He’s back… .
Like Richard Nixon or Freddy Krueger, it seems impossible to keep Mitt Romney down. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2012 Republican nominee for President told donors in New York on Friday that he was considering yet another run for the White House in 2016.
While Romney, who also ran for President in 2008, was scorned by many Republicans during his campaign as a flip-flopper with no real base in his party, many in the GOP have embraced him after his loss. After all, with the initial failures of the health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act and the Russian invasion of Crimea, many controversial statements by the former Massachusetts governor now seem omniscient.
He’s also been humanized thanks to a well-received documentary that showed an authentic side to a candidate who, at times, seemed battery-operated.
Romney, who last year denied he was running again several times, still has not made a firm decision on whether he throws his hat into the ring.
Instead, the former Massachusetts governor’s statement seems as much as a way to slow the momentum coalescing around former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and prop the door open for Romney to make a decision in the coming months.
But that doesn’t mean it’ll work and there are new hurdles to consider.
If Romney run for a third time, he’d potentially be in a field jam-packed with establishment Republicans, including Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio among others.
The former Massachusetts governor also would face a major historical obstacle: losing major party nominees don’t have a good track record in making comeback bids.
The last one to even mount a campaign was George McGovern, the Democratic nominee in 1972, who mounted a quixotic comeback attempt in 1984. In fact, with the exception of Richard Nixon’s win in 1968, the only time a former major party nominee has since been elected to the presidency since the Civil War was when former President Grover Cleveland won his 1892 rematch for the White House against Benjamin Harrison.
More recent historical precedent though has involved losing major party nominees like Gerald Ford, Al Gore and John Kerry simply flirting with another bid before backing down.
This allows them the opportunity to maintain their sway in their party and keep their name in the news without actually undergoing the rigors of running yet another campaign. And, if that’s all Romney has hoping to accomplish, he certainly did so on Friday.