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Mitt Happens

December 16, 2005

Among the least surprising political announcements of 2005 is the word from Boston that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is not running for reelection in 2006.
It is only the latest step towards a 2008 White House run for a man whose presidential ambitions started in the womb. The son of 1968 GOP presidential contender and American Motors head George Romney, Mitt?s gleaming teeth, perfect hair, venture capital resume and rescue of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics have put him on the presidential fast track.
Ultimately, Mitt Romney couldn?t risk running for a second term as Massachusetts Governor. It?s not just that the race would be a distraction from his ?08 presidential bid? he might actually lose it. In a poll taken in August, Romney trailed Democratic Attorney General Tom Reilly, his likeliest 2006 opponent, by 51-38%.
Massachusetts is being spared four more years of the Great Pretender, but the American people will soon learn of Romney?s opportunism first hand. An ardent pro-lifer in his adopted home of Utah, in 2002 Romney ran for Governor promising to uphold the pro-choice protections of Massachusetts. It?s no wonder Michael Murphy, Romney?s version of Karl Rove, confided to the National Review in June that "he's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."
Romney?s run for the 2008 Republican nomination began almost the moment he took the oath of office in Boston. More obvious than his obligatory 2004 campaign biography has been Romney?s hard right turn in preparation for the GOP primaries. The feigned outrage on same-sex marriage, his performance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and the indignant (and overridden) veto of the Massachusetts stem cell research bill show a man with his eyes on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, not Boston. His cynicism has been most evident in Romney?s attacks on his own state, including conservative red meat such as "being a Republican in Massachusetts is like being a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention."
So, as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Mitt Romney is running for President. No surprises there.


About

Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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