The faction in the GOP that still thinks Mitt Romney is their best chance to beat Scrooge McDonald might be making their move. A few websites this morning have uncovered that Romney filed to run for president in 2016 as early as January 30 of this year. Speculation that the former Massachusetts governor could suddenly emerge and take the GOP nomination in a brokered convention has grown in recent weeks.
Romney has been the wild card for the GOP this entire primary season. He has repeatedly weighed in on the nomination process as far back as the middle of last year, declaring that Trump ultimately wouldn’t win the nomination. And his speech slamming the billionaire in a way Romney will never be able to walk back suggests he’s confident enough about stopping Trump that he can say exactly how he feels with no repercussions.
But it remains unclear whether Mitt’s attempting to carve out a place for his candidacy with repeated and dire warnings about Trump or if he simply sees himself as an elder statesman with a duty to warn the members of his political party of impending disaster. Scenarios have been repeatedly laid out for how Romney could jump into the race but most of that speculation ended with the Iowa caucuses. Now, after Romney’s speech, it’s starting all over again.
The political betting market seems to think Mitt’s poised to make a late entry into the race. Romney said as early as last March he wasn’t comfortable mounting a third campaign for the White House, but that was before the Trump phenomenon, and he has walked that statement back ever since. Just yesterday Romney told reporters no one would refuse a nomination if their party gave it to them, further fueling speculation.
This is also a project, of course, to restore Mitt Romney’s ego and present an image of Romney as the seasoned elder statesman of the GOP. From his metaphorical armchair, Romney has repeatedly dispensed advice on how to use the Republican delegate to system to stop Trump at the convention. And while the space for Romney jumping into the race is very narrow, the space for Romney to become mentor to Ted Cruz, who only trails Trump by 89 delegates (as of this writing) is wide open.
Romney has dreamed of becoming president for quite a long time. And despite the American peoples’ rejection of him at the polls, he has a hard time letting that dream go. That’s probably why Romney kept his FEC paperwork up-to-date in 2013 and 2014, too, even though his campaign committee wasn’t doing any substantive fundraising.
The thing is Mitt wants to be in this position. He needs the attention being a head of the Republican party gives him, and he isn’t quite ready to face the reality that he’s never going to be President of the United States.
Romney’s hovering around the GOP chum wagon helps paint a picture of a party, indeed a part of America, that collectively suffers the same symptoms as an individual suffering from clinical depression. Fixation on the past, anger in the present, dread towards the future. No word from political betting markets on the likelihood of the GOP getting through all five stages of grief before the election.
Featured image via Flickr