Mitt Against Mitt in 2012?

by Lindsey Grudnicki

An upcoming book from Dan Balz, chief correspondent at the Washington Post, “traces the highs and lows of the Obama presidency as well as the ruthless Republican primary as both laid the groundwork for one of the most crucial, contentious elections of our time.” Yet the aspect of Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America gaining the most media attention is Balz’s record of Mitt Romney’s initial decision to campaign once more, after his failed 2008 bid.

While the Republican candidate’s hesitancy to run in 2012 has been attested to on numerous occasions, Balz’s account reveals the true extent of Mitt’s “political cold feet,” according to the Huffington Post. The book documents how the Romney family voted on whether or not Mitt should throw his hat into the presidential ring again:

When they polled the group in Hawaii, ten of the twelve family members voted no. Mitt Romney was one of those ten voting against another campaign. The only yes votes were from Ann Romney and Tagg Romney.

What changed Mitt’s mind? Romney apparently explained to Balz in an interview that it was the incompetency of the other candidates that did it:

“I didn’t think that any one of them had a good chance of defeating the president, and in some cases I thought that they lacked the experience and perspective necessary to do what was essential to get the country on track.”

The Atlantic Wire terms this “a bit of revisionist history” on Romney’s part, considering that he did not wait around “until all the other good candidates dropped out” to begin campaigning. There is a case to be made, however, that Romney offered qualities that other Republican candidates did not, and that the former Massachusetts governor was not the “failed” candidate he was commonly portrayed as in the months following Obama’s reelection.

Whether Romney’s initial informal vote against his own second campaign set the tone for what followed will, no doubt, be a much-debated question when Collision 2012 hits the shelves next month.

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