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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's Mitt Romney Up To?

Posted by on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal chastising President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton for their "failure" in leadership on international affairs:

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed.

I'd argue that Romney underplays America's international standing at the end of George W. Bush's presidency, but that's beside the point. The point is that Romney is in a place where he can lob insults, but doesn't have to offer any meaningful solutions. Noah Rothman at Mediaite calls Romney out for not being constructive at a very important time in foreign policy.

But I'm also curious why Romney is choosing to do this now. If he was genuinely trying to help America with his comments, he would have, you know, offered some solutions instead of concern-trolling. Is he trying to score "I told you so" points? The only people who care to defend Romney's foreign policy are conservative bloggers; this won't serve to redeem Romney in the eyes of the general public. Some might argue that Romney, as the 2012 Republican candidate, is the de facto leader of his party, but his party is already looking forward to 2016 by promoting Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio as the politicians they rely on to speak for the party on policy issues.

When I read that editorial, a question came to mind: Is it possible that Mitt Romney is keeping the door open for a 2016 run for president? This editorial sounds less like a man trying to rehabilitate his record for the history books and more like a cagey politician leaving himself an avenue for attack. A few months ago, I laughed off speculation that Romney would even consider another run for the presidency. Now, I'm willing to at least entertain that thought.


Comments (30) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
The obvious answer is that, yes, he's prepping for 2016 or even 2020. He wants his Now More Than Ever moment.
Posted by Warren Terra on March 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
I thought from reading a piece in some magazine that he ran primarily because his wife and son wanted him to and wasn't really all that interested. If he does run, which I tend to doubt, he better do a better job of pretending that he gives a bit of a damn about the average working person--"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me".

As far as the GOP for 2016, it's all Jeb's when he says he wants it.
Posted by neo-realist on March 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Yes, let's entertain the thought of Romney running again. It's such an entertaining thought. I am laughing just from it having been brought up. Run again, Romney, oh do.
Posted by uncreative on March 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 4
"It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office..."

Willard, is that because you find it hard to name ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON THE PLANET (besides Russia)?
Posted by Max Solomon on March 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM · Report this
I was listening to a report yesterday on members of the British conservative party in the pockets of various Russian oligarchs.

Wouldn't surprise me if the same could be said of many American conservatives.
Posted by GermanSausage on March 18, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
JonnoN 6
Jackin' it in San Diego?
Posted by JonnoN on March 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM · Report this
treacle 7
Mitt? ..who?

Also, who names their kid "mitt"?
Does he have a brother named "Glove", and a sister named "Muff"? Is dear daddy named "Gauntlet" perchance?

He's probably suffering from a terribly weak self-esteem. Which means he's probably very dangerous. Weak people are often dangerous, especially if they have a modicum of money or power.
Posted by treacle on March 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 8
No, he just wants to be a talking head.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM · Report this
rob! 9
A history lesson courtesy of Dan Drezner a few days ago:
Daniel W. Drezner @dandrezner

It’s true, kids. When Poland cracked down on Solidarity, Reagan immediately dispatched the 82nd Airborne to Warsaw. Wait… #ReaganFP

It’s true, kids. When the Soviets shot down KAL 007, Reagan immediately tightened CoCom sanctions against the USSR. Wait… #ReaganFP

It’s true, kids. When terrorists seized TWA flight 847, Reagan absolutely refused to negotiate the release of hostages. Wait… #ReaganFP

It’s true, kids. When Hezbollah took U.S. citizens hostage and then suicide-bombed Marines, Reagan stood firm in Beirut. Wait… #ReaganFP

It’s true, kids. My point with the #ReaganFP tweets is not to bash Reagan. My point is that Reagan would’ve bashed Russia on Crimea and then… tolerated it.
STFU, Mittens.
Posted by rob! on March 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 10
@5: There's not much in common between American conservative economic and politics and the Russian penchant for authoritarianism. If you can find a link to the report you heard, please share.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
rob! 11
Meant to include the following link @9:…
Posted by rob! on March 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Romney is running for president. He seems to be doing it with the same aplomb and skill he demonstrated in 2012.
Posted by usagi on March 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 13
@10: hilarious, phoebe. Russia is being run by conservative nationalists allied with the Orthodox church. they could give a flying fuck about the welfare of the average Russian, or about individual freedoms. it sounds just like the GOP to me. no wonder American Conservatives are admiring Putin's bravado. He's doing what they'd do if they could get the liberals to STFU around here.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 18, 2014 at 3:14 PM · Report this
@7 I believe that Mitt Romney goes by Mitt, but was not named Mitt. He was named Williard. I'm not sure how the Mitt fits in, and I do not actually care enough to do a web search.
Posted by uncreative on March 18, 2014 at 3:21 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 15

His actual first name is Willard. "Mitt" is an improvement.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 16
I'm just going to leave this here.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Mitt's fantasy life has ALWAYS portrayed him as the reluctant candidate, dragged (DRAGGED, I tell you!) into the political fray by his family, his friends, and Decent Americans Everywhere who all know ONLY HE can save America from itself.

In real life, even his own family didn't want him to run this last time. They took a vote, everyone but Mitt was against it, and in time-honored Mormon patriarch fashion, Mitt went ahead and ran anyway.
Posted by Pope Buck I on March 18, 2014 at 3:42 PM · Report this
I wonder how many people, I mean besides him, have completely forgotten that he's "that 47% guy"?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on March 18, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 19
Mitt who?

Maybe he's going to become the Finance Minister of Canada after the last one (con) spent like a fish?
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM · Report this

No man can win the 2016 Presidential election. The country has decided it's a woman's turn.

If the Republicans nominate a man, Hillary wins. The best we can do is nominate someone who can be our version of Hillary, maybe Jan Angle.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 18, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 21
@20 maybe you're thinking of Sharron Brewer?
Posted by Fred Casely on March 18, 2014 at 4:11 PM · Report this
rob! 22
@20, hahaha. Are you conflating WA state senator Jan Angel ("Who?!") with Nevada dimbulb Sharron Angle?
Posted by rob! on March 18, 2014 at 4:25 PM · Report this
venomlash 23
@4: Pretty much.
One of the unregistered cockmonglers tried to make that same argument a week or two back. I directed him to some Transatlantic Trends polls showing just how much more Europeans like America and want us to be world leaders now that Obama has replaced Bush.…… (page 11 for useful graph)
Posted by venomlash on March 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 24
Of course Bush was so much tougher in 2008 when Pooty Poot invaded Georgia...

Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on March 18, 2014 at 4:39 PM · Report this
MrBaker 25
Sara Romney, Mitt Palin
They are now one thing, the singularity of stupidity.
Posted by MrBaker on March 18, 2014 at 4:41 PM · Report this
leek 26
I can't believe that neither Mittens NOR the Wall Street Journal employed an editor who could have done something about "Part of their failure... is due to their failure." Jesus Christ, people.
Posted by leek on March 18, 2014 at 4:52 PM · Report this
sperifera 27
Posted by sperifera on March 18, 2014 at 5:09 PM · Report this
@20 Even better. Convince the GOP of that. I would love to see a woman running as the Republican candidate. Republicans have worked so hard to support bigotry that so much of their base is anti-women and will stay home. It'll be great. This is why a woman has a chance running for President if she's a Democrat (can get a decent percentage of the Democratic base + Independents) while she doesn't if she's a Republican. Go ahead, don't believe me - test it out. It'll be great.
Posted by uncreative on March 18, 2014 at 5:50 PM · Report this
mitt Mr. Stupido should run again. He really boosted the economy with his $ wasted on his ill advised run for the Presidency. Let's do it again, the burger stands and the fast food joints across America are looking forward to his business again. He doesn't have a chance in hell of winning but it would be fun to watch him lose again.
Posted by longwayhome on March 18, 2014 at 9:22 PM · Report this
Hmm, ever since I saw "The Romney Family Table" last September, I knew he was putting out feelers. Tiny, creeping feelers because he IS GOING TO RUN. God told him he is suppose to be president. How many times did Nixon try before he got the presidential nomination and before he got elected?

I hope I am wrong, but I don't think old Mittens would stick his head out the window if he weren't planning to run again.
Posted by Bugnroolet on March 19, 2014 at 8:19 AM · Report this

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