Friday, January 30, 2015


The decision by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney that he won’t run again in 2016 now sets the stage
for the key race of the next cycle. The next GOP nominee,
and probably the next president, will come from a new
generation of conservative politicians. Mike Huckabee,
Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, each of whom have run
before, are still potentially in the contest, but none of them
are likely to win it.

The only comparable decision on the Democratic side will
be the official decision by Hillary Clinton to run for
president. Now so far ahead in the polls, her decision is very
likely to be yes, If, however, she should decide not to run, it
would dramatically change the character of the 2016 contest,
but it might well not change the outcome. Although she is by
far the most well-known Democratic candidate, she might
not be (paradoxically) the strongest in a year when most
signs and portent indicate a Republican victory. I say that
because I think that Mrs. Clinton’s maximum 2016 support
exists on the day she announces her decision to run. Barring
a bizarre outcome in the GOP nomination race, it is difficult
to see her adding  much to her initial support among Democrats
(most of them) and independents (some of them). Aside from
a few heretical GOP endorsements, Mrs, Clinton is unlikely to
gain many conservative and more independent votes (again
barring a very weak GOP nominee).

Of course, many events and circumstances have yet to unfold.
The Republican field will be invigorated by the Romney decision.
His name recognition, experience and stature would have made
him a formidable contestant in 2016, and would have probably
crowded out several new GOP figures who will now come
forward. He might have been nominated in 2016, but he might
have fallen short. In any event, the speculation is now moot.

Mitt Romney was always a class political act, albeit flawed in
his quest for the nation’s highest office. He, now in hindsight,
seems to have been the better choice in 2012, but the fact remains
that he did not win. He merits the praise of his countrymen and
countrywomen of both parties for his many contributions to the

Nor should it be assumed that he does not have contributions
to make to his nation ahead, at another time and in a different

Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights resered.

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