As wild speculation about who will run for President in 2016 continues, a handful of recent events indicate that the GOP could be considering giving failed Republican candidate Mitt Romney yet another shot at the White House in the next election.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee recently launched a fundraising effort centered on “Romney Was Right” bumper stickers that supporters can get for a donation of $5.
“Let the world know that you made the right choice. Get your ‘Romney Was Right’ sticker today,” the NRSC says on its website. “Remember, every contribution supports our fight for a Senate Republican Majority.”
Meanwhile over at POLITICO, former assistant secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush and current investment firm CEO Emil Henry recently penned titled “The Case for Mitt Romney in 2016: I’m absolutely serious.”
Henry, the epitome of a political insider in Romney circles, argues that the failed 2012 GOP nominee could share the same latent electoral success of a stalled Presidential hopeful from decades past: Richard Nixon.
Nixon lost the 1960 general election and in 1962 was beat out for a lesser role as California’s Governor—but in 1968 fulfilled his Presidential ambitions to the surprise of many American political junkies.
Henry writes that— unlike failed Presidetial contenders such as George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain— Romney could be poised for a more Nixonian track:
Could he defy the odds and make a comeback presidential bid capturing the GOP nomination after all the doubt, second-guessing and blame that accompany such a loss? According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, many Americans seem to think so—45 percent of voters said the United States would be better off today with Romney as president.
That was also the question on not just the minds but the lips of many at a recent private gathering in Utah known as the E2 Summit, Romney’s now-annual retreat for high-profile politicians, policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, top bundlers and, of course, a core group of long-time Romney loyalists. (Disclosure: I served in multiple roles in the 2012 campaign, including adviser to the economic team, television surrogate and fundraiser.) Although the subject was not on any agenda or the topic of any speech or breakout session, virtually every meal, cocktail hour and coffee break included quiet ruminations over whether Romney could successfully run again.
The event was off the record, so I need to honor those ground rules, but suffice to say that many of speakers, some of the brightest lights of the Republican Party, and with no particular allegiance to Romney, saw great merit in a Mitt resurgence.
Henry provides three main reasons for the belief that Romney should emerge as the GOP standard-bearer once again in 2016:
1. Romney is re-emerging as the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
2. There is no natural 2016 GOP nominee and the field is highly fractured.
3. All failed nominees other than Romney were career politicians.
Henry isn’t alone in thinking that Romney could be a big name once again in 2016. During a recet appearance on Hardball with Chris Mathews, Representative Jason Chaffets (R-Utah) said that he believes Romney will run, adding that the former Massachusetts Governor would have his support.
“I think he actually is going to run for president, he probably doesn’t want me to say that, a hundred times he says he’s not,” the lawmaker said. “But Mitt Romney has always accomplished what he set out to do, I think he is proven right on a lot of stuff. I happen to be in the camp that thinks he is going to run and I think he will be the next President of the United States.”