February 7th, 2008 by Rightsideup

Very disappointed but ultimately not completely surprised given the odds that Romney conceded the race today. I wonder if Huckabee will now drop out at some point, since he’s achieved his objective of preventing Romney from winning and needs to make some kind of concession to McCain to get the VP job he’s really after at this point.

All this leaves me wondering where Mitt will go from here. His CPAC speech was – like the last one – one of his best (one of my biggest frustrations about his candidacy has been the way he is sometimes right on the money, energised and fired up, and other times just seems to be going through the motions). When this guy is in the right mood he’s amazing, so as a starting point he’s going to have to figure out how to achieve that mood more regularly.

Jim Geraghty of the National Review has a piece which I think sums up nicely where Romney could go from here. It waffles on for several seemingly irrelevant paragraphs but finally gets to this:

McCain is likely to get the nomination, and he will face a tough race against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. There may be a Republican president running for reelection in 2012, or there may not be. Even if McCain wins, there may be room for a conservative to challenge a sitting Republican president (a true rerun of Ford vs. Reagan). President McCain may decide one term is enough, and a conservative may find himself contemplating a challenge to McCain’s vice president.

Mitt Romney’s going to learn a lot from this race, no matter how it shakes out. If he doesn’t win the nomination, he has four years to spend tending to the vineyards of conservatism, to make his dedication to pro-life, pro-gun, and other conservative causes beyond question. He will be able to wonder if he should have spent less here and there, focused a bit more on South Carolina, made a play for more winner-take-all states on Super Tuesday. (His success in caucuses suggests he’s the favorite of those willing to commit several hours to a presidential primary choice.) He may figure out how to jab his opponent without seeming negative, how to show appropriate, steely anger, and how to effortlessly rebut an opponent’s attack.

A little less than four years from now, Mitt Romney may enter another Republican primary looking different, and perhaps more complete as a candidate.

I think he hits the nail on the head there in the last two paragraphs. But who knows what Mitt will want to do between now and then, and whether he will be willing to give it another go in four years’ time. One thing I find extremely unlikely is that Romney would ever want to serve as VP or even a cabinet member under another president – this guy has been top dog in everything he’s done since 1984 – that’s 24 years of running the show and if I were him I’d find it very difficult to go back to being just a member of a team where someone else calls the shots.

Update: speech available here in text form as prepared.

March 3rd, 2007 by Rightsideup

Mitt Romney gave a phenomenal speech at the CPAC conference on Friday. It’s great written down (RedState has the full speech here) but he also did a great job delivering it (you can see part of it on Mitt TV here). So much better than his announcement speech, which was a bit of a damp squib. I guess it’s a pretty different audience at CPAC from the nightly news, but this is the kind of stuff he’s got to be saying and the way he’s got to be saying it to really get attention and win votes. I hope we have more of it.