Might as well join the link-bait on this issue – from the Washington Post:
President Obama thumped Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, but now their political standings seem reversed. During a summer in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney is emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most in-demand campaign surrogates…
…“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.”…
It sure as heck is. In fact, it hasn’t been seen since 1966 – when Nixon went on the hustings for Republicans. Nixon was a washed-up has-been in 1966 – and in 1968, was elected President. Of course, that was Nixon’s second bite at the apple – it is very rare for anyone to get a third bite. William Jennings Bryan did more than a century ago, but he still lost.
In Romney’s favor are two things:
1. He’s been proved right about just about everything. You can go through the list of Romney predictions of what would happen if Obama got re-elected and check them off in the “I told you so” sweepstakes. I don’t think there has ever been a more clear demonstration that the electorate got it flat in an election. All Romney has to do is show his 2012 predictions, show how they came out right – and then tie the failed Obama policies to Hillary.
2. Being a loser has humanized Romney and does put him into the category of under-dog. This would be especially true against Hillary, and Romney could neutralize the “rich guy” narrative by merely pointing out the buckets of money Hillary Clinton has made, all of it via raw, political power rather than doing something useful.
But, would that be enough? I think so. Pondering it a bit, I think that Romney would blow Hillary out of the water in 2016. Unless there is a miracle turn-around in Obama’s fortunes over the next two years, anyone tied to Obama is going to have a millstone ’round their necks – and even with Hillary being a fluent and willing liar and having an MSM as willing to cover up for her as much as they did (and do) for Obama, it still won’t get her over the finish line against someone who can point out that he was right, Obama was wrong and Hillary was part of the Obama team. But, then again, I think that any first-rate GOP candidate can do that, just as well (and, of course, lose just as well – it could be that we are so stupid in our majority these days that the fact of Hillary “being the first female President” might be enough to carry her to victory…if that is the case, then it doesn’t matter who we nominate: GOP victory in 2016 depends primarily upon their being a majority of non-stupid people voting…I think we will have such a majority; but, we’ll see).
Given the fundamental weaknesses of the Democrats and Hillary, I don’t want just any reasonably decent Republican winning – I want someone who will start to dismantle the liberal State. I want a Scott Walker or a Bobby Jindal…I want someone who will have America turn the corner. My worry about Romney today is the same worry I had in 2012 – and why Romney was my 5th or 6th choice: decent as he is, I don’t think he sees that if we just try to make Big Government work, we’re doomed. Big Government has got to go – even if Romney makes it super-efficient and balances the budget, as long as Big Government exists, another Obama will come along and turn it on us in the by and by. Can Romney see, for instance, that if he wants successful education reform then the teacher unions and the Department of Education are stumbling blocks? Can he see that both have to go – or at least be severely curtailed in their actions – if education reform is to happen?
I don’t know – and I don’t think so. And, so, my take on the Romney 2016 boomlet is – its nice that people have figured out that Romney is the better man than Obama, but we need the best possible President in 2016, not merely the guy who was right in 2012.