It would seem Mitt Romney actually can read the writing on the wall. On Friday he made it perfectly clear he wouldn't be running a third time for the big white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That sigh of relief you heard shortly after his announcement came from the GOP movers and shakers who consider themselves the mainstream. You know, the ones who aren't supporters of the chock full o nuts wing known as the tea party.
While Romney led in many current polls among republicans most of the big money people know exactly how many times a two time loser has been successful winning a presidential election on his third try. That would be zero, as in nil, or as we all might end up saying one day, nada.
Actually the only people who were truly in favor of Romney getting in were the yokels who would have never voted for him in the first place. People like the functionally insane Brent Bozell, the ultra conservative faux author and pal of Sean Hannity. Bozell and his crowd wanted Romney in because he would, in theory, split the moderate vote with Jeb Bush which would allow some cracker like Ted Cruz, or Mike Huckabee to waltz into the 2016 convention as the nominee.
So much for that crafty plan. There will be plenty of short term speculation about why Romney fell on his sword. Some of it will even center around his wife, Ann, who seemed dead set against him running even as he was testing the waters. The Washington Post ran a piece which claims Mr. Mitt saw the results of the latest Iowa poll and decided enough was enough. The poll, conducted by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg showed that while 57% of Iowa republicans viewed him favorably a full 40% consider him unfavorable. In addition 45% of them didn't want him to run. Those are pretty tough numbers among the faithful, especially when you consider Jeb Bush is going to be in the same field twelve months from now.
Of course Bush's presence in the race might have been the true deciding factor. Bush has the pedigree, the connections, and seemingly the momentum to be the new standard bearer for what passes as the middle of the party. Indeed--why back a guy who couldn't beat John McCain in 2008 and then choked against Barack Obama four years later when there is a fresh new face in the crowd. One who not only isn't a certified loser, but hasn't publicly babbled on about focusing his campaign on helping the needy and narrowing the income gap between the very rich and the working poor.
Saying crazed shit like that in front of GOP hot shots, which Romney did a few weeks ago, will lead many to conclude you've either spent too much time in a Colorado pot emporium, or you have suffered a psychotic break.
Speaking of which, Sarah Palin was in Iowa last week in order to attend something called the Iowa Freedom Summit. Within hours after telling the Washington Post she was, "seriously interested," in making a run for the presidency, Ms. Palin delivered a speech which was apparently so aggressively disjointed, clichéd, and self pitying even some of her past defenders declared her incompetent.
Well these things happen--for some people the light bulb simply turns on later than it does for others.
So now we're officially rid of Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin seems to have, at last, put the final and fatal bullet into her foot. Not all the faces left are new. Mike Huckabee's certainly isn't, neither is Rick Perry's, or former senator Rick Santorum's. All three of them have been to the big dance before, although the only one who had a modicum of success was Santorum, who served as the ultra rights last stand against the Mittster three years ago.
Yes, many will hit the trail, but only one will reach the end successfully. At this early date it is hard to handicap the coming race, but one has to think Bush will be tough to handle outside of the deep south.
Whatever the case, don't touch that dial. Things are just getting interesting.