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January 12, 2015

An Open Letter To Mitt Romney

Dear Mitt,

I know we haven't always seen eye to eye. And I've been tough on you in the past but you need to hear this from someone...drop the idea of running again.

It must stick in your craw that you lost to an idiot like Barack Obama. But that's the problem, you...lost...to….an…idiot…like...Barack...Obama. Yes, defeating an incumbent President is hard but it's a lot easier in times of economic distress (see Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, granted he invented his own time of distress but "it's the economy stupid" carried the day). Even with crushing levels of unemployment, anemic growth and fear that when ObamaCare kicked in things would get even worse...you LOST.

Yes, you've been proven right about some things since then. About that, they weren't really all that hard to see. Plenty of people were warning about the threat Russia posed, the danger of Obama's Iraq policies, slashing defense spending, the overall path of the country, etc. So yes, you were right but you were hardly alone.

And yet, you...lost...to...Barack...Obama.

We can talk about all the reasons you lost but only one of them really matters.

Mitt Romney won among voters who chose three of those characteristics: shares my values, is a strong leader and has a vision for the future. What’s more, he carried them heavily, by between nine and 23 points. In all, 79 percent of voters selected one of these characteristics.

Romney lost because he lost among those who chose the remaining characteristic — by 63 points, 81-18. That characteristic? Cares about people like me.

Voters will compromise on a lot of issues on Election Day but they won’t ever vote for you if they don’t like you or worse yet, think you don’t like them.

Yes, you can complain about moronic low information voters who make voting decisions based on the feels but it doesn't matter. No candidate gets to tell voters on what basis they will cast their vote. The candidate's job is to deal with voters as they are, not as they wish them to be. Now, it's going to be very hard, if not impossible, for any Republican to win the feelings cohort outright but you have to do better than -63%.

A campaign based on "I told you so" is not going to move that number.


Yes, voters may say they regret voting for Barack Obama in 2012 but that doesn't mean they would vote for you if given the chance to do it all again. Public opinion polls are conducted in a vacuum. Elections aren't. If they were "Generic Republican" would win every time. Campaigns however involve a choice between two real live candidates, which after a long campaign, people have to pick between. When it really counted, when people had to pick between you and the deeply flawed and failing Barack Obama... YOU LOST.

I know this hurts. You're a proud man who has known great success. You were caricatured in unfair and nasty ways last time. Your inability to counter those gross distortions was one of the main reasons why giving you another chance is a laughable proposition.

I believe you care deeply about this country and you honestly think you are indispensable to its future. Here you are wrong. As far as the country is concerned (as distinct from family and friends) you're a politician and let's be frank, not a very good one. You were beaten by a failed President who has done much damage to this country and who in the world of business wouldn't even get an appointment with you. That's got to sting.

You've achieved some level of redemption with the way events have unfolded the last two years and how many in the party embraced you during the midterms. Bank those wins and ride off into the sunset. Coming back into the fray is like Willie Mays trying to hang on in the early 70s with the Mets. It was embarrassing for everyone involved. Unlike Willie, you didn't have a Hall of Fame career before the fall that blots out the sad last chapter. Take what you have and be happy with it.

As I said, I'm not a fan so you can just write this off as more hate mail. But consider this, my urging you to stay out of the race is an admission against interest. If you run, you'll battle with Jeb and Christie. It will be hilarious to watch three guys who represent so much of what I hate about the GOP rip each other to pieces.

It's not just entertainment I'd be forgoing with you skipping another run. Your participation would make it easier for a candidate I might actually support like Rand Paul or Scott Walker to win the nomination. With you on the sidelines it becomes more likely that Jeb Bush would win and I'd have to either sit out 2016 or hope the Libertarian Party nominates someone who isn't certifiably insane (and what are the odds of that).

Huh.

You know what Mitt? Now that I think about it, forget what I've said. You are the man the GOP and America needs right now. Like Obi-Wan, you are our only hope. You were robbed last time and Americans are longing to show you how wrong we were and are begging you to sacrifice your comforts so that we may make amends.

In closing...

RUN MITT, RUN!

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posted by DrewM. at 09:23 AM

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