Romney Not Interested in Senate Run

After Ted Kennedy’s death there was speculation that Mitt Romney might run for his seat. The arguments were that a Senate seat might increase his chances for the 2012 presidential nomination and that the candidate would have to be able to laregely self-finance a Senate race due to the limited time available to raise money. I was not at all surprised to see that Romney is saying he is not interested.

While in theory a Senate seat might improve Romney’s credentials, the downside of running far exceeds the potential benefits. In general Republicans run for the Senate in Massachusetts not to win but to improve their name recognition. Romney is already well known and there is no benefit for him to be seen going down to defeat.

Even if he won it is questionable how much this would help  him. In the age of Obama it is not necessary to have extensive Senate experience, and in the age of Bush and Palin it is not even necessary to understand the issues to run as a Republican.

Being in the Senate could also be counterproductive for Romney as he would be forced to vote and take a stand on controversial issues. He would have to commit to positons now when I bet he would prefer to hold off on choosing his current political philosophy until he sees how the wind is blowing in 2011-2. I bet he will just continue to lay low for a while and let other Republicans take all the hits.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “Being in the Senate could also be counterproductive for Romney as he would be forced to vote and take a stand on controversial issues. He would have to commit to positons now when I bet he would prefer to hold off on choosing his current political philosophy until he sees how the wind is blowing in 2011-2. I bet he will just continue to lay low for a while and let other Republicans take all the hits.”
     
    Exactly. The last time Romney ran for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, Kennedy was still alive and Romney was trying to unseat him. In that race, he ran against Kennedy from the left on a gay marriage platform. While Romney would probably not need to go that far to the left again, to win, he’d need to run on his record as governor and as a centrist who gets things done and isn’t opposed to what most folks in Massachussetts see as ‘mainstream, centrist’ principles that are pretty dang liberal in red states.
     
    On the other hand, to win a national Republican nomination, Romney has to appeal to the GOP base. He can’t do that from a Massachussetts Senate seat. And the GOP doesn’t have the obsession with ‘electability’ that the Democrats do. They will gleefully nominate a right winger, regardless of his ‘electability’, because the base calls the shots.
     
    So anything that helps him win in MA loses him the presidential nomination, and anything that helps him land the nomination loses him the Senate election. Makes very little sense to run for the Senate under those conditions.
     

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