Mitt Romney, otherwise known as yesterday’s news, is not finding his next path to the GOP presidential nomination as clear as he’d hoped. According to a recent POLITICO report, many of Mitt’s biggest supporters for 2008 are “not yet committed to – and in some cases, downright skeptical” of Romney’s bid for the 2012 nomination.
It is way too early to say who is who and what is what for the 2012 race to the White House, of course. Those that will be in are not yet all announced and those that are rumored have certainly not all demurred for the last time. But, it is very likely that Romney is looking to run for the GOP nomination, regardless.
But things are not running smoothly for Mitt already.
In each of the traditional early states, top Romney supporters from the last campaign tell POLITICO that they’re hesitant to get behind the nearest thing the GOP has to a frontrunner. His difficulties are particularly acute in Iowa and South Carolina, where his former enthusiasts say they have not heard from him, believe he may be intent on downplaying the states in his second White House run and are openly flirting with his potential rivals.
This is a good thing, to be sure. There is no worse flip flopping, finger-in-the-air guy than Mitt Romney. I have not seen a bigger flip flopper on the Republican side for decades. Romney can be quoted on just about every side of every issue. His troublesome, wild support of those Obamacare-like healthcare policies he forced upon the poor people of Massachusetts alone should be enough to disqualify him to run in 2012.
However, there is a caution that must be noted about another Mitt Romney for President campaign. If history should be our guide, Romney would be the automatic 2012 nominee of the GOP.
The most common path to the nomination for the GOP in the last several decades is to have been the runner up in the prior election. Especially if that nominee spent the intervening years angling, supporting the party, and spreading cash around. Romney has certainly done all that.
The GOP has all too often had a certain lack of vision in its nominees. Often the party has bowed to the “next man in line” syndrome that gave us horrendous candidates like John McCain and Bob Dole. The it’s-his-turn mania that overcomes this party every four years is distressing, but all too common. It hasn’t always been thus (George W. Bush was not a it’s-his-turn candidate, after all) and even Ronald Reagan was an it’s-his-turn candidate — though in his case, it was a good outcome. It has happened too many times.
In any case, it would not be good for the GOP if Mitt Romney were to become the newest it’s-his-turn candidate for the GOP nomination. If Romney is the 2012 nominee, not only will Obama cruise to an easy victory and take a second term in the White House but the Tea Party movement may be dealt a death blow from which it might not be able to recover.
With Romney’s big government focus when he was the Gov. of Massachusetts, with his support of Obamacare-like boondoggles, with his support of abortion, and then all his sudden flip flops against these very ideas the Tea Party will rise up en masse against a Romney for president campaign. And if the party persists in pushing Romney anyway and he becomes the nominee, millions of Tea Party members will turn away in disgust from politics, many never to return. Their cynicism against the GOP will be cemented so deep that it will be impossible to get them back.
A Romney nomination for president will destroy the great Republican tidal wave that swept Congress in 2010.
So let us hope that the early troubles that Romney is facing becomes an impossible impediment to surmount and we are not forced to see a Mitt Romney nomination for president in 2012.
(By the way, I’d like to reiterate that this is my opinion on Romney. It does not necessarily reflect that of the other folks here behind the scenes of RightPundits.)