In June, he told NBC News: “I’m not running for president.” And in October, he told Bloomberg television: “I’m not running, I’m not planning on running, and I’ve got nothing new on that story.” Ann Romney, not to be outdone by her husband, put it this way: “Done, completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done.”

It’s possible, of course, that Romney just changed his mind. It’s possible that his interest in running again is a reflection of his new authenticity rather than a departure from it.

With his new openness to having cameras around all the time, he’ll have plenty of opportunity to explain why he was doing so many of the things one would do in preparation for a run even as he insisted that he wasn’t considering a bid. Romney made repeated appearances on the Sunday political talk shows, for instance, and reportedly made 80 congratulatory phone calls to winning campaigns on election night in 2014. All the while, Romney advisers whispered to top contributors and members of Congress that the 2012 nominee remained interested in a bid despite his public denials.