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article imageOp-Ed: Mitt Romney 2016 buzz and voters' 'remorse' over choice of Obama

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jul 4, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Mitt Romney has become the subject of speculations about a third presidential run. Speculation has increased following a Quinnipiac poll that found that about 45 percent of voters think "the nation would be better off if Romney had become President."
According to the Quinnipiac poll, 33 percent of registered American voters said that Obama is the worst president since World War II, compared to 28 percent who said George W. Bush was the worst.
A poll by Suffolk University/Boston Herald published last month also showed that Romney was leading the GOP presidential field.
But should Romney consider the survey results an incentive to run for president?
Tim Malloy, assistant director of polling at Quinnipiac University, thinks so: “I can say that’s a very nice incentive if he were thinking about running. Hindsight is being very kind to Mr. Romney.”
But despite the speculations, Romney has repeatedly denied that he is considering a run. However, his return Wednesday to Scamman's Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, where he launched his 2012 presidential campaign in 2011, could only further fuel speculations about an impending third run for president, although he attended the event to endorse the former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s New Hampshire Senate campaign.
Supporters gathered around him after the event, many trying to encourage him to run once again.
When asked whether he was thinking of running for president in 2016, his response was a firm "No. “
"I got the bug to help Scott; that's about it," he said in response to a question whether he still had the "presidential bug.”
But the former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu only helped fuel speculations by making a reference to the Quinnipiac poll while introducing Romney: "The public is finally understanding that the emperor [Obama], the self-appointed emperor, has no clothes."
He described Romney as “the man who should have been the 44th president of the United States," adding, "We had an election in 2012 in which clearly the wrong person won.”
Such statements by GOP politicians raise the intriguing question: Are Romney’s staunch supporters seriously hoping that a voters' remorse could help get Romney to the White House in 2016?
Are they really hoping that voters regretting the decision to elect Obama instead of Romney in 2012 could, in backlash voting, elect Romney the 45th president of the United States in 2016?
Romney used the opportunity of the event in New Hampshire to attack President Barack Obama, saying: “We’re really at a crossroads. We've a president... laying out a course for America that has resulted in people having a hard time finding a job… At the same time, we've lost a lot of esteem and influence we’ve had around the world because instead of shaping events as a nation and using our soft power.”
He attacked Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown's Democratic opponent, describing her as a "Simon Says senator," that is, an Obama "yes-man."
"Washington is not a place where New Hampshire wants to play a game of Simon Says... We don’t need that. We need an independent senator!"
Romney 2016 -- Any hope?
For some, the Quinnipiac survey results have raised the question whether voters’ remorse over the choice of Obama could be exploited to Romney's advantage at the next general election.
That there is such feeling in some circles is reflected in an article published in Politico by Emil Henry, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury in the administration of President George W. Bush.
Regardless of his denials, one suspects that Romney is trying to gauge public sentiments. He is likely watching the emerging GOP presidential field for positive signals ahead of 2016.
If as 2016 approaches, the emerging GOP presidential field and nods of approval from the GOP establishment suggest an open path, he will very likely be tempted to run.
But meanwhile, his return to the political scene could be portrayed as nothing more than an attempt to play a role in the Republican push to capture Congress in the midterm elections.
Romney has been active endorsing candidates in several states for the 2014 elections.
But regardless of a consensus in his favor by his party, he would have to reckon with the Democratic Party challenger. The fact that he won’t be running against Obama in 2016 means that voters will be assessing his credentials afresh against a new candidate.
One could guess that given Obama's current dismal poll ratings, Romney's victory over his 2012 foe is likely if the two have to run against each other once again. But running against a currently popular figure as Hillary Clinton is a different ball game altogether.
Voters would likely punish the GOP for fielding an old tired horse like Romney against Clinton. Romney stands a chance only against a weak Democratic candidate. In fact, the GOP fielding Romney against Clinton would be a dream-come-true for Democrats.
Speculations about a possible third run for Romney tells more about the sad state of affairs in the GOP presidential field than of Romney’s strengths as a candidate.
Henry's argument in Politico that Romney “is the only Republican who can roll into any major money center like New York, Los Angeles or Houston and mobilize his fundraisers on demand, and he is doing so with regularity," only reveals the weakness of the GOP presidential field ahead of 2016.
Is there truly any potential candidate with as much clout as Romney?
Jeb Bush? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? John Boehner?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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