Realistically, can any losing presidential nominee get nominated again these days?

posted at 2:01 pm on July 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

Just something I’ve been thinking about today while dealing with the migraine that columns like this have given me.

A mysterious “Draft Mitt” website is already in place. His de facto 2016 campaign slogan — “I tried to warn you” — is appealing. A near-majority already agrees that America would have been better off with him as president. All systems are go.

Should an opening emerge, Romney, like Nixon, will have a massive legacy infrastructure at his disposal to seize the opportunity. Impressively, Romney is the only Republican who can roll into any major money center like New York, Los Angeles or Houston and mobilize his fundraisers on demand, and he is doing so with regularity.

Where Romney stands out versus every failed nominee of the last half century is that he, a lifelong businessman with just one successful four-year stint as governor of Massachusetts, is not a career politician. Why might this matter in 2016? Presidential elections are typically about a pendulum swing. A view among many at the conference (aptly titled “The Future of American Leadership”) was the perception of too much rampant incompetence for too long—by both parties. Peggy Noonan echoed this sentiment in a recent column for the Wall Street Journal: “Americans hate incompetence”… and “they’ve seen it now from two administrations.”

I’m not sure the “not a career politician” brand helps much with a guy who’s made it his business lately to help Republican career politicians beat back tea-party challenges, but never mind that. Back to my question in the headline: Could anyone in modern American politics get nominated, lose the presidential election, and then get nominated again? It wasn’t uncommon back in the day. Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson twice against Eisenhower; the GOP nominated Nixon in 1960 and then, successfully, in 1968. No former loser has gotten a second bite at the apple since then, though. Are the party’s benches deeper these days or is there more to it?

I think it may be more a function of people not wanting to run again than not being able to get re-nominated. Presidential campaigns have gotten much longer and much, much more expensive. Imagine spending two years under media klieg lights, traveling endlessly, begging the donor class for money ’round the clock, barking out the same talking points over and over, and enduring stomach-churning primaries — only to fall short in the presidential election and then have your supporters sneer that you’re a loser. Who’d want to risk going through that twice? My takeaway from “Mitt,” the documentary about Romney’s second campaign, was that the family really didn’t want to endure another campaign in 2012. They went through with it only because Mitt, as “next in line,” was the favorite for the nomination. His 2008 campaign fizzled in the primaries so he hadn’t had even one bite at the White House apple. He got that in 2012. I don’t think he can stomach another now that he’s approaching 70. And even if he could, notwithstanding his initial advantage in name recognition, which voters would want to roll the dice again on him after he got crushed by an incumbent whose first term had seen chronic eight-percent unemployment? Establishmentarians might back him because he’s a known quantity and has thrown a lot of money around to protect business-class Republicans from grassroots righties, but are primary voters really going to double down on Mr. “47 Percent”?

Seems to me that for someone to get re-nominated he’d need to be young and ambitious enough to be willing to run another excruciating two-year marathon and he’d need some plausible-ish argument that even though he lost the first time, he didn’t really lose. (Nixon, of course, lost only very narrowly to Kennedy in 1960.) There is, in fact, a guy like that out there:

Gore was under 60 in 2004, had universal name recognition as Clinton’s VP, and had won the popular vote four years earlier against Bush. He could have jumped in and made the case that President Gore would have kept us out of Iraq. He probably could have gotten re-nominated. Ross Douthat thinks Obama could have gotten re-nominated too had he lost a squeaker to McCain in 2008. That’s possible: He was even younger in 2012 than Gore was in 2004 and he certainly didn’t want for ambition. He could have recycled the racial-trailblazer appeal from his 2008 campaign by claiming that losing to McCain had merely deferred the dream and 2012 was the time to see it finally realized. Even then, though, I’m not sure he could have pulled it off: 2012 would have been Hillary’s turn. She would have used Obama’s 2008 loss as proof that the electorate wants someone in the White House as experienced as McCain and she would have had a trailblazer narrative of her own to sell. I’m not so sure O wins his rematch with her in that hypothetical. Gore was the best and maybe only hope for a repeat losing nominee over the last 40 years — and even Gore decided that the ordeal of running again was too much.

Exit question: If, inexplicably, both Hillary and Joe Biden end up passing next year, why not John Kerry 2.0? Better than Martin O’Malley 1.0, no? Or … Al Gore 2.0?


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Mitt Romney needs to get another job besides perennial choke candidate.

ezspirit on July 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Realistically, can any losing presidential nominee get nominated again these days?

Nope. Last one I remember who did was Reagan

Conservative4Ever on July 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Romney isn’t Reagan. Not even close. As ezspirit already said, Romney needs to find a different job.

Conservative4Ever on July 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Enjoy the grandkids Mitt. Seriously.

Evi L. Bloggerlady on July 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

What makes another Romney run (and nomination) plausible is the fact that the other two establishment favorites are damaged: Christie by the Bridgegate scandal and his bromance with Obama…and Jeb by his name.

That’s not to say I think he will run or should be the nominee.

However, I held my nose and voted for him once. I could probably do so again. I won’t do that for someone new like Christie or Jeb. I’m tired of “electable” establishment candidates who bear only a passing resemblance to what the base believes and lose anyway.

DRayRaven on July 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

There was some sentiment for a Gerald Ford campaign in 1980, and George McGovern actually did run for the Democratic nomination in 1984.

But I agree that prospects for future losing presidential nominees to get nominated again are quite slim.

J.S.K. on July 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

a guy who’s made it his business lately to help Republican career politicians beat back tea-party challenges, but never mind that.

but I do mind that :(

burrata on July 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Give us ONE conservative in the primary.

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Everything old is…old again!

Good Lt on July 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Realistically, can any losing presidential nominee get nominated again these days?

Nope. Last one I remember who did was Reagan

Conservative4Ever on July 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Reagan was never a losing presidential nominee. He lost the 1976 primary race (and also made an attempt in 1968), but that’s different.

A bunch of losing primary candidates have gotten nominated later since Reagan — Mitt, McCain, Gore (ran unsuccessfully in 1988), Dole, Bush Sr.

J.S.K. on July 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Nope.

trigon on July 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Romney has run for 4 elections and lost 3 of them. He has a 25% success rate.

let’s move on.

portlandon on July 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Realistically, can any losing presidential nominee get nominated again these days?

I sure as hell hope not.

Bitter Clinger on July 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I’m a conservative who backed Romney with vigor once it became obvious he would receive the 2012 nomination. (I even put a chair in my yard.) He would indeed have been a much better President than Obama (or the 2008 McCain, for that matter.) But enough is enough.

That said, how has Romney “made it his business lately to help Republican career politicians beat back tea-party challenges”?

NCC on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Romney doesn’t necessarily garner my angst only because he failed to win in 2012. I think he ran a thoroughly cr@ptastic campaign, yes. And that’s on him and his choice of advisors.

My much larger problem with Romney is that he’s a moderate, Progressive, establishment Republican, who couldn’t articulate a convincing Conservative argument to save his life.

America doesn’t need a DimocRat Lite Republican as it’s next President. America needs a solid, non-establishment, Conservative if we are ever going to start digging out of the crater Obama has put us in.

Meople on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The Romster was and is a good man, but we need somebody who is willing to go after the Lefties and turn their tactics against them.

Sad to say, that ain’t him.

formwiz on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

A good candidate could run again and I think could get nominated again. But if we’re talking about Mitt… let’s be honest, he really wasn’t that good a candidate. He was basically the best choice available that the Establishment was okay with.

Mitt was in a winnable situation but like McCain, he wimped out when dealing with Obama. There was no “fire in his belly” that a good candidate always has, the public will not re-nominate someone who didn’t really want to be nominated the first time.

Ukiah on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Realistically, can any losing presidential nominee get nominated again these days?

Of course a loser can get nominated again. We’re talking about the GOP, aren’t we? Their bag of tricks is a dry sack and fresh blood will never replace the proven toady.

M240H on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Exit question: If, inexplicably, both Hillary and Joe Biden end up passing next year, why not John Kerry 2.0? Better than Martin O’Malley 1.0, no? Or … Al Gore 2.0?

If Hillary doesn’t run, the Dem Nominee will be..

Mark Warner from Virginia

Successful Businessman

Governor

Senator

Great combo of executive and legislative experience, of running a business and a state. And he is from a swing state.

Ned Pepper on July 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Okay, there’s 300,000,000 people in this country, can we possibly look a little harder to find a candidate?

Lance Corvette on July 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The Romster was and is a good man,

but we need somebody who is willing to go after the Lefties

and turn their tactics against them.

Sad to say, that ain’t him.

formwiz on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Yes, she needs to be tenacious, like a barracuda.

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Give us ONE conservative in the primary.

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Literally only one good conservative so we don’t see history repeat where the votes are split and the Democrat-Lite limps over the finish line.

Ukiah on July 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Where Romney stands out versus every failed nominee of the last half century is that he, a lifelong businessman with just one successful four-year stint as governor of Massachusetts, is not a career politician. Why might this matter in 2016?

… so he can say “What a nice guy/gal”…his opponent is?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Not sure I want Mitt to run for President again, although it would be hard for the Democrats to gin up any new “dirt” on him, since they didn’t find any the last time. Unfortunately, he does have “baggage” that will only get replayed incessantly while Hillary’s gets lost at the gate.

However, I would enthusiastically recommend that the next Republican president appoint him to any Cabinet position he wants, maybe two or three, and put his business chops to work.

AesopFan on July 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Joke of the day

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

for some reason I’m wondering why we’re being asked to weigh in on dem candidates here, it’s just the way my brain works I guess

DanMan on July 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Talking about this is a waste of energy. He’s not a viable candidate due to his inability to fight the enemy within.

HomeoftheBrave on July 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM

But we were assured that Romney was the only electable Republican! Are they going to try that tired line on us again? My Beagle would’ve been a better POTUS than Obama, but ‘better’ ain’t good enough. Would Romney overturn all of Obama’s regulations and executive orders? Would Romney stop the social experiment we call our military and restore the warrior culture? No, he’ll tell us he’s just the man for making this ObamaCare monstrosity work! And if this anemic economy goes comatose, businessman Romney, like businessman Bush, will abandon free market principles to “save” it. There are several good candidates to choose from. None lack warts, but they aren’t RINOS, either.

cartooner on July 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Romney’s son said after the election that his dad did not want to be Preznit. He’s not running again.

And Gore 2004? He was too busy building his $1/4B Gorebull warming empire to run again.

8 weight on July 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

No. Just no.

Part of the problem is this “loser from the bench” mentality of nominating GOP candidates. McCain loses to Bush in ’00 and becomes the “chosen one” eight years later; Romney traverses the same path but in four years instead of eight; Bob Dole ran two previous times before winning the nomination in ’96.

These eventual nominees are weak and damaged as soon as they jump into the race, are nowhere close to being a “true conservative,” empower the establishment to rail against the more underdog and grassroots candidates, and they’re simply terrible at campaigning.

Who’s next off the bench? Santorum or Gingrich? Or does Huckabee count despite skipping an election? Quite frankly, this is sickening.

Aizen on July 3, 2014 at 2:26 PM

The base gave us obama 2.0. romney did what reagan did- tried to win swing voters by being nice to obama, rationally thinking the base will show up. He was right about swing votes (picked up 13 points over mccain and palin) wrong about the base- which apparently wanted a mastubatory debate where romney would tear into a sitting president. I wonder why reagan did that…..?

drballard on July 3, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Mitt was in a winnable situation but like McCain, he wimped out when dealing with Obama. There was no “fire in his belly” that a good candidate always has, the public will not re-nominate someone who didn’t really want to be nominated the first time.

Ukiah on July 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Nixon had fire in his belly, and so does Hillary.
Not that great a recommendation.

What we need is a President / Prime Minister duo, where one is elected on his charisma and vision, and the other does the day-to-day work of governing (hopefully they are in agreement). President / VP is not quite the same thing, although it could be.

I would like, at the very least, to have a President who appoints competent conservative advisors and department heads. The GOP will never overcome the anchor of the bureaucratic Left, but maybe they could keep it underground enough to fix a few things.

AesopFan on July 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I hope Mitt doesn’t run, but not for the same reasons as most of those commenting here. I think Mitt is a good man who deserves far better than the abuse he received in the last two presidential campaigns. The message I took away from the presentations at the RNC was that he’s a better person than I am. He doesn’t seem interested in running again. What is the upside for him?

danite on July 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

See saint ronnie realized swing voters needed someone to say”hey you weren’ty stupid picking carter 4 years ago” Romney used the exact same plan, but a chunck of the base prefers former witches who agree with them 100% of the time to rinos in delaware who can win. Oh well. Ask yourself if ted cruise can win anywhere besides texas.

drballard on July 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Exit question: If, inexplicably, both Hillary and Joe Biden end up passing next year, why not John Kerry 2.0? Better than Martin O’Malley 1.0, no? Or … Al Gore 2.0?

It’s official, folks!

AP’s migraine meds just kicked in…

Newtie and the Beauty on July 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Reagan was never a losing presidential nominee. He lost the 1976 primary race (and also made an attempt in 1968), but that’s different.

A bunch of losing primary candidates have gotten nominated later since Reagan — Mitt, McCain, Gore (ran unsuccessfully in 1988), Dole, Bush Sr.

J.S.K. on July 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Fair point. I was referring to the 76 race and you are correct he was not the “losing presidential nominee” My apologies.

For the record I watched every debate. I loved Reagan back then. He was the first winning presidential nominee I ever voted for.

Conservative4Ever on July 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

4 years of Romney/ Cruz could set up 8 years of President Cruz.

Cruz has no experience as a governor, and would learn from a master.

Fleuries on July 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Jaques Francois has been surprisingly ineffective as Sec of State so I doubt it.

Illinidiva on July 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

If you aren’t willing to take the gloves off and fight, don’t bother running.

rbj on July 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Words fail:

A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.

Officials at the hospital said took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown said Kirtland Air Force Medical Group personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

She says staff followed policy in calling 911 when the man collapsed on Monday. ‘‘Our policy is under expedited review,’’ Brown said.

http://www.boston.com/business/news/2014/07/03/veteran-dies-waiting-for-ambulance-hospital/GJMCPk9wwrwvv9g57vDTlM/story.html

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Joke of the day

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Can’t decide if it’s an eeyore outbreak or a beta-trolling excursion.

wolfsDad on July 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

All systems are go.

You need more anti-headache pills.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Maybe we should stop getting candidates who cannot even run on their political record and don’t have the eye of the tiger against Democrats.

Dongemaharu on July 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

The biggest problem is that Mitt is a very capable executive, but a mediocre campaigner, which makes it hard to get elected. Tough to find the best of both worlds.

Particular Set of Skills on July 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Give us ONE conservative in the primary.

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Name one. I guarantee you whoever you name will be declared either a RINO, unelectable or an outright liberal.

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

4 years of Romney/ Cruz could set up 8 years of President Cruz.

Cruz has no experience as a governor, and would learn from a master.

Fleuries on July 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Hell yes.

Particular Set of Skills on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Name one. I guarantee you whoever you name will be declared either a RINO, unelectable or an outright liberal.

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Nah, I’d take Cruz and/or Walker in a heartbeat.

Meople on July 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

rbj:
see the above- swing voters need kid gloves. the base is supposed to have cojones. this time they didn’t

drballard on July 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Name one. I guarantee you whoever you name will be declared either a RINO, unelectable or an outright liberal.

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

I agree.

The first two who come to my mind are Palin and Cruz.

I hear the objections already.

But a true conservative, not one who is just “seriously” conservative, would be the next president.

davidk on July 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Look, the reason Romney 2016 is coming up so much isn’t because of Romney. The establishment is surveying the field and what do they have? Jeb and Christie. A Bush and a guy the base absolutely despises because he’s to the left of Hillary. What’s Christie’s appeal? He stood up to unions…. once?

Romney is a far better candidate than either of those two. Sure, there’s Walker, Rubio and Rand… but who realistically thinks Rubio has any traction? Rand is… who knows? He’s off the deep end right now. And as for Walker–he is playing a good conservative hand, for the most part.

Ergo, Romney, who does have the virtue of “I told you so” that no one can dispute.

Romney is a good man, and could make a decent candidate–certainly better than the current crop of establishment people.

Thus, we have the “Draft Mitt” stuff.

Problem: Mitt himself has, numerous times, said in no uncertain terms he’s not running. This Draft Mitt stuff isn’t coming from him or his family. His wife is sick, remember? I think they are done. Sure, he’d like to have some political pull, but he’s not running. The only way I see it happening is if the convention implodes and everyone compromises on him as a “safe” candidate. If he just had from August to November, he might do it. But that’s just speculation.

I think all this is wishful thinking on the part of the establishment. Mitt’s a good guy; he had his shot. Twice. Why would he go again?

Vanceone on July 3, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Exit question: If, inexplicably, both Hillary and Joe Biden end up passing next year, why not John Kerry 2.0? Better than Martin O’Malley 1.0 0.1, no? Or … Al Gore 2.0?

Since Adalai Stevenson was a 2-time loser following the 1956 election, the Rats don’t go for past failed Presidential nominees, even those who otherwise would have the nomination on the basis of being a former Vice President (see Humphrey, Hubert H.).

Steve Eggleston on July 3, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Thankfully Romney lost or we would have real amnesty instead of de facto amnesty. I wonder if lefty Andrea Saul would again be Romney’s press secretary. She’s been working for billionaire amnesty shill Zuckerberg. He would probably bring back Stuart Stevens as his chief campaign strategist who was part of the get out the liberal democrat vote in the republican runoff scheme.

Wigglesworth on July 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM

last sentence was referring to Mississippi.

Wigglesworth on July 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM

When has Romney ” made it his business lately to help Republican career politicians beat back tea-party challenges”?

Is this another case of making stuff up because you are too lazy to check?

Romney endorsed Sasse in Nebraska and Ernst in Iowa BEFORE Sarah Palin did, Numnutz.

Adjoran on July 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

rbj:
see the above- swing voters need kid gloves. the base is supposed to have cojones. this time they didn’t
drballard on July 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

The base might have had cojones, but the candidate sure didn’t.

We do NOT need a candidate who, when asked to criticize his/her opponent, bleats what a nice person said opponent is–especially when the base and swing voters know otherwise. We need a straight shooter, not someone who goes along to get along.

Newtie and the Beauty on July 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Gore immediately sprung to my mind too. Kerry lost in an election environment he by all rights should have won, a bad economy and bungled war. He was pitched as the “electable” candidate, but he wasn’t. Gore might have been.

Obama could have easily come back after having more experience. California reelected Jerry Brown governor 36 years after he first ran (and won), and, during the interim, he had held such lesser positions as perennial Presidential loser, Oakland mayor, and California attorney general. California isn’t the same as the U.S. as a whole, but it goes to show that there are second acts, even half a century after Nixon.

But not for Romney. He wasn’t the right guy to win the Presidency.

calbear on July 3, 2014 at 2:52 PM

No former loser has gotten a second bite at the apple since then, though. Are the party’s benches deeper these days or is there more to it?

It’s more of the parties, especially the Rats, taking Marcellus Wallace’s speech to Butch Coolidge to heart:

You came close, but you never made it. And if you were gonna make it, you would have made it before now.

On the Pubbie side, the primary battle continues until one finishes 2nd or gets to be VP, with that setting up the one shot as the party’s Presidential nominee. On the Rat side, the only hope a primary loser has to be the party’s Presidential nominee is to be VP.

Steve Eggleston on July 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Will he run a campaign from his jet ski again?

The worst retail politician of the last 40 years, tying Dukakis probably. Much worse than even John Kerry, who got closer to beating an incumbent President in war time.

Should Romney throw his hat back in, he would lose to any of the other mainstream Republican candidates.

will77jeff on July 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Romney already spent more time running for prez (2006-2012) than he spent as governor.

Romney’s lost big three times out of four (for Senate against Ted Kennedy, against McCain in 2008, against Obama in 2012). He only won MA gov for one term and then only because the state was deeply in the red. His reward: being the poster boy for ObamaCare.

No, it is time for Mitt to go away gracefully. Nice guy but he’s had his chances. The Bushes need to go away too along with the Xlintons.

Toocon on July 3, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Name one. I guarantee you whoever you name will be declared either a RINO, unelectable or an outright liberal.

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Cruz, definitely. Scott Walker. Bobby Jindal. Palin, as much as I think she wouldn’t make an effective candidate. I’d personally put Rand Paul in that category, but others would disagree. But it’s hard to argue against Cruz, Walker, Jindal and Palin being “true conservatives.”

I think it’s actually easier to go the “process of elimination” route.

—Jeb (or practically anyone with the last name “Bush”)
—Romney
—Gingrich
—Christie
—Paul Ryan*

*Yes, this guy is a RINO. His record screams “RINO!!!”

Then you have the more divisive social conservatives like Huckabee, Santorum, Bachmann, etc. and who can energize the conservative base while bringing in new voters.

Yeah, I’m basically settled on Cruz by now.

Aizen on July 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM

It’s a bad idea to run Romney again. The same flaws remain, in particular his state run health care system which is, fairly or not, equated with Obamacare. He seems like a fine man, I voted for him, but his time has passed. We need a much stronger candidate that doesn’t cower to liberals, because he has had to his whole life as a moderately conservative guy living in the northeast.

Vanbasten on July 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Romney is a good man

Why do people keep saying this? It’s utterly irrelevant to politics.

will77jeff on July 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I actually think Romney would get renominated if he ran again. His built in advantages would be very difficult for the rest of the field to overcome.

The issue is that, to their credit, the Romney family plainly hated the campaign grind and ran more out of a sense of duty to the country than personal desire. Romney is too old (though he legitimately looks 10 years younger than he is), and he’s resigned himself to his place. Like he said in an interview: if I were running again, why would I be connecting potential opponents with my donor network?

LukeinNE on July 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

4 years of Romney/ Cruz could set up 8 years of President Cruz.

Cruz has no experience as a governor, and would learn from a master.

Fleuries on July 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

If Romney is at the top of the ticket I will not vote for him. Even if Cruz is on the ticket.

Cruz so far, is the only true conservative that I have no qualms about, at the top.

Conservative4Ever on July 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

It looks like AP is daydreaming again.

ChristianRock on July 3, 2014 at 3:13 PM

hes only considered not a career politician because he lost so many elections.

dmacleo on July 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I liked Mitt. He was my preferred candidate in 2012 and I wish he had been elected president. But I no longer think he is a viable presidential candidate, and I don’t think Mitt himself does either. And if he did run, he wouldn’t get nominated.

So for those of you who didn’t like Mitt, don’t worry about him. He is not going to be a presidential candidate ever again.

J.S.K. on July 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

His built in advantages would be very difficult for the rest of the field to overcome.

Not really. Gingrich and Santorum almost overcame him while running shoe-string campaigns. And neither Newt nor Rick are terribly charismatic opponents. Any number of Republicans could beat Romney in 2016, probably with very little money–Christie, Ryan, Paul, Martinez, Sandoval, Jeb Bush. The list is endless. Romney is that weak of a campaigner.

will77jeff on July 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I’m stuck wondering if we’ll even have a presidential election in 2016. We may be forced to make a decision to accept Islam or die by the time Obama’s done with this country.

Deano1952 on July 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Not really. Gingrich and Santorum almost overcame him while running shoe-string campaigns. And neither Newt nor Rick are terribly charismatic opponents. Any number of Republicans could beat Romney in 2016, probably with very little money–Christie, Ryan, Paul, Martinez, Sandoval, Jeb Bush. The list is endless. Romney is that weak of a campaigner.

will77jeff on July 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Not too mention that there is no rationale for a Romney campaign. His “I’m a good manager” schtick is not a rationale. He has no philosophy, no agenda, no reason to run except desire.

while that is true of most of the candidates, most other candidates at least pretend to have some over-arching theme or agenda.

Romney is just a guy in suit who thinks he deserves the job. That is his entire campaign.

I think someone who loses in the general could win re-nomination, if that someone had a strong philosophy and theme. But, I don’t think an empty suit “it’s my turn” candidate can win re-nomination. You had your turn, it’s over, go away.

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Pat Roberts race baits in a disgusting tweet that has since been deleted. Any chance HA will cover this story?

cat_owner on July 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Pat Roberts race baits in a disgusting tweet that has since been deleted. Any chance HA will cover this story?

cat_owner on July 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

What’s the story? Old guy does something stupid and regrets it? Don’t you ever get enough of that or did you want to use the old guy to inflate it into your own social issue hobby horse?

rhombus on July 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Mitt Romney is a good man, and an excellent business leader, but a lousy campaigner who failed to “close the deal” with the voters in the final weeks of the campaign. His unwillingness to actively campaign after Sandy hit New Jersey probably cost him the election. Would it “look bad” to campaign while people in New Jersey and New York were suffering? Well, it “looked bad” for Senators Obama and Biden to abandon the Senate and campaign after the real estate and banking crash in 2008, and they won anyway.

Romney also depended on a computer program for his GOTV effort, which ended up crashing on Election Day, instead of a “boots on the ground” effort of phone banks and buses to ensure that Republican-leaning voters got to the polls. Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than in 2008, but Romney didn’t “turn out the base” and got fewer votes than McCain did in 2008.

Romney is also about the same age as Hillary Clinton. If Clinton’s age is to be used against her, we need an experienced but younger candidate, preferably a second-term sitting Governor (not a former Governor out of office for 6 years as Romney was in 2012), paired with a competent female VP candidate to offset the “war on women”. Anyone for Scott Walker/Nikki Haley 2016?

Steve Z on July 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

drballard on July 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Well look who showed up. How have things been under your pet rock?

katy the mean old lady on July 3, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Problem being of course that most people still denigrating Romney say the same thing about every serious GOP candidate.

That said, I am not even sure who the “perfect” candidate is in most of these people’s minds. But I am pretty sure he hasn’t been born yet.

Marcus Traianus on July 3, 2014 at 3:55 PM

People should remember the campaign Romney ran in 2012. It was awful and hardly even something that could be called a campaign. Rumors afterward were that he didn’t really care or want to be President. This is somebody you want to give another crack at bat?

Not to mention he is a phony and not a conservative. Romney can buzz off.

KMav on July 3, 2014 at 3:56 PM

If you aren’t willing to take the gloves off and fight, don’t bother running.

rbj on July 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Post of the Year on this topic.

Which currently leaves two.

SARAH PALIN TED CRUZ

ToddPA on July 3, 2014 at 4:02 PM

That said, I am not even sure who the “perfect” candidate is in most of these people’s minds. But I am pretty sure he hasn’t been born yet.

Marcus Traianus on July 3, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Who’s looking for perfection? Someone who has gotten over 50% in at least one general election would be a nice place to start.

will77jeff on July 3, 2014 at 4:04 PM

That said, I am not even sure who the “perfect” candidate is in most of these people’s minds. But I am pretty sure he hasn’t been born yet.

Marcus Traianus on July 3, 2014 at 3:55 PM

whenever the establishment’s milquetoast, “moderate” candidate isn’t beloved by all the GOP apologists come out and accuse of us requiring “perfection” in our candidates.

It is a tired, dishonest and stupid argument and makes you look like a fool.

Is this seeking perfection:

1. A candidate that actually attacks his opponent?

2. A candidate that actually has a philosophy that he can articulate?

3. A candidate that has only 1 position on things, or if he changed his position, a credible explanation for that change.

4. A candidate that picks good campaign staff, aides, etc.

5. A candidate that actually, passionately campaigns.

that is hardly demanding perfection, and Romney failed on all of them.

As far as conservative/moderate “perfection”, how about a candidate that actually has some conservative beliefs and can articulate them reasonably well? Again – Romney failed miserably at this.

So, stick your claim that the reason people don’t like Romney because we are all a bunch of “purists” unwilling to see reason up your nether regions and go away.

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

The one absolute, clear cut advantage that Romney would have is that there are no ‘startling’ revelations left to reveal about him. The dog on the roof, the forced haircut, his taxes, the 47% speech, whatever jive Allred was trying to run at the end of the campaign – it’s all out there and ‘old news.’

Long Legged MacDaddy on July 3, 2014 at 4:24 PM

The one absolute, clear cut advantage that Romney would have is that there are no ‘startling’ revelations left to reveal about him. The dog on the roof, the forced haircut, his taxes, the 47% speech, whatever jive Allred was trying to run at the end of the campaign – it’s all out there and ‘old news.’

Long Legged MacDaddy on July 3, 2014 at 4:24 PM

If Romney could not win against Obama, when the economy was terrible, unemployment high, Obamacare unpopular, and Obama proven incompetent and dishonest,

Who could Romney possibly beat?

In order for Romney to win in the general election, the candidate would have to be a worse candidate than Dukakis. It would have to be someone that proudly declared themselves a leftist (remember, all dems pretend to be moderate and usually promise middle-class tax cuts), had no charisma at all, spewed gaffes left and right (that were widely covered by the media), and lost handily in the debates each time.

Everyone has to remember, Obama did not win the last election, Romney simply did not try to compete and lost the election – he was that terrible of a candidate.

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

And, conceding this, his own son was quoted after the election as saying his father never really wanted to win.

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Given the choke-hold – or death-grip- the GOPe has on the party, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

ddrintn on July 3, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Name one. I guarantee you whoever you name will be declared either a RINO, unelectable or an outright liberal.

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Nah, I’d take Cruz and/or Walker in a heartbeat.

Meople on July 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

I thought that after Cruz declined to comment on the Hobby Lobby case this week that he was pretty much “dead” to you HAcons? Has he been given a second chance?

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Romney would have been an effective president who would have surrounded himself with smart business minds. RNC run campaigns are jokes compared to the DNC. We are light years behind. Demos are changing daily…I’m not sure a Republican can win the WH….hoping I’m wrong. But, we need a young, good looking candidate …excellent orator with dynamic retail politics…a tired old white man isn’t the choice…sad, but those days are over

Hispanic is what we need.

Redford on July 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Romney would have been an effective president who would have surrounded himself with smart business minds.

Redford on July 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Not if his “campaign” was any indication. Typical self-affirming “reasoning”: Romney the boring, uninspiring moderate predictably lost, but it was because Romney was an “old white guy” who fell victim to those darned “demographics”.

ddrintn on July 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM

As a Maryland resident, just let me say this: There is little worse than Martin O’Malley 1.0.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 3, 2014 at 5:29 PM

I thought that after Cruz declined to comment on the Hobby Lobby case this week that he was pretty much “dead” to you HAcons? Has he been given a second chance?
slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

So in rewriting history, does your pen ever run out of ink?

Brock Robamney on July 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Yeah !!! Romney/Dukakis 2016!! I’ll get a tank for the photo shoot!!!

Brock Robamney on July 3, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Romney is unacceptable as the nominee a second time. Not because he lost but how he lost. He ran an out of touch campaign that never reacted to the beatings he was taking daily in the media. His attempt at modern data collection was disaster making his GOTV program worthless and look incompetent.

Romney showed in the debates he doesnt have the fire in his gut to do what has to be done to save the nation.

He won the first debate then downshifted and backed off in the 2nd and might as well have not shown up to the third. He looked like he didnt want to win and didnt have the guts to defend himself when Candy Crowley jumped in to defend Obama, even when they were both obviously wrong.

The guy might be a successful businessman but doesnt have the stones or likability to be a good political leader. Add that to his horrible judgment on who he surrounds himself with and weak campaigning skills and youve got….well, an unemployed politician.

Thats why he lost, and none of those things have changed, meaning…..he would lose again.

alecj on July 3, 2014 at 5:42 PM

If Hillary doesn’t run, the Dem Nominee will be..

Mark Warner from Virginia

Ned Pepper on July 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Is he black? Is he gay? If not, then…uh, no.

The very idea that you think the Dems want a nominee who is qualified and capable is perplexing.

What ever made you think the Left is interested in any talent but that of promoting statist ideology?

Color and genderwhatever are useful in pushing that endevour; business chops not so much.

Dolce Far Niente on July 3, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Romney is not going to run again..Everybody knows this..:)

Dire Straits on July 3, 2014 at 6:50 PM

It wasn’t uncommon back in the day. Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson twice against Eisenhower; the GOP nominated Nixon in 1960 and then, successfully, in 1968. No former loser has gotten a second bite at the apple since then, though.

I find it funny that the author of this article conviently fails to mention Ronald Reagan who ran three times for President and won on his third try.

Mitt can run for a third try if he wants. I think he’s learned a lot from his 2008 and 2012 elections that he would be a formidable person in 2016. He’s got a loyal base and good pool of big and small donors and a great political team.

The whole point of GOP is for the candidates to prove themselves to the GOP party. Mitt will have to prove himself again to the GOP if he runs again.

Conservative Samizdat on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

The whole point of GOP is for the candidates to prove themselves to the GOP party. Mitt will have to prove himself again to the GOP if he runs again.
Conservative Samizdat on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

I think he has done a fine job proving that he is a totally unelectable candidate

Brock Robamney on July 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

As a New Yorker who became a registered Republican due to Mitt in 2008, who supported Mitt, who was ignored by Mitt, who observed his horrid early fundraising activities, but still thinks the guy would make a great President, especially with heathcare a dead issue (one way or another) I HAVE NO OPINION. But its possible I would vote for him.

ParisParamus on July 3, 2014 at 7:03 PM

As a New Yorker who became a registered Republican due to Mitt in 2008, who supported Mitt, who was ignored by Mitt, who observed his horrid early fundraising activities, but still thinks the guy would make a great President, especially with heathcare a dead issue (one way or another) I HAVE NO OPINION. But its possible I would vote for him.
ParisParamus on July 3, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Dead issue in the fact that people are dying because of it?

Brock Robamney on July 3, 2014 at 7:06 PM

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