Alex Massie

A Romney Pipe Dream

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Anyone who wants to see Mitt Romney fail now should hope he follows the advice given by Lisa Schiffren and Peter Roff and runs for the now open Senate seat in Massachussetts; anyone looking forward to kicking Multiple Choice Mitt in a couple of years time should hope his political instincts haven't yet deteriorated beyond the point of no return and that, consequently, he'll decline this exciting invivation to failure.

As James Joyner suggests, this idea makes no sense at all, not least from Romney's perspective. The fact that it's being offered in a friendly spirit is quite astonishing. Here's Roff explaining why Rmney should run:

Such an announcement would likely be embraced immediately by the Republicans, who would like almost nothing more than to deny Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada his new, hard-won, 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority. As a self-funding candidate who has already been elected once statewide, Romney has nearly 100 percent name ID. And, in an environment where President Obama seems to be dragging the Democrats down, he would be a serious threat to the Democratic hegemony in Massachusetts’s congressional delegation. Meaning Romney likely would win.

If he did, Romney would then have a platform to actually introduce legislation modeled on the proposals he put forward as a presidential candidate in 2008 and planned to put forward in 2012. No guesswork. No empty rhetoric. Real ideas, on the Senate floor, that could be evaluated, debated, and perhaps even voted on.

From the Senate floor, Romney could show his fellow Republicans, and the country, just what kind of president he would be. How he would approach national problems. As an added political benefit, it would give him the opportunity to establish true conservative bona fides allowing him to finally overcome the suspicions many conservatives in the GOP’s primary electorate still harbor about him. Rather than tie him down, Romney could actually use the Senate seat to lock up the GOP nomination in 2012.

Really? Mitt would win? You think so? Anyone who wants to offer me money on the proposition that Mtt Romney will be the Junior Senator from Massachussetts next year is welcome to get in touch. I'll offer you just about any odds you like. 

Never mind the fact that even if (by some miracle) he were elected, Romney wouldn't be the Republican leader on anything, far less be passing legislation, the notion that Massachussetts voters will elect the chap they decided** didn't merit a second term in the governors office is itself absurd.

Sure, it's not 100% impossible that a good Republican candidate could win but I'd guess the GOP's prospects at no more than 5%. At best. And that's with an Obama-endorsing Republican such as William Weld running. That figure is reduced to close to zero if the candidate is Romney for the simple reason that there is no way on earth that the Commonwealth's voters are going to elect Romney just so he can have a (notionally) better platform from which to run for the Presidency.

One can understand why enthusiasts for Romney search for ways of making Mitt "relevent" but they should concentrate on ideas that might advance his prospects, not kill them off for good.

Unless of course, they are trying to be kind by getting the disappointment in early, before the voters have their final, crushing, say in 2012...

UPDATE: Steve Benen and Nate Silver offer still more reasons why this is daft pie-in-the-sky hilarity.

**UPDATE: This is sloppy. I should have been clearer. I know that Romney didn't seek a second term as governor. One reason for that may have been that his approval rating was, if memory serves down to about 30%. Yes, he enjoys statewide name recognition but, having reversed himself on abortion and any number of other matters it is exceedingly hard to see how he could win an election in a state that, in any case, continues to give Obama a 75% approval rating.

UPDATE 3: As expected, Romney sensibly declines this exciting career-ending opportunity.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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