But he never seemed to grasp the reasons the Republican Party has performed poorly in recent years, chief among them the public’s skepticism that Republican policies would do anything for most people. Romney seemed even to disdain the idea of showing that conservative ideas would yield tangible benefits for individuals.
I think that’s what he was getting at when he said, right after the election, that President Barack Obama had won by offering voters “gifts.” The next Republican nominee should take a more sympathetic view of voter self-interest, and try to appeal to it (by offering middle-class families real tax relief and cheaper health insurance, for starters).
Republicans in 2016 will be running for a White House that has been in the other party’s control for eight years. There will be natural “time for a change” sentiment, perhaps heightened by the likelihood that the Democratic nominee will be someone who has been at the highest level of American politics for a quarter century. That argues for a candidate who offers fresh ideas and a chance for the public to turn the page. Romney is not the most natural choice to deliver that message.