Mitt Romney Stepping Back Into Political Arena

Mitt Romney returns from the political graveyard.


After he lost the Presidential election last November, most political observers believed that Mitt Romney would mostly fade into the background. Unlike previous losing Presidential candidates like John Kerry and John McCain, Romney didn’t have another political office to go back to after the election, and he’d made it clear that he didn’t intend to run for anything again. That’s why it’s somewhat surprising to see him stepping back into the political arena:

More than half a year after his election loss, Mitt Romney is putting a tentative foot back onto the public stage.

Restless, a little wistful and sharply critical of President Barack Obama’s second term, Mr. Romney said in an interview that he plans to re-emerge in ways that will “help shape national priorities.”

As a first step, the former Republican presidential nominee plans to welcome 200 friends and supporters to a three-day summit next week that he will host at a Utah mountain resort.

He is considering writing a book and a series of opinion pieces, and has plans to campaign for 2014 candidates. But he is wary of overdoing it. “I’m not going to be bothering the airwaves with a constant series of speeches,” he told The Wall Street Journal, speaking from his home in La Jolla, Calif.

The Utah event, six months in the making, will be splashy, expensive and closed to outsiders and the press. The meeting will be “forward looking,” as Mr. Romney describes it, but also nostalgic for a race that slipped away.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this is the idea that Romney will be campaigning for candidates in 2014. Quite honestly, I can’t see anywhere where there might be a candidate willing to have Mitt Romney come in and campaign for him. For example, you certainly aren’t going to see Romney on stage with Gabriel Gomez, the Massachusetts GOP’s candidate in the upcoming Special Election to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat. Now, if by “campaigning” Romney’s people mean fundraising, and specifically persuading many of the big money donors that donated to both of his Presidential campaigns to write checks for Republican candidates for the Senate and House, then I can see a role for Romney to play in the 2014 campaign. As an actual “campaigner,” though? Nope, I’m not seeing it at all.

Leaving aside the fact that he lost an election, the main reason that the idea of Romney as a campaigner for the GOP going forward is that he is, for better or worse, out of step with the direction that the party is moving right now. Indeed, I think it’s arguably the case that Romney wasn’t exactly in step with where the GOP was in 2012. The activist base avoided getting behind him as long as they could during the primaries, and never really struck me as being all that enthusiastic for his candidacy until he selected Paul Ryan as his running mate. After he lost the election, Romney became pretty much an “unperson” on the right. While the common conservative claim that Romney lost because conservative voters stayed home can be shown to be demonstrably untrue simply by looking at the election results, it is certainly the case that the GOP base was never all that enthusiastic for Mitt Romney. So, it’s unclear why they’d want to see him return or why his endorsements in 2014 would matter to anyone.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Budgie93 says:

    I can’t remember who said it, but it was quite apt;

    “There won’t be any Romney Republicans”.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mitt Romney Stepping Back Into Political Arena

    And I thought he hit bottom in November.

  3. beth says:

    Mitt Romney Stepping Back Into Political Arena

    Please do – and bring your dancing horse and binders full of women. It worked so well last time.

  4. Matt Bernius says:

    On has to wonder, which Mitt Romney is going to show up at the resort. Will it be the Rockefeller Republican Mitt or the Severely Conservative Mitt?

    Either way, it’s hard to see whatever role emerges as being in front of the curtain.

  5. rudderpedals says:

    Who ordered this? Anne’s going to have a nasty relapse.

  6. Sam Malone says:

    From a free online encyclopedia:
    Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Currently it is used to describe a person characterized by egotism, vanity, pride, or selfishness. Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, narcissism is usually considered a problem in a person or group’s relationships with self and others.

  7. Anderson says:

    Two kinds of entities return from graveyards.

    (1) Resurrected people with new life breathed into them.

    (2) Zombies.

    I’m going with (2) here.

  8. Caj says:

    Mitt oh Mitt! When are you going to get that you will NEVER be president? Coming back into the political arena hoping that people have such short memories of your glorious performance last time. Are we to expect another rendition of America the Beautiful? Are corporations still people my friend? Do you have anymore binders of women to enthrall us with? Do you still not care about the 47%? Oh Mitt, the list goes on and on. The brass neck of Republicans never ceases to amaze me. After what they were trying to push down our throats prior the last election and still insist on pushing down our throats even now with their radical agenda, they really think they will win in 2016. Mitts big comeback will have the country so excited they won’t be able to sleep for days. Still, bless his heart he doesn’t want to be forgotten although he was forgotten as soon as the results came in where he lost big time to President Obama. Let’s see what genius he will bring to the table this time! I can hardly wait!

  9. @Matt Bernius:

    Will it be the Rockefeller Republican Mitt or the Severely Conservative Mitt?

    From the article:

    The Utah event, six months in the making, will be splashy, expensive and closed to outsiders and the press.

    Sounds like it will definitely be Rockefeller Mitt.

    It’s too bad the event’s closed “to outsiders and the press” though. Some cameras in the room might encourage discipline and grace. We already know what Romney says to people when he thinks no one’s looking…..

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Color me puzzled. A failed candidate might want to act as spokesman for an ideology, but as far as I can tell he has no fixed beliefs except Mormonism and his own superiority. He’s not a leader of any group or movement I’m aware of, unless country club conservatives constitute a faction. He’s too unpopular with the base to have a realistic shot at a gig with FOX.

    I’m left with two hypotheses. Either he’s discovered fundraising is easier than venture capital; or as Lincoln said, ‘Once the presidential bug bites you, it never lets go.’ If the latter, he’s still getting bad poll numbers.

  11. Argon says:

    Mitt who?

  12. stonetools says:

    He should take a page out of GWB’s book and understand that silence is golden.

  13. John D'Geek says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    First, ignore the liberal chatter — they were gonna hate whatever Republican ran anyway.

    Second, don’t forget that there is not “a base”, but rather several factions that constitute a loose coalition that we describe as “a base”. Mitt Romney can do quite well in some areas, notably the “intermountain west” (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, …), as far as supporting candidates go.

    And don’t be surprised if you see him support his previous nemesis, Jon Huntsman, in 2016.

  14. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Well at least he will be consistent with his party: losers with no ideas on how to govern a complex, diverse nation, or even the desire to try. Abdication, followed by stuffing offshore accounts is how conservatives govern in 2013.

  15. anjin-san says:

    as far as I can tell he has no fixed beliefs except Mormonism and his own superiority

    And that’s it. Romney can’t let go of the concept of himself as a great man. At this point, it’s a bit like the water boy launching a campaign to convince the coach that he is too valuable to sit on the bench during games.

  16. Groty says:

    He should do what Algore did. Drop out, get fat, grow a beard, and pay a hooker to “release the chakra!”. Then his wife can divorce him.

    With those accomplishments under his belt he can return to society and make another hundred million for himself by fear mongering about climate change and associating with a VC firm that fleeces taxpayers out of enormous taxpayer subsidies peddling non-economical “green energy” scams whose primary benefit is that it makes rich white liberals feel really good about themselves.

    But he won’t do that. Instead, I bet he’ll just be the next Pete DuPont and write a few columns for the Wall Street Journal. And help Republicans raise campaign dough.

  17. Mr. Prosser says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): @John D’Geek: I think you are both correct here. He may be fronting for the “sane” faction and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear terms like “compassionate conservatism” and “moderation” come bubbling up.

  18. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Yet more evidence that Romney can’t stop making bad political decisions.

  19. becca says:

    Grifters gotta grift.

    It’s a compulsion. Enough is never enough.

  20. Sam Malone says:

    Well…McCain is still paling around with terrorists…so why not Mitt?

  21. Caj says:

    Mitt Romney is like Sarah Palin, just can’t stay out of the limelight. Same old drivel will be forthcoming should he decide to run. What part of the country just isn’t into you don’t the Republican Party get?

  22. Caj says:

    @Sam Malone:

    Yes, but that paling around with terrorists is perfectly fine just as long as you are a Republican.
    Everything is fine whether it’s legal or not, moral or not just as long as you are a Republican.

  23. Mr. Replica says:

    Mitt Romney: the gift that keeps on giving. Unless it’s tax returns.

  24. yankee.doodle. dandy says:

    I could think of worse things than Romney returning in any capacity. He is a man who understands business and leadership! How is what you chose working out for you? Is everyone happy with the number of scandals, the overreach of power, the non leadership of the head of our government, the lack of jobs, the unemployment, the number of people under the poverty level and the people on food stamps? Do you think what you chose was better?
    The IRS, the Spying on the Media, and a lousy foreign policy. The whistelblowers being punished for coming forward on Benghazi? You have no room to crow….your choice sucks!

  25. al-Ameda says:

    Glad he’s back. We all need to know more about the economics of constructing a car elevator, and the job creation that such construction enables.

  26. anjin-san says:

    In moderation? Really?

  27. anjin-san says:

    @ al-Ameda

    Knocking down a beautiful beach house to build something twice as large will create jobs too! At some point, we should dig up some of Jan’s classic comments about the “frugality” of the Romeny’s (& the great character that drives it) and the wretched excess of silver spoon baby Barak Obama.

  28. al-Ameda says:


    Knocking down a beautiful beach house to build something twice as large will create jobs too!

    The Car Elevator industry is booming thanks to Mitt Romney. I do wonder if Ann will be able use the car elevators for her equestrian horses?