The 3rd “draft Mitt” movement still has a few glaring problems

posted at 5:31 pm on August 9, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Our friend Matt Lewis takes to the pages of the Telegraph this week with an impassioned defense of the record – and perhaps future political viability – of Mitt Romney. And to be sure, a lot of the admittedly retrospective praise in this article is fully deserved.

First, since his 2012 defeat, Mr Romney has been proved right about a variety of issues. When he called Russia a “geopolitical foe” during a 2012 presidential debate, Mr Obama gibed: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War has now been over for twenty years.” …

Within seconds of taunting Mitt over Russia, during that same debate, Mr Obama crowed: “Just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now.” …

But it wasn’t just foreign policy. On the domestic front, Mr Romney warned about ObamaCare, saying that some of the “people who counted on the insurance plan they had in the past” would “lose it”. In 2013, Politifact named the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” line their “lie of the year”.

It’s hard to argue with Matt on any of these points. Mitt Romney was proven to be right on a variety of important topics, and not just areas where he found some subtle difference of opinion with his debate opponent. Many of these are policy areas where Romney was openly and widely ridiculed, providing fodder for The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Of course, nobody is laughing now.

But Lewis launches from this solid platform of analyzing Romney’s vision to speculate that it might not be all that crazy to think that Mitt should still wind up in the Oval Office.

He was often cast as a rich guy who led a charmed life. But Americans like a comeback story, and what better way to reinvent oneself as a man of the people than to have lost at something, only to get up, brush yourself off, and try again.

Mr Romney ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, falling short to John McCain. So this would be his third attempt at the presidency – which is not unprecedented. Most famously, William Jennings Bryan was a three-time losing Democratic nominee for president. But the American public has presumably grown more fickle since then.

He goes on from there to draw other historical parallels, further pointing out that Nixon lost presidential and gubernatorial bids in 1960 and 1962, only to go on to win the White House in 68. That’s certainly true, but I would note that the examples given come from a very different era, when American attitudes and the political machines of the day operated in a very different way. We had many perpetual candidates in the first half of the 20th century and it was nothing unusual. But the demand for something new all of the time in America has swept those old campaign modes aside. US voters in the modern era take a page from the opening speech of the movie Patton, never tolerating “a loser” for very long. Mitt was dedicated and persevered, but he’s now lost to both John McCain and Barack Obama.

Also, I simply don’t see any sort of grassroots conservative uprising to draft Mitt again. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Matt points to some recent polls which show that, if they had the chance to do it over again, voters wish they’d chosen Romney over Obama. True enough, and easy to understand, but that’s not to say that they wish to head to the theaters and watch this movie for a third time. Mitt still rings up big numbers in New Hampshire, but these are voters who carry a clear memory of Romney as a candidate for the best part of a decade and as yet have no definitive, declared candidates for the next cycle who aren’t mired in questions and controversy. As we get closer to 2016 and some substantial hats are tossed into the ring, that will probably change drastically.

And finally, there is the real missing piece of the Romney 2016 equation: we have yet to see any indication that Mitt is actually interested or could even be cajoled into another turn in the line of fire. As Noah pointed out in June, Romney has very recently been asked about it and said the idea was silly. Some members of Romney’s own inner circle have brought it up and gotten a response of (quote) No, no, no, no, no,no, no, no.

There may be a Draft Mitt movement taking place out there, but I think it’s largely a media creation. And even in as much as it may exist, Mitt himself doesn’t seem to be a member of it.


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Good luck with that..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 12:52 AM

I’ve already started an underground DRAFT SMoD movement. Way too early to even think about a running mate, but I like to tweak the Palin haters.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 12:55 AM

but I like to tweak the Palin haters.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 12:55 AM

But what if no one cares..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 1:07 AM

But what if no one cares..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 1:07 AM

There always seem to be a few.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 1:17 AM

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 1:17 AM

Good deal I know where your going..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 1:36 AM

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 1:17 AM

Good deal I know where your going..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 1:36 AM

Pretty much everyone knows this..:)

Dire Straits on August 10, 2014 at 1:52 AM

we have yet to see any indication that Mitt is actually interested or could even be cajoled into another turn in the line of fire.

We will nominate a more conservative candidate this time.
That candidate would be wise to consider tapping Mitt as the veep nominee.

Mitt is not interested in another long, bitter primary battle against fellow Republicans, fighting over relatively narrow policy differences.
He is surely more likely to want to skip all that & face a Democrat duo for a mere few months.

A very conservative GOP POTUS nominee will need a more moderate veep pick to solidify the party.

itsnotaboutme on August 10, 2014 at 5:22 AM

I’m pulling for Randy Huntsman again because he speaks Manchurian or something!

trs on August 10, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Well, the GOP better start looking then. Because if they think I’ll pull the lever for one of their amnesty shills, they can wish in one hand and spit in the other.

Murf76 on August 10, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Hmm… Vote for Mittens again or stay home this time? Stay home!

redware on August 10, 2014 at 9:45 AM

The readers of Hot Gas were once supporting the 999 plan over Mitt. Can’t you turn comments off, caus they are bigger idiots than Obama.

rubberneck on August 10, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Rick Perry, for a number of reasons:

- Strong conservative;
- Experienced chief executive as governor of a large state for 12 years;
- Pro-free enterprise;
- Had a strong dose of humility in 2012. Good for the soul;
- Great personal story of rising from poverty;
- Social conservative, but balanced;
- Can unite the grassroots and establishment wings of the party;
- Not afraid to take action – Reaganesque.

You go, Rick.

Whitewolf7070 on August 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Romney is an honest man, a caring man, and a very smart man.
I guess none of that counts for anything in a president these days.
It’s too bad really. I voted for him and I actually thought he would win. After learning of voter fraud, intimidation by the IRS, and other stuff, I am not that surprised he lost.

gordo on August 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Romney is an honest man, a caring man, and a very smart man.
I guess none of that counts for anything in a president these days.
It’s too bad really. I voted for him and I actually thought he would win. After learning of voter fraud, intimidation by the IRS, and other stuff, I am not that surprised he lost.

gordo on August 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

If Mitt Romney were an honest man, not only would he not be calling himself “severely conservative,” he wouldn’t be calling himself conservative at all.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

It is not a media creation. I have talked to some politically minded in the know folks this summer and the movement is real. And grass roots. And it is really the only chance at getting a decent candidate from either side, but it’s too late.

But Mitt isn’t running. He got pulled in last time, and then the ABM happened, and he isn’t going to do that again. You can’t win when half the REpublicans are he11 bent on destroying the country as much as the Democrats are.

Either the people who destroyed his reputation last time get behind to movement, or Romney stays out.

And it will be a cold day in he11, before people like Eric Ericksen gets behind Mitt, for religious reasons.

Which means we will have a President who is little better than Obama or Bush, and America will further decline.

2012 was America’s last shot at fixing our problems. And Conservatives ruined it. Thanks for nothing.

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

2012 was America’s last shot at fixing our problems. And Conservatives ruined it. Thanks for nothing.

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Conservatives and conservatism aren’t the problem. Republicans and the way they’ve managed to change the definition of conservatism are. One need only look at Mitt Romney’s tenure as Health Care Reform Czar governor of Mass-uh-chew-sits and his attendant gleeful association with Teddy Kennedy and Jon Gruber to get the picture.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

2012 was America’s last shot at fixing our problems. And Conservatives ruined it. Thanks for nothing.

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Still delusional and a member of the cult? Some things never change.

Etch-A-Sketch won 1 election in his life, DUH!

He couldn’t even beat 0bama. He didn’t have the balls to stand up to Candy Crowley and you think he would have faced down Putin? Get a life.

Etch-A-Sketch $ucked. Anyone who hires the incompetents he did to manage his campaign couldn’t manage picking their nose.

Jayrae on August 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Conservatives and conservatism aren’t the problem. Republicans and the way they’ve managed to change the definition of conservatism are. One need only look at Mitt Romney’s tenure as Health Care Reform Czar governor of Mass-uh-chew-sits and his attendant gleeful association with Teddy Kennedy and Jon Gruber to get the picture.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Nope, it’s you that sold out America. You made up some weird litmus test, based on nothing, that no real live human can meet. You gave us Obama and then got him re-elected and you refuse to acknowledge that it is your way of thinking that has lost our liberty.

There is no candidate. It’s only two years later, and there isn’t anyone new. And all the ones from last time sucked.

There is not another waiting in the wings.

Perry didn’t get smarter.
Gingrich didn’t become a good person.
Cain didn’t get a new past life.
Santorum is still a bore and a hypocrite.
Jeb is going no where.
Rand is the closest to new blood, but is haunted by his father’s totalitarian way he tried to take over the Convention, and Rand doesn’t even know his own mind.
Chrstie is still life long politician who abused power.

There is no candidate.

I don’t see anyone I can support if Romney really isn’t running. I researched them and they all suck!!!

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Whitewolf7070 on August 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM

And he is wearing those hipster glasses and now he is no longer dumb as a door nail… from Texas…

It takes more than glasses to make someone smart.

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

But you better hold off until Ted Cruz fixes the border crisis. That “they come here for love” crap is still a little fresh.

conservativeBC on August 9, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Gov. Perry is working on securing the border….Ted Cruz is on vacation along with the rest of congress.

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Nah, he is busy calling out the national guard to help load the illegals up, haul them into Texas so he can give them instate tuition. Ask him if the guard will be stopping anyone from crossing the border. Ask him if they will be building a fence. Ask him if they have power to detain.

But, but, but they will be doing paperwork so border security can do their jobs. Bull-crap — all he is doing is streamlining Obama’s process for him.

Meanwhile Ted Cruz has whipped a bill through congress that will take away Obama’s power to NOT deport them…

conservativeBC on August 10, 2014 at 8:42 PM

I don’t see anyone I can support if Romney really isn’t running. I researched them and they all suck!!!

petunia on August 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Romney is damaged (read: liberal) goods now. Too many people know the truth about him. He’d be stupid to waste his time and money on another failed campaign.

gryphon202 on August 11, 2014 at 1:00 AM

We would have been better off if George Romney had won back in 64 or 68, and the same for his son last year. Americans have a long history of picking bad presidents.

cimbri on August 11, 2014 at 6:31 AM

Romney is damaged (read: liberal) goods now. Too many people know the truth about him.

gryphon202 on August 11, 2014 at 1:00 AM

.
Right sport, the media worked overtime to make sure the voting public knew who the real Mitt Romney was.
And your faulty thinking puts Reagan in the “damaged goods” category.
Not cool.

FlaMurph on August 12, 2014 at 10:37 PM

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