The news that Mitt Romney is indeed considering assembling the political necessities to run for the Republican nomination for the 2016 US Presidential elections broke this week.
Not only is Romney considering running, he is already starting to lay the foundations for an election office base and has begun identifying potential staff and leadership figures. Unfortunately, the tides are already rising against him.
The Washington Post published a scathing op-ed titled, ‘It Makes No Sense for Romney to Run for President Again’ on Tuesday 13th January, slating Romney’s outdated and out-of-touch persona. The infamous 47% speech – in which Romney criticises the supposed 47% of the US population reliant on social security and other safety nets for voting for Obama no matter what – as well as the various other scandals that came out about Romney in previous years, will no doubt resurface if he makes a formal bid to run for 2016.
With the news that Romney’s 2012 running mate, ultra-conservative Paul Ryan, will not be running, Romney might think that the road is clear for him to begin laying the brickwork for his Campaign. Photographs of his Bain Capital years – during which Romney was responsible for severe outsourcing of workforce when part of the senior management team – reappear on liberal and left-wing news sites; one particularly stark and shocking photograph is of Romney with dollar bills of unidentifiable value, stuffed into his suit jacket, surrounded by other executives with bills held in their hands and mouths. These will no doubt be utilised by both the Democratic nominees but also those running for the Republican ticket, including Jeb Bush, Michelle Bachmann and Chris Christie, in an attempt to create the perception that Romney is out of touch with the voter base.
The Post, as well as the leading political newspaper of Washington, Politico, point towards several potential reasons as to why Romney is again running for the ticket; including a possible belief that Romney believes that no other potential candidate for the Republican ticket has enough force to overcome an opponent such as Hilary Clinton or Joe Biden. This begs the question – is Romney out of touch?
The world has changed since 2008.
Hilary Clinton has spent the last several years redefining her public persona and brand image. No longer is she identified as just the esteemed lawyer and wife of the former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, she is also a now very worthy competitor and serious contender for the Democratic nomination if popular political thought and newspapers are to be trusted. Her reworked image has strengthened her appeal to voting women; the wives and mothers of America.
So how will Romney reclaim the ability to be taken seriously in the 2016 race, if indeed he decides to run? He will need to find a suitable running mate that, unlike a Palin to McCain’s failed Presidential attempt; one who will complement Romney’s strategies and stances on the important issues he will run with. His image of the stuffy Republican with the sole interest of moneymaking at all costs, will need to be revamped – failing this will kill his appeal with students, young professionals and ethnic minorities.
If you had to choose between Romney and Clinton who would you go for?