Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Romney Bows Out

I confess to being disappointed that Mitt Romney has announced he will not run for re-election as governor of Massachusetts. Why? Why is this a downer, exactly? Even the linked Boston Globe article paints a fairly rosy and sensible picture around this (surprisingly - maybe they are just thrilled he's out?). So Mitt is moving on to bigger and better things, and maybe even saving some face in the process - whats the problem?

Well, first there's this idea that he couldn't possibly win here, and a loss would ruin his presidential ambitions. I don't like this one - any more than I like the frothing lefties who decry how awful Mitt has been and how he fooled everyone into voting for him. I can't count how many alleged "Romney voters" I've seen in boston.com comments sections loudly lamenting their vote. (Liberals are, it seems, ever the suckers.) But why would opinion have gone so south on Mitt? Romney has done a decent job here, things have gotten much better under his watch. By the Romney's own account:

The 58-year-old businessman cited a record that included closing a $3 billion budget deficit without raising taxes; presiding over public schools that recently scored first in national math and science tests; and reaching the cusp of a comprehensive overhaul of health insurance in Massachusetts.

What's not to like? Opposition to gay marriage perhaps? Making a few right wing noises while testing the waters for a presidential bid? I don't get it. Or if I do get it, maybe its something nasty, like:

  • General red state blue state polarization
  • Coattails of Bush hatred
  • Voter fickleness
  • A good record being overshadowed by intense anti Republican rhetoric or sentiment

... or, it might just not be true. Maybe Romney could win re-election, and that, as the article points out, would also make a presidential run difficult. But I hate to see a guy who gives a ray of hope to a Democrat dominated state get run out of town for one of the reasons above. With something like 80+% of our legislature comprised of Democrats, what we need in Massachusetts is not more Democrats.

Which brings me to the second reason this is a downer: one way or the other, we will lose Mitt. We lose a solid, charismatic Republican in a state that needs those, badly. If states still mattered much, I might even say that having Mitt in state might even be more important than having him in the Whitehouse, assuming he would win that race. I might even say that anyway.

Mitt, we'll be really blue without you.



h/t: NE Republican

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