In the last week there’s been a flurry of speculation about how Mitt Romney’s decision not to make a third run at the presidency affects the other 2016 candidates, but what about the man who 47 percent of Americans wanted to lead the country in 2012? Romney is intelligent, energetic, experienced, and still possesses a driving need to shape the future of our country. You won’t find binders full of candidates like that, which is why some Americans have been suggesting new career paths for Romney. (Plus, in a statement posted minutes after Romney’s announcement, Jeb Bush said, “Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over,” which seems fishy.) If Romney still wants to get back into politics, these are the jobs he should be applying for.
Vice-President of the United States
Qualifications: Losing by a few percentage points is kind of like being a “heartbeat away” from the presidency. Plus, he’s already a well-known character in The Onion.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: Romney met privately with Jeb Bush, his biggest competition for the GOP Establishment vote, just a week before he made his announcement. This prompted speculation that the two made a deal, and Glenn Beck had an idea of what that might be. “You run and let the people decide with their votes. And it bothers me a great deal that Jeb Bush clearly went and talked to Mitt Romney,” he explained. “If Jeb Bush wins, there will be a position, you know, vice president Mitt Romney, or treasury secretary Mitt Romney or whatever. There will be a position in the Jeb Bush cabinet for Mitt Romney.”
Secretary of State
Qualifications: Foreign policy was one of the three planks of Romney’s short-lived 2016 bid. He was president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and currently heads the annual Romney Olympics. Also, it’s less ridiculous than the Republican 2016 presidential nominee balancing the ticket with a Mormon millionaire.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: On social media this was the most popular guess for Bush’s theoretical offer to Romney. No one has made a good case for why Romney should get the job, but it seems like the kind of thing that could make someone drop a presidential bid.
Secretary of the Treasury
Qualifications: The former Bain Capital CEO clearly knows his way around the finance industry. Back in 2012, columnists in the Daily News and The Hill suggested Romney should be nominated for the position, but for some reason President Obama didn’t want to pull another “team of rivals,” as he did with Clinton.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: On Friday Charles Krauthammer said during a Fox News panel that Romney’s move was good for the GOP because “it removed what was going to be a nasty internecine fight and gave them a future secretary of the Treasury.”
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Qualifications: He knows how to put together a universal health-care system and has a lot of ideas for tearing them down as well.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post reminded Twitter followers on Friday that she suggested Romney would make a good Health and Human Services secretary … back in 2009. Six years ago, following a post Tumulty wrote in Time, Marc Ambinder seconded her idea in The Atlantic. “Like Hillary Clinton, Romney might be willing to trade his political ambition for the chance to do something awesome for the country.” You know, or not.
Senator From Massachusetts
Qualifications: Massachusetts voters already elected Romney once, and some suggested he should run for the seat after he lost his first presidential campaign. Senator Elizabeth Warren seems to have a bright future ahead of her, which could mean another vacancy in the coming years.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: Romney joked about the position last month, saying, “Let me state unequivocally … that I have no intention of running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.” If what we’ve seen in the last two years is any indication, that means he’s definitely running.
Qualifications: Romney still works at Solamere Capital, the investment firm founded by his son Tagg, and as he noted recently, he’s “already rich.” His best bet for remaining active in politics may be pressuring one of his sons to run for office. It’s not hard to picture Romney as a lovable party elder who posts quirky photos on Instagram.
Signs He’ll Get the Job: Mitt is the son of a former governor and failed presidential candidate, so Tagg’s unsuccessful bid to avenge him in 2036 almost seems inevitable.