to a demographic it is actively trying to shrink

Which potential Republican presidential contender has suggested curtailing legal immigration? Not a one, not even the allegedly “far right” Senator Cruz (who voted against such a curtailment in his body’s Judiciary Committee). And certainly none of them have suggested any measures to curtail any particular ethnic group’s fertility.

And let’s remember our history: the Immigration Act of 1990, signed into law by a Republican President (father of a current contender), dramatically expanded legal immigration.

#11 Comment By HyperIon On January 13, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

DL: In this cycle, the desperation and phoniness will be even more obvious.


#12 Comment By Adam Kolasinski On January 13, 2015 @ 3:06 pm

All these stories about Romney allegedly contemplating a run are based on unnamed sources. That makes them mere rumors, and they should be treated as such until someone actually goes on the record.

#13 Comment By James Varney On January 13, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

Let me fix that for you:
“Romney’s Ego Trip Will Help Real Conservatives and hurt the RINOs”