Under pressure from Romney insiders, "Draft Mitt" group cancels national launch

Good news for conservatives, terrible news for content-hungry bloggers who can’t resist trolling their readers with half-baked teases about Romney III. I mean, just look at this graphic from the “Draft Mitt” website. Catnip:


And now, instead of taking that national, the organizer’s going to stand down. Damn, I say. Damn.

A national launch for the Utah-based effort to draft Mitt Romney into running a third time for president in 2016 has been called off amid concerns from insiders from the former GOP candidate’s campaign that it could hurt other Republicans seeking office…

[DraftMitt.org founder James] Evans, who has talked with [Romney advisor Spencer] Zwick and others he declined to name about the Draft Mitt movement, said he has decided not to go forward with the national launch planned later this month in South Carolina, an early presidential primary state…

“Mitt is not supporting this. None of us are asking people to do this,” said Zwick, who founded Solamere Capital, a Boston-based private equity firm, with Romney’s eldest son, Tagg…

“There are people all over the country trying to push him into running,” Zwick said. “I’ve heard of 20 of these things….People should take him at his word, he’s not running.”

Yet. He’s not running yet. That’s why Team Romney’s so eager to stamp out a “Draft Mitt” movement now, right? As one analyst quoted in the story notes, if his barnstorming for Republican Senate candidates is seen as an attempt to promote himself for another presidential run, it could backfire. Instead of building warn feelings among Republicans towards the elder statesman who’s trying to help Team GOP oust Harry Reid, it’ll ignite a new round of “anybody but Romney” panic among the grassroots. Plus, all available evidence suggests Romney really doesn’t want to run again. Team Mitt’s going to need to persuade him, and like I said this morning, part of that persuasion may involve reassuring him that this next, last campaign will be shorter than the other two. If the “Draft Mitt” movement gets traction, it’ll put pressure on him too early in the cycle and the headaches from that pressure may scare him off. Better for his fans to keep things low-key and let his inner circle quietly go to work on him. In fact, I’m struck by how cooperative Evans is being in canceling the launch after talking to Romney’s consiglieres. A Romney fan who was convinced that Mitt was determined not to run would have every reason to ignore his advisors’ wishes and try to force Romney into the race by building public demand. Instead, Evans is willing to bow to their request. Is that because he’s a loyal soldier for the GOP and worried about creating a distraction during the midterm campaign, or did Zwick and others assure him that Romney might run if he’s able to maneuver the way he likes over the next year, without external pressures? Hmmmmmm.

Dude, I’m talking myself into believing this. But don’t take my word for it.