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A Mitt Romney presidential bid seems assured

Old 12-15-05, 12:12 PM
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A Mitt Romney presidential bid seems assured

Do we have a generic 2008 primary campaign thread? I didn't think so.

<a href = "http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/12/15/its_1_term_for_romney_he_says_future_is_open/"><b>It's 1 term for Romney; he says 'future is open'</b>
Decision sets stage for run at presidency</a>

By Frank Phillips and Scott Helman, Globe Staff | December 15, 2005

Saying that he had ''accomplished a great deal," Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he will not seek a second term, setting the stage for an expected campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Romney, ending months of speculation about his political future, said he will serve out his four-year term, which ends in January 2007. Although he has spent a year positioning himself as a presidential candidate and acknowledged he was testing the presidential waters, the governor yesterday insisted his decision had nothing to do with his national ambitions.

''I'm not going to close any options at this point . . . other things may develop in the future," Romney, 58, told a packed State House press conference broadcast live by Boston television stations. ''I don't know what will happen. The future is open."

''With regards to what happens down the road, we'll let the future take care of itself," Romney said. Seeking to distinguish himself from the US senator who looms as a major Republican rival in 2008, Romney added: ''John McCain the other day said he thinks about being president every day in the shower. I guess I'd turn instead to the words of 'Star Wars,' which is, it's in a galaxy, far, far away . . . It's a lifetime away in the world of politics."

With his wife, Ann, standing next to him, Romney said he concluded that he had accomplished most of the goals he had laid out when he took office in January 2003.

''Frankly, what's happened is that we got a lot more done than I expected we would," Romney said, adding that he felt he had accomplished just about everything he promised in his campaign. ''I've got the job done I set out to do."

The governor lay claims to closing a $3 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, streamlining government, enacting a rebate for capital gains taxes, and student scores that are first in national math and science tests. Critics of his tenure say Romney has failed to work with lawmakers to build a credible record, and note that many of his efforts -- to restrict gay marriage, to enact the death penalty, to limit stem cell research -- were rejected or ignored by the Democrat-dominated Legislature.

Asked why he would not want to run for another term, Romney said: ''There was very little that had to spill into a second term that we had any prospects of ever getting done. . . . The vision that I ran for and that I promised to the people of Massachusetts I've delivered to the extent that I possibly can." He choked up briefly as he finished his prepared remarks.

Romney said he made his final decision Tuesday night. He said he and Ann went to bed at 10 p.m. in their Belmont home, and he asked her one more time whether he was making the right decision. Though they had discussed it many times before, he said, they talked for an hour.

'There was some back and forth. . . . But by the time we finished we concluded that it was time to let this responsibility fall to someone else, and I then went downstairs and typed up the remarks you just heard," Romney said, flanked also by his Cabinet, his sons Ben and Tagg, and a daughter-in-law, Jen.

Though Romney denied the announcement was a signal about his 2008 aspirations, a major GOP leader in New Hampshire said it was unmistakable.

''This is a signal to a lot of people that in his own mind he's moved past the hypothetical to, 'What do I have to do to make this possible?' " said Tom Rath, an influential Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire with close ties to the White House.

A successful business executive with Bain Capital, Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics and returned to Massachusetts to run for governor in 2002. He won on a promise to reform a government dominated by Democratic patronage, but once elected was seen by many lawmakers as aloof and unwilling to work with the Democratic legislative leaders he once ran against.

Last December, as speculation mounted that he would skip a reelection bid to run for president, Romney sought to silence the questions by suggesting he would run again for governor. ''Plan on it," Romney said. ''I'm not making an official announcement until the time comes, but plan on me being there."

But the speculation continued, particularly as he stepped up his out-of-state political schedule and took on a role as vice chairman, and now chairman, of the Republican Governors Association. In June, he acknowledged he was testing the presidential waters.

While out of state, he poked fun at Massachusetts' liberal image, saying ''Being a Republican in Massachusetts is like being a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention." The strategy infuriated some Democrats and Republicans back home, but helped him to look more conservative.

By making his decision public, Romney resolved a major in-state political problem for him as he considers a presidential run: balancing his state responsibilities with his national ambitions. The more Romney traveled, the more Democrats tried to brand him an absentee governor.

A Boston Globe poll in August, taken by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, showed only 30 percent of Massachusetts adults surveyed thought that he should run for president, while 55 percent were against his running.

The poll also showed him trailing Attorney General F. Thomas Reilly, a Democrat, 51 to 38 percent in a potential match up for a 2006 gubernatorial race. The survey of 503 adults had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

Earlier this year, Romney told reporters he would announce his plans in the fall, even as his likely successor for the GOP nomination, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, lined up major donors and activists for a 2006 run.

Originally scheduled for Monday, Romney's address was moved up to last evening after pressure mounted on the governor and his aides from the media and those in the political world. The governor's advisers had been concerned the unanswered question would distract negotiations over his highest priority, to get a sweeping healthcare overhaul out of the Legislature and onto his desk.

The decision clarifies the picture in state politics. Healey, Romney's hand-picked successor, is the early favorite to win the GOP nomination next year, but she will probably face opposition from businessman Christy Mihos.

Democrats were also looking for him to officially leave the Massachusetts political scene. With his personal wealth, good looks, and boyish charm, Romney was seen as a formidable obstacle for the Democrats taking back the governor's office if he had run for a second term.

Reilly, reflecting the Democrats' complaint about Romney, said: ''He's clearly been a distraction. It's time to focus on us."
Call me crazy, but I think Mitt is the guy to beat on the GOP side in '08.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:14 PM
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Interesting - I attended Frank Phillips Junior College.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Interesting - I attended Frank Phillips Junior College.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:16 PM
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A Mormon president? Quite frankly, I think we'll see a black person and/or woman in there first.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Do we have a generic 2008 primary campaign thread? I didn't think so.



Call me crazy, but I think Mitt is the guy to beat on the GOP side in '08.
Well, I'll be the first to say it... If Mitt Romney gets elected president in 2008, I'm moving to Canada!
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Old 12-15-05, 12:17 PM
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I will not vote for Romney for the same reasons I didn't vote for Bush.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
A Mormon president? Quite frankly, I think we'll see a black person and/or woman in there first.


I guess I'm intrigued by anyone who can get elected to <strike>statewide</strike> commonwealthwide office in Massachusetts as a Mormon Republican...
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Old 12-15-05, 12:19 PM
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''John McCain the other day said he thinks about being president every day in the shower. I guess I'd turn instead to the words of 'Star Wars,' which is, it's in a galaxy, far, far away . . . It's a lifetime away in the world of politics."
OR in other news, I Want to be President, starring Mitt Romney coming to a theater near you!
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Old 12-15-05, 12:19 PM
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It'll be fun watching the other candidates trying to get him to use the word "brainwashed".
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Old 12-15-05, 12:20 PM
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Massachusetts Republican == Utah Democraft
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Old 12-15-05, 12:20 PM
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My question is whether he believes in the actual Mormon origin story. If yes, that makes my decision on whether he gets my vote pretty easy.

He certainly wins the NH primary.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan


I guess I'm intrigued by anyone who can get elected to <strike>statewide</strike> commonwealthwide office in Massachusetts as a Mormon Republican...
Unless the base of the Republican party up and moves to the NE, I don't see it happening. Even Mr. popular, Rudy Giuliani would be in trouble.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
My question is whether he believes in the actual Mormon origin story.
Debate Moderator: "Question for Governor Romney: Do you really believe the Mormon origin story?"

Romney: "Yes, of course. [Generic rhetoric about faith]"

Moderator: "No, really."

Romney: "Yes!"

Moderator: "Oh, COME ON!"
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Old 12-15-05, 12:22 PM
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I hope that McCain only thinks about it while in the shower. He's probably not so dangerous while in the shower.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by X
It'll be fun watching the other candidates trying to get him to use the word "brainwashed".


Just how old are you, anyway?

I guess he needs to stay the hell away from Iraq during the campaign.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:27 PM
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I believe it may be tough for any Republican presidential nominee in 2008 if the public's perception on Iraq doesn't change.

Of course the Republicans will have the advantage of facing Hillary in 2008.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:40 PM
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Speaking of George Romeny - wasn't he born in Mexico?
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Old 12-15-05, 02:13 PM
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I think Romney did a good job. I'll vote for him for president.
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Old 12-17-05, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Do we have a generic 2008 primary campaign thread? I didn't think so.



Call me crazy, but I think Mitt is the guy to beat on the GOP side in '08.
I don't think his religous beliefs are going to play well in the South. McCain/Giuliani/Hagel may go after the more moderate votes although Romney has been trying to run right recently but he is the governor of Taxachusetts. McCain won the New Hampshire primaries in 2000 because of his preceived independent streak, so I don't think Romney is an automatic lock in NH. I would say McCain or Giuliani vs. Allen. Anyway, can you imagine electing someone named Willard Mitt Romney as president?
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Old 12-17-05, 10:58 AM
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Elect a President who calls himself "Mitt" ???



Ed Rendell is my dark horse governor prospect. He's a plain-spoken "every man."

Last edited by CRM114; 12-17-05 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 12-17-05, 11:08 AM
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Mitt Romney just lost my vote for all eternity by giving me the mental picture of John McCain in the shower. Thanks a lot, Mitt.
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Old 12-17-05, 11:13 AM
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Call me crazy, but I think Mitt is the guy to beat on the GOP side in '08.
O.K., crazy.
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Old 12-17-05, 11:17 AM
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What do you think about a Harry Reid vs. Mitt Romney contest for the presidency in 2008?
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Old 12-17-05, 12:14 PM
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What do you think about a Harry Reid vs. Mitt Romney contest for the presidency in 2008?
I think I'd stay home!
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Old 12-17-05, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
What do you think about a Harry Reid vs. Mitt Romney contest for the presidency in 2008?


(that's what I think of Harry Reid trying to run for president)
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