Establishment backlash against Romney

Mitt Romney's strong hints that he wants to be a candidate for president in 2016 for the third time have set off a wave of anti-Romney sentiment by all factions in the GOP.

Even the establishment's most powerful members – the Republican National Committee – are dead set against giving Mitt another chance.

Romney will address the RNC Winter Meeting this week, and judging from this Politico article, he will not be met with open arms:

On Friday night, Mitt Romney will step aboard the deck of the U.S.S. Midway to address GOP brass gathered here for the Republican National Committee’s annual winter meeting. It will be a pivotal moment for the former Massachusetts governor, his first public comments since he delivered a jolt to the 2016 Republican sweepstakes by signaling his interest in another White House run again after two failed bids.

It’s safe to say the former Massachusetts governor will be addressing a tough audience.

In interviews this week with nearly a dozen committee members — the people who comprise the most active and powerful core of the party apparatus — nearly all expressed deep skepticism about a third Romney White House bid. The sentiment was unambigious: The GOP needs to find a new candidate to carry the party past its painful 2012 loss and back to the White House.

“He had a great opportunity last time and I personally want a fresh face,” said Roger Villere, the Louisiana Republican Party chairman. “What’s going to be different this time?”

“I have not detected a groundswell of support for him,” added Rob Gleason, the Pennsylvania GOP chairman.

Though the reaction to Romney’s reemergence was largely dismissive, not everyone here was prepared to write off Romney just yet.

It’s not unheard of for a failed contender to wage multiple attempts at the White House. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush all ran unsuccessful bids for the presidency before going on to win; Reagan campaigned for the job in 1968 and 1976 before a victorious 1980 effort.

To put it mildly, Romney ain't no Reagan.  The Gipper always had a core of about 30-35% of Republicans who would support him in any race he ran.  Romney has impressive infrastructure – mega-donors and a political network in every state – but has next to zero appeal among the base of the party and an establishment who recognized his terrible 2012 campaign in a very winnable election.

Twenty-sixteen will not be a cakewalk for any Republican against presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Given that Romney couldn't best a severely damaged president in 2012, how can he expect to defeat Hillary, whose base of women and other Democratic constituenciese are excited about her candidacy?

Something got into Romney when Jeb Bush began to make serious noises about entering the race.  The two have been natural rivals as former governors wanting to be president for more than a decade.  Did the thought of Jeb sweeping to the nomination (no sure thing, obviously) goad Mitt to make some noises of his own about jumping in?

Romney has many friends on the RNC.  Hopefully, they will conduct an intervention and save Mitt from an embarassing run for a nomination that virtually no one wants to see him get.

Mitt Romney's strong hints that he wants to be a candidate for president in 2016 for the third time have set off a wave of anti-Romney sentiment by all factions in the GOP.

Even the establishment's most powerful members – the Republican National Committee – are dead set against giving Mitt another chance.

Romney will address the RNC Winter Meeting this week, and judging from this Politico article, he will not be met with open arms:

On Friday night, Mitt Romney will step aboard the deck of the U.S.S. Midway to address GOP brass gathered here for the Republican National Committee’s annual winter meeting. It will be a pivotal moment for the former Massachusetts governor, his first public comments since he delivered a jolt to the 2016 Republican sweepstakes by signaling his interest in another White House run again after two failed bids.

It’s safe to say the former Massachusetts governor will be addressing a tough audience.

In interviews this week with nearly a dozen committee members — the people who comprise the most active and powerful core of the party apparatus — nearly all expressed deep skepticism about a third Romney White House bid. The sentiment was unambigious: The GOP needs to find a new candidate to carry the party past its painful 2012 loss and back to the White House.

“He had a great opportunity last time and I personally want a fresh face,” said Roger Villere, the Louisiana Republican Party chairman. “What’s going to be different this time?”

“I have not detected a groundswell of support for him,” added Rob Gleason, the Pennsylvania GOP chairman.

Though the reaction to Romney’s reemergence was largely dismissive, not everyone here was prepared to write off Romney just yet.

It’s not unheard of for a failed contender to wage multiple attempts at the White House. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush all ran unsuccessful bids for the presidency before going on to win; Reagan campaigned for the job in 1968 and 1976 before a victorious 1980 effort.

To put it mildly, Romney ain't no Reagan.  The Gipper always had a core of about 30-35% of Republicans who would support him in any race he ran.  Romney has impressive infrastructure – mega-donors and a political network in every state – but has next to zero appeal among the base of the party and an establishment who recognized his terrible 2012 campaign in a very winnable election.

Twenty-sixteen will not be a cakewalk for any Republican against presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Given that Romney couldn't best a severely damaged president in 2012, how can he expect to defeat Hillary, whose base of women and other Democratic constituenciese are excited about her candidacy?

Something got into Romney when Jeb Bush began to make serious noises about entering the race.  The two have been natural rivals as former governors wanting to be president for more than a decade.  Did the thought of Jeb sweeping to the nomination (no sure thing, obviously) goad Mitt to make some noises of his own about jumping in?

Romney has many friends on the RNC.  Hopefully, they will conduct an intervention and save Mitt from an embarassing run for a nomination that virtually no one wants to see him get.