The key to preparing Romney to run in 2016 is making him appear “cool.” The Washington Post on its web site, published today an article by Philip Rucker titled “How Mitt Romney got cool.” This article, along with the Mitt Romney documentary discussed in it, are just the latest of what appears to be a campaign designed to rehabilitate the image of the former Massachusetts governor and prepare him for a third run at the presidency in 2016. Just recently, Romney appeared on NBC's Late Night to “Slow Jam” the news with Jimmy Fallon.
Mitt Romney lost a tough 2012 presidential contest in which the Barack Obama campaign and it's super PAC allies sought to negatively define the 2012 GOP nominee and cast him as an out of touch, ultra wealthy, business executive who didn't understand the needs and concerns of the average American citizen and voter. Perhaps the most memorable was the Priorities USA spot that seemed to suggest Romney was to blame for the wife of that unemployed steelworker, who lost his job working for a company that Bain Capital owned and downsized, later died of cancer and lacked health insurance coverage. Despite the spot being found innacurate by the various media reviews of political ads, the spot resigned strongly among union households in the swing states of the industrial Mid West. President Obama swept all those such swing states on Election Day. Romney did little to defend his image and reputation at Bain Capital and as governor of Massachusetts until he finally punched back at Obama in the first debate between the two of them.
If Romney is to run for president again in 2016, he will have to improve his image, appear to be more of a “regular guy” who understand what people are going through in this lasting recessionary economy and basically, get people to think he's “cool.”
So the campaign to do all that has started. Romney slow jams the news with Jimmy Fallon, appears on other shows such as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and also appears in his own documentary about himself, which casts the 2012 GOP presidential nominee in a more favorable light. This could all be preparing him to run again in 2016.
But Mitt Romney himself says he's not running. This early in the process, it can be very wise tactically to deny wanting to run. While he says he's not running, he didn't deny that he will ever run again, and certainly he did not issue that far more clear declaration of William Tecumseh Sherman, who said, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
Don't be surprised if Mitt Romney does run again. He may still want to be president, and may look at the 2016 field that is beginning to assemble and he may just think he has a shot at the nomination and could win it this time. But after his 2012 campaign, he may have a challenge selling the idea to some activists and voters.
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