January 31, 2015

"I'm definitely not running for President...I might run for President...No, I'm not going to run President..."

I'm not a psychiatrist, but I'm going to take a stab at what makes Mitt Romney tick:

Here is a man raised in privilege who has had smashing success at virtually anything he set out to do, and he wanted to be President.  He lost the 2008 nomination to John McCain, but got it in 2012.  His apparent willingness to say whatever he thought the base wanted him to say in order to win the White House made him impossible to read, although he had solid support among die-hard Republicans.  His wife's lament that "It was our turn," after the 2012 loss against President Obama smacks of a sense of entitlement.

My jaw dropped when Romney announced his interest in making a third attempt, after declaring on multiple occasions that he wasn't going to run again (I'm not sure if any major party politician has attempted three Presidential runs). It was comical watching him reverse his opinions, not only about running, but about his sudden concern for the Americans living in poverty that he didn't care about last time around.  Some attendees of his New York meeting, billed as a social event to mix with old friends he hadn't seen in awhile, were rankled when it was revealed to be an exploratory meeting, because it made them appear to be Romney supporters, when many of them had already gotten behind Jeb Bush.

Speaking of the former Florida governor, I don't believe it was coincidental that Romney announced his change of heart until after it started looking more and more like Jeb Bush is going to run.  Romney is competitive, and I don't think he cared much for the idea of an already established political dynasty making history.

As for that parting shot about stepping aside in favor of a new generation of not widely known Republicans stepping up to lead the party (a pretty direct jab at Jeb), consider this: Mitt Romney's father (George) wanted to be President (he didn't advance far enough in the primaries for it to be determined whether he was even eligible under somewhat murky citizenship regulations and having born in Mexico). Jeb Bush's father (George) also wanted to be President, but unlike the other George, he made it, as did his son, also named George, a contemporary of Mitt's.

Am I the only one who senses characteristics of entitlement, competition, and jealousy here? 

I'm glad he realized that running again would only be a public embarrassment for him as his backers almost certainly turn to other candidates they deem more viable than a third-time also-ran and his competitors (even those in the same political party) make mincemeat of his changing his mind so often. Anyone who seeks the presidency because they've gotten everything else they wanted, so therefore this should be theirs as well, plus not wanting to be bested by another political family who succeeded where theirs failed, are not good reasons for wanting to be President.  

Mitt Romney appears to be a still-vigorous man in his late sixties. My hope is that he will simply walk off into the sunset, enjoy his family and his millions, and never appear on the political landscape again...