the national interest

Romney 2016: A Leader Without a Party for a Party Without a Leader

The search for Obama’s heir is over.

The Democrats have a problem: With Barack Obama term-limited, they need to find a new leader going forward who can hold together their rising new coalition. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has a problem: Leaked audio of his remarks to fund-raisers have caused Republicans everywhere to fully denounce him, leaving him friendless, jobless, and isolated.

Are you seeing the obvious solution to both these problems? Yes – Mitt Romney should run for president in 2016. As a Democrat.

Can anybody make the case for the success of Obama’s policies the way Romney has? Here’s Romney explaining why Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Obama:

What the president did is he gave them two things. One, he gave them a big gift on immigration with the DREAM Act amnesty program, which was obviously very very popular with Hispanic voters, and then number two was Obamacare … For any lower-income Hispanic family, Obamacare was massive, I mean for–the average income for a household in America is fifty thousand dollars a year, that’s the median, fifty K per year. For the Hispanic household, my guess is it’s lower than that, maybe it’s forty thousand a year. For a home earning let’s say thirty thousand a year, free health care, which is worth about ten thousand dollars a year, I mean is massive, it’s huge.

If I’m a Democrat, that’s the pitch I want to make to Latino voters next time. Obama himself certainly hasn’t sold his own accomplishments in such fulsome terms. Here’s Romney touting the success of other elements of Obama’s agenda:

What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, and that strategy worked.”

Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, listed a few specifics: “Whether it was free contraceptives for 18 to 29 year-old women, DREAM Act waivers, student loan interest rate cuts for college students, and other initiatives geared toward energizing their coalition. They succeeded.”

Yes, Obama did succeed. But in 2016, after eight years of Democratic presidencies, memories of Republican rule will fade a bit, and it will get harder for the party to jazz up its constituents about the concrete ways they have benefitted from Democratic initiatives. And he’s not stopping at a defense of the past. He has a proactive agenda for the party. Here is Romney already planning out the next Democratic campaign:

What I would do if I were a Democrat running four years from now, I’d say, you know what, dental care will be included in Obamacare … and Republicans will say, no, that’s going to cost a trillion dollars, and the Democrats will say, that’s fine, you know, we’ll pay it.

If you were a Democrat? Let’s make it happen! Tall, handsome, experienced, a prodigious fund-raiser, a fantastic debater, the father of universal health care — is there any better candidate than Mitt Romney to make that case?

The Draft Romney Movement Starts Here