Mitt Romney Finally Faces Reality

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Perhaps there’s something to be said about a politician who finally admits they just aren’t that well-liked? The typical response in Washington is to assert majority support no matter what the actual circumstances are. That’s what made the following admission by Mitt Romney yesterday interesting. It also should leave the Utah Senator asking exactly what he’s even doing at this point.

But don’t give Romney too much credit (I know you weren’t). He only came to this realization while seeking plaudits on CNN and repeating an obvious falsehood.

Let’s start with the idea that all the 2024 candidates are “trying to become as much like Donald Trump as they can be.” While that statement may make Romney feel empowered and above it all, it’s really just a cheap shot at many of his colleagues in an attempt to marginalize them. It also happens to be untrue. Ron DeSantis may fight like Trump, but he does it in a different way. Kristi Noem has more spine than Romney will ever have, yet she’s not really like President Trump. How is Nikki Haley like Trump? Perhaps Romney is aiming at Ted Cruz? Yet, he’s not much of a Trump clone either. Everyone running in 2024, whether you like or dislike them, has their own unique style and personality. They are not trying to become Trump. They simply recognize where the party is and are choosing to represent their interests. Romney should try that sometime.

Besides, being “like Trump” on a political level is a good thing. To the extent that one would want the next candidate to be more disciplined, that’s understandable, but that brushes over the fact that most Republicans prefer Trump on a policy level to what was offered in the previous three decades. And that’s where Romney’s brush with reality occurs. He goes on to admit that he only represents a very “small slice” of the GOP.

Fact-check true on that. So what is Romney even hoping to accomplish at this point? Is getting media back-slaps and constantly stabbing your own party in the back while ignoring the transgressions of the opposition a political personality? Or is it just the last gasp of a politician who realizes they aren’t going anywhere after their next election attempt? It’s probably the latter. I think Romney sees that 2024 is no longer a real possibility for him and he’s lashing out over it. His ambition has been crushed by Trump’s rise and he resents that. That’s why you get the angry statements every time Trump opens a Coke, yet Romney never shows outrage toward anything a Democrat does. It’s personal for him, no matter how much people proclaim him to actually be above the fray. He’s not above the fray, he’s just not liked enough to be in it.

The result of that is Romney going on CNN to throw barbs at people who are ostensibly his allies so Jake Tapper can smile glowingly at him. Given that, what exactly is the point of Mitt Romney being a Senator? He should perhaps look in the mirror and ask himself that. An early retirement is calling his name.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)