As the primaries for the 2016 US presidential election draw nearer something that seemed impossible a year or two ago appears to be significantly more probable now, namely that former governor Mitt Romney will run for president again.
Evidence for the reemergence of Mitt can be found in many places. Politico mentioned it a couple of weeks ago here. Forbes wrote just the other day in this article that Romney has won a nationwide poll. Last month Huffington post, in this article, quoted Bob Dole as saying that he wanted Romney to run again.
These portents make me ask one simple question, namely why? This is not a derisive why, questioning Mitt’s candidacy as such, but rather a why that concerns itself with why Romney would have a better chance to make it in the general election now than last time, and in particular with why Romney should have a better chance of making it in the general election than one of the other republican candidates would have.
Remember the mood of the last GOP primary. It was the political equivalent of a family brawl, featuring some of the worst republican on republican attacks I have ever heard of. The whole point was that nobody liked any of the candidates, perhaps except for Ron Paul who did have a small core of dedicated supporters. Out of this field consisting of has-beens such as former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich and never-will-bees like Herman Cain, Mitt Romney won by default due to having the largest campaign purse.
Nevertheless, Romney, if he runs, uniquely among the candidates will be running in the primary a second time after having lost once in a general election. This can for obvious reasons be a disadvantage, assuming that whatever made him lose last time hasn’t change, so why would the republicans, if they indeed field Romney in the general election, risk having him perform as he did in 2012?
These days the split in the republican party is greater and the serious candidates more plentiful. There are both mainstream candidates like governor Chris Christie and mavericks like senator Rand Paul that, whatever one may or may not think about their politics, are actually connecting with some voters. All of this is speculation from my side but the question of why remains. A libertarian has a reason to prefer Paul, a moderate who wants cooperation with the democrats might prefer Christie, a religious conservative would like a Mike Huckabee-type character, but why would anyone prefer Romney over another candidate except by default and since he is more able to finance his campaign? How is Mitt Romney not just the republican Hillary Clinton?