The excitement is underwhelming regarding Mitt Romney. The two-time loser and likely third-time hopeful for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016 will make an announcement today, Friday. If he declares his candidacy, or indicates that he will be ‘moving forward, he will be the first of the much talked about Republicans who will likely seek the White House to openly indicate his intentions.
However, there is some doubt that he will make a third run for the White House. His family would reluctantly support him, but a more crucial change may prevent Romney from placing himself in contention. Several large donors from his 2012 campaign, and a former senior staffer have defected to the Jeb Bush Camp.
Donors and qualified staffers are plentiful within the Republican Party. Romney may have decided that he needs ‘new blood’ in his camp. Voters in 2012 said they couldn’t identify with the multi-millionaire, and he received very little support from minorities.
The announcement is expected at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
The consensus of opinion is that Bush is more centrist and possesses policies more closely aligned with the electorate. Bush’s stance on both immigration and education are less extreme and offer opportunity for serious discussion on both sides of the aisle.
David Kochel, who was a senior Romney advisor in 2008 and 2012, made the decision to join the Bush campaign because he ‘believes that he is the right man at the right time.’ His defection and the support from former Romney donors are significant. Each move by Bush and his supporters is indicative of his decision to challenge for his party’s nomination.
Kochel is considered important to a presidential campaign. He is not a member of the Washington elite; his expertise has been his involvement in state’s races.
It has been an interesting fact that Bush frequently refers to his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, and his presidency, but has never mentioned his older brother or his administration. Distancing himself from ‘Bush 43’ may be an additional indicator that an announcement is forthcoming.
Romney’s camp is stating that this announcement on Friday will not be the defining moment; he will not declare his candidacy. This will be an ‘update,’ informing Republicans whether or not he plans to move forward, or if he is ‘backing off’ from another presidential campaign.
If Romney removes himself from the list of hopefuls, Bush will gain increased strength and support. Other expected candidates are more extreme, and are unlikely to receive the support of mainstream conservatives. Americans are fed up with the lack of Washington’s efforts, and our government’s failure to address the important issues facing our nation. Many politicos, such as myself, believe that Bush would have the best chance if the race for the White House is between him and Hillary Clinton.
According to polls of likely Republican voters, Romney remains the front runner; Bush is second. Romney has acknowledged that he must make an early move if he is to retain donors and staff critical to another campaign. His supporters are aware that a campaign for 2016 will be more difficult than 2012, and the sooner he declares, the greater his chances become.
By James Turnage