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Mitt Romney's editorial on Trump

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    Washington Post Opinion, Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.

    Mitt Romney wrote an opinion article in the Washington Post attacking Donald Trump. A couple of extracts:

    "The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.

    "To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring."

    You can read the complete article at the above link, but I wonder, why now as he has not yet been sworn in as the next Senator from Utah? Perhaps, it is way of launching his bid for the presidency should Trump be unable to finish his term in office. He would be the "white knight" saving the party from complete ruin...however that 47 percent is still out there.

    Mitt Romney wants to be president more than just another senator. He has launched his 2020 campaign with the WP editorial.

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    I don't know if he's going to challenge Donald in 2020, but if he does then it's basically political suicide. The only way I see Romney running for President is if Donald is impeached or dies from choking on his well done steak. He would have everything to lose and the end result would be him not being President because it would likely split the Republican Party. I'd be totally fine with that scenario, but I'd be shocked if Romney actually challenged Donald.

    My guess is that Romney is the new Jeff Flake. He'll publicly criticize Donald to claim some moral high ground while still voting for his agenda nearly 100% of the time. Flake has been lauded both in and out of the beltway for "standing up to Trump," but a cursory look at his voting record paints an entirely different picture. That's the type of Senator I expect Romney to be.

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    Well, perhaps. Quoting Romney, "I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."

    To clarify, I do not see Romney openly challenging or campaigning for the presidency. But if the heat gets too much for Trump to stay in the kitchen in the next two years, then he wants to be the first cook out of the pantry when everything starts going to pot for Trump and the party. Hence my designation of "white knight." To have that "number 1 spot in waiting", he will have to be continually visible and appearing "presidential"...sort of campaigning by appearing on the Sunday talk shows and writing opinion articles in the Washington Post.

    In other words, overshadowing Pence...not a difficult thing to do.

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    Okay, I admit to "overthinking" these possible outcomes at times. However, having studied both Mitt Romney and the Mormon church in depth during the 2012 campaign, I feel that that Romney has unfulfilled expectations on his shoulders, both from his wife Ann and the Mormon church.

    First, Ann took his 2012 defeat real hard, and she is probably coaxing him to "keep the door wide open". No candidate goes into these campaigns without the support of their wives who often are reluctant, but in Ann's case she wants to be first lady more than Mitt wants to be president. The highly ambitious Ann will never publicly admit that, but she is cut out of the same cloth as Mitt.

    Second, the Mormon church is a big business and many of their notable members are CEOs of corporations. The Mormon church desperately wants one of their own at the top of government, and Mitt Romney now is the "chosen one". Jon Huntsman filled that role for a while after Mitt's 2012 defeat, but he didn't get far on the stage with Trump during the 2016 campaign. So now Mitt is back to the head of the Mormon pack.

    The Mormon Church has an adversarial relationship with the evangelicals, and with Mike Pence the heir apparent to Donald Trump should he leave office prematurely, the Mormon church would not be comfortable with Pence at the helm of government. Hence the coaxing by the church for Mitt to be ready to run.

    Governor Kasich is often mentioned as a likely Republican who could displace Trump from his podium, but while he "mulls over the situation", Mitt Romney is aggressively stepping in to fill the void from Day 1 -- keeping his name in the media's attention at every opportunity -- today and at every time Trump screws up. That could be often.

    Sure, the opportunity to run for president may never present itself to Romney if somehow Trump survives to 2020. Romney is 71 years old, a year younger than Trump, so chances for a 2024 run become more remote as the years move on. The year 2020 is it...or never.

    Finally, the Democrats do not have a solid front runner. Romney sees the Democratic Party field as rather weak compared to his campaign against the formidable Barack Obama. Furthermore, he is counting on the progressive wing of the party to apply purity tests to rule out any moderates that may provide more formidable opposition with the Independent voters. So having a strong progressive like Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Party front runner would increase Romney's chances with the moderates and independents.

    So that's my "overthinking". I'll let it go now. Don't want to do a "Chet".

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    Schmidt Wrote: So that's my "overthinking". I'll let it go now. Don't want to do a "Chet".


    I can see all of your points and they all make perfect sense. What I should have been more clear about is my belief that the "Trump factor" will make it impossible for Romney to run a campaign that has a realistic chance of winning the Republican nomination. Trump owns the Republican Party right now. Any adults in the room have been cast aside for the time being.

    The elephant in the room is what happens these next two years. Mueller or the incoming Democratic House majority can uncover something so damning that Senate Republicans are forced to turn on Donald simply to save their own asses. If that's the case then Romney has positioned himself as Republicans knight in shining armor who can lead the party out of the wilderness. But if Republicans dig in and protect Donald no matter what then I don't see Romney being able to mount a successful primary campaign against him.