Big time announcement on the Hugh Hewitt show today. Mitt Romney, a few bad breaks away from the White House in 2012, declared today he is not running for President. Like most things with politics these days this announcement begs more questions than it answers.
Like, why Mitt why?
To his credit, I guess, Mitt says it’s time for other leaders to emerge from the party. This is a refrain my podcast partner, Hupp, has been singing for a long time now. He, and Mitt, are right. But that brings us to the next question. Who will emerge? Can they unify the party? Can they do it fast enough for November 2016?
Mitt was the front runner in all polls taken so far with respect to the Republican nominee. Granted it’s January of 2015 but you know this stuff can never start too early. That aside, who’s it gonna be? Jeb Bush was next in all polls so obviously it’s him. Or is it? My gut says Bush is about to feel the same pinch as Romney did.
Oh the leader emerging line from Romney is good and believable but I also have to believe the harder core conservatives beating Mitt about the head and face for the last two months factored into the decision. Well Bush is a less richer version than Romney. Is the far right machine recalibrating to take out W’s bro? Even though Jeb has street-cred with Latinos I would still bet he’ll find himself in the cross hairs of the Tea Party set.
Mitt was actually performing a service for Jeb. But now that Mitt has tapped out, Jeb is center stage.
The rest of the republican line-up is unremarkable to me. I’m a Rand Paul fan but I’m having a hard time seeing his path to the convention in August of 2016. As we talked about on the podcast a few weeks ago, Huckabee just muddles the water, as does Ben Carson, Santorum, Palin, Trump, and now Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who officially announced yesterday. An unnamed republican strategist thinks this could benefit Marco Rubio of Florida more than anyone.
So as the Tea Party burns so called Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) at the steak in their quest for a pure heart to lead the party, they may unknowingly clear a path for Rubio. This is a Tea Party candidate that has been dubbed a
witch RINO by the people who elected him in Florida, and by Tea Partiers nation wide. Rubio does have Latino connections, albeit a rough history on immigration bills, but this is where January of 2015 is a plus. Long way to November of 16. Rubio could easily shake that immigration bill flip flopping off by then. The question is does he have the political moxie to actually do it? Time will tell.
People will be chirping about Chris Christie, but I feel confident his bridge has closed and he’s probably the next so called RINO for the fire anyway.
So we have our first real big test for the Republicans in the race for the White House in 2016. Mitt has kicked the ball back into the arena. Who’s gonna pick it up next?
The bigger question: When they lose to Hill-dogg in November, does Mitt get the blame?