Whether it’s on cable news, the Washington Post, Business Insider or Nate Silver, the message seems to be the same this month. Mitt Romney is either running for President again, thinking about running, being “nudged” toward running or weighing his options. As I watch some of these venerable analysts, it seems as if we may as well start measuring the drapes in the Oval Office for Mitt right now.
But there’s one other voice in the ongoing debate which might carry a bit more weight than all of the others put together.
“Done. Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done.”
— Ann Romney, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, ruling out another presidential campaign by her husband.
Mitt Romney remains many things to many people… a symbol of GOP failure on the national stage, the face of “the establishment” in Republican politics or Lazarus rising from the electoral grave yet again. But if anything was made clear over the last ten years, Mitt is a family man. Ann Romney – a wonderful lady who is held in high esteem – is probably the loudest voice that will ever speak in Mitt’s ear. Assuming she is being candid – and there’s no reason to believe otherwise – we may be able to put this far too heavily beaten horse out to pasture. If Ann doesn’t want Mitt to run, he’s not running.
I understand the fascination here. We’re only a handful of weeks away from the starting gate. Once the last votes are counted in the midterms, the 2016 presidential election will be officially kicked off in all but name. Anyone who doesn’t have their swim trunks on and at least a toe dipped in the pool by New Years is going to be playing catch up. With no obvious frontrunner (the way the Democrats have Hillary), Mitt is an obvious target to while away the time and fuel speculation. But the days of Nixon are long since gone. Mitt is out there helping other candidates who embrace the same values he hold, but he’s not running. Let’s move on to the next rumor.