There was a Vanity Fair article about Mitt Romney back in February 2012. Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s piece was “an adaptation from their new book, The Real Romney, to find that the contradictions, question marks, and ambivalence go deeper than his politics.” It couldn’t have helped that Willard Mitt Romney’s real first name is the same as a movie rat.
The real trouble with the 2012 Republican Presidential campaign is that most of the pundits assumed the same thing would happen in 2016. Mitt Romney was losing to, at different points, Michele Bachmann, Herman “9-9-9” Cain, and Newt Gingrich, among others, before the party let one of grownups become the nominee. The supposition was that the same thing would happen again in 2016, that the bellicose businessman might be the flavor of the month, but surely fade, leaving someone such as Jeb Bush or John Kasich with the nomination.
Surely, Mitt Romney wasn’t as bad as some of his GOP counterparts, faint praise, I suppose. He did enact a predecessor to the Affordable Care Act when he was governor of Massachusetts. Yet he was perceived as the out of touch millionaire businessman, largely because of the 47% quote. Yet his successor as the Republican nominee, whom Romney rightly criticized as a phony, had a broader appeal as “genuine.”
It’s peculiar, politics in this century. When I was growing up in the 1960s, there were plenty of Republicans that fair-minded citizens could consider. Both of the US Senators from New York, Jacob Javits and Ken Keating, were Republicans, as was governor Nelson Rockefeller. William Scranton was governor of Pennsylvania, and George Romney, father of Mitt, was governor of Michigan.
There was a time in my voting lifetime when the vast majority of Republicans were people I would at least consider casting a ballot for. And I do know that if Mitt Romney had won in 2012, I would not be having the sleepless nights I’ve had since November 8, 2016.
I WAS disappointed when Romney suggested Betsy DeVos is a “smart choice for education secretary.” Still, I hope he finds ways to challenge this presidency; don’t know how much he’d be heard, but I’d love to see him use whatever clout he may still have.