Sorry, Romney – It’s Family Lineage After All
Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 14:12
The spirit of Thanksgiving was still lingering in the White House when President Obama served white turkey chili to the defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week. Although widely considered as a friendly gesture from the White House, the lunch did not produce any trace of future collaboration between the two candidates. The focus of the conversation, interestingly enough, was on American leadership, a quality that the two candidates pronounced each other deficient in during the campaign.
But if the nasty denunciation was all campaign rhetoric, the two candidates have to be honest about how each could restore leadership in their respective roles now. For President Obama, his focus is on the fast approaching fiscal cliff. But for Romney, his situation is more melancholy since his position in the party is now in crisis.
It seems that Romney faces more difficulty recovering from his bitter defeat. After all, it was his second run and, at the age of 64, it is likely that he will suffer the same fate as his father, who faded from the public light after losing the 1969 campaign.
Since election night, Romney has spent most of his time with family in Southern California, taking his grandchildren to Disneyland and going to gym with Ann. Neither the public nor the GOP has paid much attention to his seclusion, let alone speculated on his next move. It seems that his career has stopped.
Indeed, Romney had fought a tough fight, from nearly losing the Primary campaign to bitterly losing the presidential campaign. His grey hair seems to grow even whiter. What’s worse, his career was further impeded after he claimed that his loss was due to Obama’s “gifts” to blacks, Hispanics and young voters to earn their vote. Such irresponsible attribution has angered some Republican leaders. For example, New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, who was a strong Romney supporter during the campaign, told MSNBC: “The campaign is over, and what the voters are looking for us to do is to accept their votes and go forward.”
Romney’s defeat also provided other GOP leaders with an opportunity to reflect on their campaign strategies. For Governor of New Mexico Susan Martinez, Romney has become the primary reason why the Republican Party has been set back. She has basically condemned Romney’s campaign policies, stating that, “Republicans need to stop making assumptions, and they need to start talking to younger people, people of color, and ask them, ‘What is it that we can do better? How do we earn your vote?’”
It is pretty clear that Romney’s reputation within the party has deteriorated, and that will limit what he can do in the future. But as a person who shares some sympathy toward him, I can’t help wondering where else his talents can be utilized. In other words, what area should Romney choose as a track to move out of the bitter defeat?
Some conservatives have speculated that Romney could work with the Democrats on the fiscal cliff crisis because his economic policies would work well with the Democrats’. However, I think that from the campaign, it was crystal clear that regardless of Romney’s participation, Republicans hold a completely different economic position from the Democrats, especially on whether to cut income tax or decrease tax deductions. Reconciliation of the two parties does not seem to depend on Romney.
Another track for Romney out of the political arena would be non-profit work. Cite Al Gore as an example. He won the Nobel Peace Prize after losing to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election. Since then, he has written books about global warming and has become an anti-war activist. For Romney, he could go back to the Mormon Church, becoming a critical part of spreading the religion. Or he could revitalize America’s auto industry as he promised to do during the campaign.
No matter what Romney will focus on, his political career seems to have reached a dead end. But on the other hand, life might open another door for him.