If Mitt Romney really does run for president in 2016, he'll have a lot of explaining to do, to voters and donors, about what's different this time. And with Republicans across the country
saying things like
"I really need to know what’s going to be different" and "How does he define what he is trying to do besides the fact he just wants to be president?," it's going to be hard for Romney to make the case. His advisers are doing their best to pretend there's an answer to that question, but it's all a little vague
The candidate — once lampooned for his wealth and caught on video dismissing the 47 percent of voters on government assistance — has been telling supporters he would run on an antipoverty platform. And while a trip abroad proved to be a low point of his 2012 campaign, he is making the case that he is uniquely qualified on foreign affairs.
Even if Romney could be convincing on both these fronts, which seems unlikely, he'd still run into the problem that most voters don't vote on poverty and foreign affairs—unless there's a massive crisis or they want the United States out of the kind of war Romney would likely to be pointing toward. Even if there's the kind of crisis that scares some voters into wanting a Republican daddy figure, though, it's not clear what Romney believes will make him uniquely convincing on foreign affairs. One of his advisers is quoted saying that if Romney had been elected in 2012, "There wouldn’t be an ISIS at all, and Putin would know his place in life." But if that kind of cowboy swagger is the plan, the problem for Romney is that there are likely to be other Republicans whose cowboy swagger is more convincing. Not to mention
that, when it comes to the Islamic State terrorist group:
The origins of the group date as far back as 2006, where it was known as al Qaeda in Iraq. It resurfaced in 2011, and consolidated its power during the civil war in Syria after a merger with the al-Nusra Front. To say that there "wouldn’t be an ISIS at all," Romney would have had to have done some serious time traveling.
Romney seems to be serious about the possibility of running for president, even trying to compete for Florida donors
against Jeb Bush, a former governor of that state. But he seems a lot less serious about legitimately showing that his approach to campaigning or his message has changed.
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