Mitt Romney is still an out of touch, elitist, greedy asshole.
Steve Kornacki at Salon: “Romney and Ryan have an excuse, of course: It was only last week that they lost, so the wounds are still raw. The question is whether they’ll end up like John McCain, who is still clearly not over his loss to Obama four years ago. [...] For years, McCain was one of the most popular politicians in the country. His reputation took a hit in ’08, but he had an opportunity to restore it in defeat. Instead, he’s behaved like an embittered partisan warrior. And so far, it’s an example that Romney and Ryan are following.”
Josh Marshall at TPM:
[O]n balance America has never had party leaders in the way that is natural in parliamentary systems. And in recent years, with nominees usually having little organic connection to party infrastructure or deep base of support, the pattern [of being shuffled off the national stage after a electoral loss] has become even more merciless and total.
Michael Dukakis is perhaps the most glaring example since he had so little national profile to return to and was viewed as such a poor candidate. But something similar, if less extreme, can be said of John Kerry and Walter Mondale and Bob Dole and John McCain.
But I think we may be in even new territory with Mitt Romney’s shuffle off the national stage. It’s not too much to say that Romney is now uniting the country across party lines that he’s someone who should leave as soon as possible and not say anything publicly again. Actually scratch that. Democrats are starting to think that having Romney around and continuing to dump on a broad range of Americans might be pretty awesome.
More seriously, it goes without saying that Romney was never more than a tolerated transplant among professional conservatives. His bonafides were doubted. We know all this. So it’s ironic that Republicans are uniting in calls to get off the national stage once and for all precisely because he’s continuing to make the kind of makers-and-takers type statements you might hear on a particularly feral and untethered rightwing blog.
It’s an amazing denouement. It puts the whole race in a new, if not surprising, perspective.
James Rainey at The Los Angeles Times: “The onetime private equity magnate would have an “optics” problem if he wanted to run for office ever again. But since he’s done with politics, his latest moment of unintended public candor goes down, instead, as testament to how little Romney understood politics and the American people.”
Freshman Congressional Orientation is just like high school and college orientations:
“When they welcomed Leader Pelosi and everyone stood up to applaud, a frantic new member got up — breakfast plate in hand — rushed over to me and asked, ‘Wait … what meeting is this?!’ I said, ‘This is the Democratic Caucus.’ He said, ‘Oh s—, I’m in the wrong meeting. Where are the Republicans meeting?’” the anonymous tipster said of the mini-drama. The confused caucuser? Rep.-elect Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
The Republicans don’t want to retool their message, which is excellent news for us:
“Two weeks after their presidential election defeat, Republican Party leaders are falling into roughly two camps as they struggle to explain what happened and devise ways to broaden the party’s base. Some top GOP officials worry their message is wrong for a rapidly diversifying population, and that fundamental shifts in policy may be required. But the more dominant voice, and the one gaining currency within the center of the party, says such drama isn’t necessary. It asserts that Mitt Romney’s loss to President Barack Obama was primarily a tactical failure, a combination of poor articulation of GOP positions and a weak effort to register voters and move them to the polls. Better execution on both, they say, would have swung the few hundred thousand votes in a few states that would have tipped the presidential election the other way.”
Maybe they will learn in 2024, after two terms each of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, while facing Texas Governor Julian Castro.
“In chess you have fixed rules and unpredictable results. In [Russian politics] it’s the opposite.” — Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, quoted by the Daily Beast, on why he’s not running for political office.