(Cape Cod, Massachusetts) – I am on the road this week, working on the filming of a major motion picture produced by Disney. I’ll have more details on that soon, but since I am in the Bay State this weekend, I thought we might talk more about indications that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney might make a third run for the White House in 2016. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:
“Third Time the Charm?” – Mitt Romney himself has made no recent comments suggesting he might reconsider a run for President in 2016. However, people close to Romney are cited in several recent reports suggesting the 2012 GOP nominee is unimpressed with the current field of prospective Republican candidates, and is also emboldened by reports suggesting that many 2012 voters who cast ballots for President Obama, now wish they had chosen Romney. It seems clear that Romney has probably not shut the door to 2016 entirely.
“A Brief History of Multiple Campaigns” – Repeat nominees and candidates have not fared well in American politics. William Jennings Bryan was a three-time Democratic nominee for President; Harold Stassen ran 12 times for the Republican nomination (a few serious campaigns, but most were novelty runs); and, Eugene V. Debs ran five times as the Socialist Party nominee, but none of these men ever became President. In more recent history Romney is joined by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), in having run twice for President and lost. So, a third Romney run comes with the risk of a “been there; done that” reaction by the public.
“On the Other Hand” – Richard Nixon may go down in history as one of the most die-hard American politicians. Having lost his bid for the White House to President Kennedy in 1960, Nixon embarked on an ill-fated run for California Governor in 1962. His famous line after losing that race was, “You don’t have Nixon to kick around any more.” Yet, as we all know, Nixon rose from the political ashes in 1968 and won the White House and was then reelected in 1972. Successful comebacks – though rare – can happen.
“The Obstacles” – Part of Nixon’s success was that in the old days, you could almost “erase history” if you wanted to. Failed elections can fade in public memory, and people can reinvent themselves. That is a much harder task in this modern Internet age. People can now search virtually every thing you ever said; every promise you failed to keep; and, every policy vote or position you ever made. The Internet has removed the “fig leaf” of politics. Romney’s very transparent life and business dealings were used against him very effectively in 2012. How would 2016 be any different?
“Voter Persuasion” – One thing you have to do successfully in a comeback bid, is to convince a lot of people who voted against you last time; to change their minds and vote for you next time. You have to “flip” key constituencies in order to win. The biggest challenge the Republican Party has these days is convincing enough Latino voters to cast ballots for the GOP. In 2012, The Hispanic vote was 71 percent for President Obama, to 27 percent for former Governor Mitt Romney. In 2008, Obama received 67 percent of the Latino vote, to 31 percent for John McCain. On the other hand, President George W. Bush won the White House in 2000 and 2004, with 40 percent and 35 percent of the Hispanic vote, respectively. Republican do not necessarily have to win a majority of Latino voters; they just need to be more competitive and take home a greater share to win the White House.
“Home Field Advantage” – I am fairly certain that no candidate has ever won the Presidency, without having won his home state. The moderate Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts – one of the most liberal states in the nation – as a Republican. But in 2012, Obama swamped Romney in the Bay State, 61 to 38 percent. Massachusetts just elected Republican Charlie Baker as Governor, and maybe that can help Romney in 2016. The bottom line, you must win at home. That has to be your base from which to build!
What are your thoughts? Can Mitt Romney win the White House on his third try, or is he political toast in your book? Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
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Photo courtesy: ABC News