As Trump stumbles on substance but continues to perform in the polls, it is natural that people would become concerned. And since none of the current field seems capable of making a dent, it is also natural that people might start to look outside the field. And thus on Tuesday began the Romney rumors. And the rumors spread and they were debated and debated. But most importantly they were denied by Romney long and old timers.
But rumors do not spring from nothing – somebody floated them either to pressure Romney to reconsider or with Romney’s blessing to test the waters. If Romney were not open, he’d personally deny the rumors – so something is up here, the question is what.
When Romney said “no” back in January, insiders all opined that it was not for a lack of desire for the job, but an unwillingness to put himself and his loved ones through the meat grinder that is the GOP primary campaign. That is an entirely reasonable thing. I wish every American had the opportunity to see it up closer for themselves – it isn’t the glory road most people imagine it is. (Hillary is trying to turn the Dem primary into a glory road, but she’s not getting very far with that.)
That lead some to speculate that “a favorite son” nomination remained a possibility. Interestingly Trump was not a factor in anyone’s political calculations at the time. Trump’s net effect at this early stage is polarizing inside the party – only increasing the chances for a favorite son/brokered convention scenario as a way to break the stalemate.
So, if Romney’s real reason to say “no” was to avoid the primary, there is no way he is getting in now – the primary is not even really begun. But if the Trump phenomenon is increasing the chances of an unconventional road to the nomination, then in all likelihood the purpose behind the rumors was to make sure everybody remembered Romney’s name and capabilities.
Romney’s not getting in right now – but don’t let him out of your vision.