Mitt Romney is ready if the Republicans need him. Perhaps he’s thinking back to the 2002 Winter Olympics. They were heading into the games with a financial shortfall of $379 million dollars. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee hired Romney as its President and CEO based on his business and finance experience at Bain Capital and his ties to the LDS Church (Church of Latter-Day Saints or Mormons) that were important in Utah. Romney was a whirling dervish, making commercials, lobbying Congress, hitting up his rich friends for donations. He waived his salary and contributed $1 million of his own money toward the effort. He became the face of the 2002 Winter Olympics and when all was said and done, the Games had an excess of $100 million making it the most successful Winter Olympics ever. According to himself and most everyone else, Romney saved the Games, he was a hero.
Mitt has tried three times to bring his leadership to the Republican Party as their candidate for President. In 2008 he watched John McCain get the nod and ultimately watched him lose overwhelmingly to the upstart Barack Obama. In 2012, he became the Republican Nominee, yet lost to Obama himself, despite a significant portion of the country’s rage against the first black President. In 2016, he’d explored running again but found little enthusiasm in the Party for a two-time loser and was unable to make the run, On January 30, 2015 he announced he would not run again saying, “one of our next generation of Republican leaders” would be better positioned to win the general election.”
We are approaching the 2020 Presidential Election, it would normally be a no-brainer that the incumbent President Donald Trump would again be the Party Nominee. The economy is doing well, for the most part, joblessness is at a 50-year low, and he has the overwhelming support of the Party base. The downside is that more than half the country opposes him and there’s the growing realization that “Individual #1” is a criminal that engaged in election fraud and obstruction of justice at a minimum. The Democrat-led House of Representatives has begun an Impeachment Inquiry with six separate committees running down various areas of interest. The one getting real traction is Trump’s efforts to get the new Ukranian President to investigate Trump’s Democrat political rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden, in order to receive almost $400 million in military aid approved by Congress. Unlike every other scandal (and there have been many), this one has taken root and new revelations are occurring literally every single day. While none dare say it publicly yet, Republicans are having the prospect of coming up with a new Nominee at the last second. Mitt Romney is thinking he might get that call.
The problem with Mitt though is that for all the times he has been “alarmed,” “shocked,” or “frustrated” with Trump and his actions, some of them inhumane like the caging of children coming across the Southern border. Romney has folded like a chair every time and ultimately used his role as a Senator from Utah to support Trump at every turn. America will never forget how you genuflected at Trump during the 2016 Election process, trying to become his Vice-President or Secretary of State. Trump made Mitt grovel and then publicly rejected him. Pride is normally thought of as a deadly sin but Mitt could have demonstrated just a little.
Should Republicans go looking for a respectable candidate they, unfortunately, have few places to search? Lindsay Graham has contorted himself into a Trump puppet, Paul Ryan slinked away from being Majority Leader and went to the board of Fox News. Only John Kasich, former Ohio Governor has shown any integrity and refused to participate in the Trump madness, even before things started going wrong. And then there’s Mitt… He’s one of the few speaking out even mildly against Trump’s behavior, hoping someone is listening.
Whoever answers the call if it comes will be asked to perform a miracle, picking up the pieces of a political party that Trump made his own then trashed. It may be far too late for anyone to undo the Trump damage but Mitt is thinking, “I did it before in 2002!” He’s sitting by the phone waiting for that call.