I have to hand it to Mitt, he must be among the most optimistic politicians ever. Knowing he stood no chance of winning another term at home, he's just going to focus on running the entire country.
After losing 20 of 36 governor's races as the head of the Republican Governors Association, he bravely uttered:
"The job of Republican Governors Association chairman is to raise money," he said. "We're not going to take the credit for any wins we get, nor are we going to take the blame for losses we suffer."
Hmm, I wonder if he would have said the same thing if the Republicans hadn't lost so many governorships. It's easy to not take credit for wins when you didn't get any, and it's just cowardly not to take credit for losses.
Also, in reference to wider Republican losses, the multimillionaire said:
"We must return to the common sense Reagan Republican ideals of fighting for hardworking Americans," Romney said in a postelection statement.
Now, I was fairly young during the Reagan administration, but I don't recall Reagan doing much for hardworking Americans. He did classify ketchup as a vegetable, which I suppose helped hardworking ketchup makers like John and Teresa Heinz Kerry. I'm pretty sure that was the extent of his legacy, though.
Romney also has the not-quite-but-almost approval of the religious right:
"We're not trying to find a Sunday school teacher in chief; we're trying to find a commander in chief," said [Jerry] Falwell, who traveled to Massachusetts last month to meet with Romney. Also attending the meeting were Franklin Graham, Gary Bauer, Lou Sheldon, Richard Land and other conservative social and religious leaders.
"Where he goes to church will not be a factor; how he lives his life will be," said Falwell.
Of course, that he does go to church at all is a major factor. He may be part of what many on the religious right consider a cult, but at least he's no stinkin' atheist!
Even if we accept that his nutty religion won't really be a factor, Romney has no chance. Most of the far right sees him as being to the left of McCain, and being from gay marriage loving Massachusetts won't do him any favors there. Not to mention his flip-floppy treatment of abortion rights. He has said a lot of stupid things about Muslims though, which might win him a few points.
The real problem though is that he hasn't done a damn thing as governor. He managed to royally screw up the Big Dig, but that's about all most people here will remember him for. He'll blame the Democrat-controlled legislature, but whoever wins in '08 will also be faced with a Democrat-controlled legislature. Making excuses for not doing anything isn't going to go very far.
Not doing anything isn't necessarily a problem when running for president, but you have to be charismatic enough to make people like you. Which he's not.
Who does like Mitt Romney? I'd wager Kerry Healy doesn't. The voters of Massachusetts certainly don't. The voters of New Hampshire don't (McCain and Giuliani both lead him in polls there). The far right doesn't because he's not crazy enough. The moderates don't because he's too crazy. Someone must, but I've yet to meet them.
His only chance is to shoot for VP and hope his looks get him in. He could be the Dan Quayle of 2008, only less qualified.