Politics

Third Time's a Charm

Would another campaign finally pay off for Mitt Romney?

Romney
Reuters/Kacper Pempel

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is spreading like a wildfire. Celebrities, athletes and millions of others have taken part in the social media phenomenon, which involves dumping a bucket of icy water over one’s head to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Even a handful of politicians have found the guts to participate.

One of these politicians happened to be Mitt Romney, runner-up from the 2012 presidential election. While most people attempting the challenge tend to wear as little clothing as possible, our friend Mitt did things a little different. Clad with a black suit and a red tie (not to mention the classic American flag pin), Romney certainly dressed for the occasion. He even had his 2012 running mate, Paul Ryan, do the honors of dumping the water over his head.

It was almost as if he was ready to run another campaign.

And the truth is, he might do exactly that.

Despite him denying the idea multiple times, there is a possibility that Romney will take a third shot at the Oval Office in 2016. Over the past few months, the rumor mill has collected enough evidence to support the notion. This March, Romney gathered his 2012 campaign staff for a reunion dinner, a possible sign that he is reassembling and reloading for the next election. Since then, he has been busy making appearances in the media, helping him stay relevant in today’s busy world of news. In fact, he appeared in a joint interview with Paul Ryan last Thursday in Chicago. Along with discussing important issues such as Iraq and Ferguson, the two played around and joked about their plans for 2016. Ryan suggested to Romney that if he gets the chance to run for president, he should definitely take it. He even pointed out that "The third time's the charm."

But would a third time really be the charm for Romney?

First off, the chances for another trip down the campaign trail are rather slim. It is obvious that Romney has waved off the idea many times, believing his chance is gone. His answer remains as a decisive “no.” And those closest to him recognize that he always means what he says.

Yet in the roller-coaster of American politics, it wouldn’t be surprising if Romney changed his mind and took a final go at the White House. Since nobody knows his plans, the most significant question isn’t whether he will run for president, it is whether that run would be successful or not.

The race for representing the GOP in the 2016 election is completely wide open. The lack of a Republican front-runner would do well for Romney. Since there is no perfect candidate within the party, he would be able to but his ‘08 and ‘12 failures behind him. With the most presidential campaign experience out of everyone else, he would always be one step ahead during primary season. Furthermore, numbers suggest that he already has the most voters backing him up. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that over one third of republicans would support Romney if he ran in 2016, more than any other potential GOP candidate. As for now, he looks like the best bet for his party.

After primaries, Romney would most likely have to lock horns with Hillary Clinton. The battle would be an interesting one, given that they both lost to Barack Obama at one point in their career; Hillary in the 2008 Democratic Primaries and Romney in 2012.

A 2016 Romney campaign would be quite a rare feat. Historically speaking, the last man to win the White House after previously losing a general election was Richard Nixon in 1968. Also, Ronald Reagan ran three times before he finally winning the presidency in 1980 (although he didn’t get past the Republican primaries the first two times). Romney will have to use those two as inspiration if he wants to beat the odds come two years.

But for now, all Mitt Romney needs to worry about is drying off his suit and tie.

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