Friday, January 30, 2015


Jesus, what the hell was that all about?
Mitt Romney said Friday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, shared his decision on a conference call with a small group of advisers.

In a second call to a larger group of supporters, Mr. Romney said, “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

Mr. Romney said he believed he could win the nomination, but he expressed concern about harming the party’s chances to retake the White House. “I did not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming the president,” he said.

He added that it was “unlikely” that he would change his mind.
That's from the New York Times story on Romney's decision. So what was Romney doing in recent days? Why on earth did he dispatch an underling to whisper sweet nothings in Mark Halperin's ear so Halperin would produce this huge story on why Romney was totally planning to run (a story that, yes, I fell for)?

How divorced from reality was the Halperin story? Halperin wrote:
In fact, at the senior staff level, Romney has been heartened that with the exception of lawyer Ben Ginsberg (who, also, has long standing ties to the Bushes), all other members have been actively encouraging Romney to run, most prominently his chief fundraiser Spencer Zwick.

In addition, although Romney has heard from many of his past bundlers that they are switching to Bush, the Romney camp is convinced he would easily retain a high enough percentage of them to be able to raise the tens of millions of dollars required to secure the nomination.
Now let's go to the Times:
... some of Mr. Romney's former aides and donors have begun moving on to other candidates.

In a more than four-hour meeting last week, Mr. Romney’s top staff members and trusted advisers from 2012 relayed a sobering reality -- they supported Mr. Romney and thought he would be the best president, but they did not necessarily encourage a third run.

One by one, loyal supporters talked about surveying their troops from 2012, and finding that the enthusiasm and support were just not there. Some Iowa precinct leaders were not coming back, and even in New Hampshire -- where Mr. Romney had won the primary -- the mood was described at best as “cautiously optimistic.” The situation with donors was also going to be an uphill climb.
All that happy talk, in Halperin's story and others, was Mitt's way of stroking the press so he'd be able to read that he absolutely should have won in 2012 and could certainly win in 2016, and in any event would be far and away the best person for the job. He believes that and he wanted to have that message reflected back to him -- and, obviously, he hoped he could persuade enough other people of his greatness to be a credible candidate again. These weeks of generating speculation were Mitt's Sunset Boulevard -- he's still big, it's the elections that got small! He's ready for his close-up, Mr. Murdoch!

It's sad. I thought he was going to go for it, but primarily as a salve to his very sensitive, easily wounded ego. Post-Nixon Republicans are supposed to be simple, direct men of action, unreflective and uncomplicated, but Romney has always seemed like a huge bundle of neuroses. And now I think everyone can see that that's true.


Oh, and I almost forgot to mention my favorite line from the Times story:
He added that it was “unlikely” that he would change his mind.
Oh, for crissake, Mitt. Just stop. We know this is killing you and you still want to leave the door open a teeny, tiny, crack, but it's closed, it's locked, and it's bolted. Nice knowing you. Now go away.


Nefer said...

Geez, Romney and Palin, batting their eyes, twirling their parasols, flirting with us, toying with us, will they run? will they not run?

I wish they could get it through their narcissistic heads that we didn't want them before and we don't want them now and we won't want them in the future.

Yastreblyansky said...

Shorter Mark Halperin (via Kilgore)

Sheesh, my article was true when I filed it. Then it inadvertently became false.

Four Bs said...

When I first read the news this morning, my level of respect for Mitt Romney immediately went up a couple of ticks. But then just as quickly, I thought that new respect would be history the moment he started serving as a surrogate for whatever hairball the goopers cough up in their primary.

Victor said...

This Mitt Romney guy extends his stage exits longer than James Brown!

Norbrook said...

Shorter Mitt Romney: I'd have to spend too much of my own money, since my rich friends won't this time around.

Ken_L said...

Maybe he got confused about whether it was time to flip or flop.

Mitt and Jeb just had a little private get-together in Utah. I'd guess Jeb made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Maybe W knows something interesting about those tax returns we never got to see.

Tom Hilton said...

Mitt is not Hamlet, nor was meant to be.

Unknown said...

I'd really like to know how Mark Halperin spent his day. If he has any self-respect, or even pretensions at being a journalist, he'd have spent the day (and the next couple of days) calling (or better yet barging past the secretaries of) the sources for his original story and saying, in different combinations, "What the fuck?!" "I hope you don't think I'm ever quoting YOU again" and "You think I don't have other sources, some of whom have some pretty uncomplimentary shit to say about YOU?!"

But who am I kidding? He wrote what they told him. Next week, he'll write what they tell him again.

Steve M. said...

I'd really like to know how Mark Halperin spent his day.

Want to see how he spent part of his day? Check out this tweet he sent late in the afternoon.

M. Bouffant said...

If J.E. Bush didn't have something on Mr. Mittens, the ROM-strategy may be to lie low (& keep quiet) then re-appear as the above-the-fray unifer who will break convention deadlock & show that Clinton woman.

Either way, his ego is salved.

P.S.: Which of those two is a robot?

Ten Bears said...

Like Ceasar, he wants to be asked. He's being coy now, but he'll avoid Clown Show v3 unscathed leaving him as the elder albiet reluctant candidate "available" when the convention cannot resolve itself to which clown to run. And, like Ceasar, he wants to turn that crown down, he wants to be asked.

I've long thought that a serious investigation into BENGAZII!! might reveal the election year "9/11" naught but a Willard and The Retards attempt at an October Surprise. These guys may out of touch with reality, but they're not stupid, and carrying out Complex Machinations is what they do.

I don't count him out.

OdinofAzgard said...

The funniest part was Mitt saying he wasn't running to give other leaders the opportunity to win the nomination. Apparently his internal polling said he was a lock to be the nominee. What could go wrong?