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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Romney not in '06?

Joan Vennochi wrote it yesterday, Scot Lehigh repeats it in today's Boston Globe: insiders are saying Mitt Romney might not actually run for reelection as governor in 2006.

"To win reelection in Massachusetts, he has to run like a moderate as he did in 2002, but to win the Republican presidential nomination, he has to run as a conservative," says one long-time veteran of Republican politics. "He has chosen the right-wing option, which could hurt his prospects for reelection as governor."

The inherent tension between the two roles is one reason some of the governor's own advisers question whether Romney should seek a second term if he plans to run nationally.

And it's why close political observers remain skeptical that he will.

I am doubtful about this based on how Lehigh describes Romney's national image-building strategy earlier in the column:

Watching Romney's speech in Spartanburg on C-Span's "Road to the White House" series, you could see just how Mitt plans to craft his image as a national candidate. ...

The goal, of course, was to portray himself as Horatio at the bridge, a fearless Republican badly outnumbered by the opposite party, but determined to fight the good fight for traditional American values and party principles.

He doesn't look so fearless, though, if he shrinks from the 2006 fight, does he?

It's not exactly like the Republicans have anyone waiting to take over, either. What is it with these Republican governors always being in such a hurry to move on to something else--Weld and Celucci as ambassadors, then Jane Swift being kicked aside so unceremoniously? We've had Republican governors in the state going on 15 years with no one yet to serve out the full two terms.

Lame-ducking himself wouldn't help the GOP party-building that is allegedly being pursued by Romney in the Bay State either. And you can campaign as a sitting governor, come on, lots of people have done that. Just seems like a bad idea all around (of course, losing in '06 ruins his chances in '08 too).