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HORIST: Romney off to a bad start

HORIST: Romney off to a bad start

Mitt Romney has proven himself to be a  politician without any apparent principled anchorage.  He floats on the sea of politics like the proverbial cork – chaotically steered by the ever-changing winds and waves.  In brief, he is the quintessential elitist establishmentarian.

Romney’s recent foray as editorialist for the Washington Post raises questions both as to his loyalty to the Republican Party and his savvy as a politician.  Whatever his feelings about President Trump, it is difficult to understand why he would have chosen this moment to gratuitously attack the President – and in cahoots with one of the premier anti-Trump AND anti-Republican/anti-conservative news outlets in the country.

Of course, Romney has made himself the instant darling of the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement.  The left-leaning press is now describing the former Massachusetts governor in the most heroic of terms.  The same mavens of the media that are now canonizing the man are the very same that demonized him in his presidential campaign against Barack Obama.  But for now, he is the man-of-the-moment for the elitist press – the useful … well … you know.

He did gain momentary favor with the elitist east coast media cabal when he verbalized  his contempt for Trump during the presidential campaign.  That could be forgiven since most Republicans opposed Trump’s nomination (this writer included) – a nomination he secured with a plurality of the vote in those early primaries largely due to the anti-Trump vote being divided among so many candidates.  (That dynamic should cause some concern for Democrats, who are going into 2020 with more potential candidates than sopranos in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.)

The same Mitt Romney who vilified Trump in the campaign was seen sucking up to the President over dinner when the position of Secretary of State was dangled over his head like a piñata.  It seemed to me at the time that Trump was never serious about naming Romney his top diplomat but used the pretense to make his political critic pay humiliating  and supplicative homage in public – and Romney complied.

Not much was seen or heard from Romney until he began pondering a race for the United States Senate from his Mormon religious capital of Utah.  Needing Trump’s support – or at least avoiding the President’s opposition – Romney again refrained from criticism.  In fact, he got downright complimentary of Trump.  In return, Trump gave him a solid endorsement.  How ironic that Romney would attack Trump on the eve of assuming the very office Trump helped him attain.

Now, just days before he is to be sworn in as the freshman senator from Utah, Romney has resorted again to the mouth-foaming pit bull.  Several pundits had questioned Romney’s motivation – either implying or calling it out as an act of political stupidity.  What is the gain for Romney?

The notoriety and the insincere pragmatic affection of the far left may have had an appeal to his establishment ego, but it does nothing for him as an important influence on the national scene or even in the solemn chamber of America’s House of Lords.

It is very arguable that Romney has diminished his influence and effectiveness by taking up the role of show-boating maverick.  With the absence of Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, Romney will hold that title in solitary confinement.

His esteem among Democrats will only be expressed when he joins their ranks on specific votes.  It will not be bipartisanship because he will never be able to recruit any Democrats to break ranks with their Party leadership to support Republican measures.  The McCain, Flake, Corker history has proven that.    If he thinks of himself as a bridge spanning the political divide by being an occasional apostate of the Republican agenda, he will soon discover it is a one-way trestle.

Romney’s problem is that his latest foray into pandering for attention exposes his double problems – double-dealing and double-crossing.  He is the iconic pliable establishmentarian who can propose an Obamacare-like program in Massachusetts and declare the same type of program a national disaster when running for President.  He can call out the President in the harshest of terms and then pander in the hope of getting a position in the administration.   If Romney were footwear, he would be flip-flops.

Of course, the Post editorial brought an unavoidable response from Trump – but one that was surprisingly tempered.  The President said:

“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!,”

This was one time when Trump seemed to understand that Romney was better left twisting in the wind with his self-inflicted wounds rather than to generate sympathy with one of the President’s more typical pugnacious retaliations.  Trump allowed surrogates – like his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale — to strike the deeper dagger.  Parscale tweeted:

The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @RealDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @Real Dodnald Trump had.

With his Post editorial, Romney created a bit of a kerfuffle in his family.  He was dressed down by Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel — or should I say, Ronna ROMNEY McDaniel, niece of the new senator from Utah.  She chastised Uncle Mitt and suggested that he focus his criticism on the Democrats.  Good advice, belatedly delivered.

And that brings up a good point.  One would think that in the middle of the government shutdown – and his own stated support for the metaphoric WALL – Romney would have focused on the obstinance of the congressional Democrats.  He would have used his personal inaugural address to speak to the bigger picture and the much, much more critical issues than the President’s personality.   But Romney is a man full of himself (among other things), who attempts to secure the moral high ground by snipping from the political gutter on the other side of the battle line.

Like other publicity-seeking, tack-on-the-chair politicians, Romney will get noticed and the attention of the left-wing media, but he will have to find a way to restore his credibility among his colleagues in the Senate if he is to have any chance of being more than the attention-craving disruptive school boy that needs to stand in the corner and be quiet while the rest of the class carries on.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Everett Dickens

    Once more Mitt screws up, he really suffers from a case of foot in the mouth disease, it was funny to see his niece shut him down too! Some days it pays to keep your mouth shut, but not Mitt!

    • Donl Longo

      Romney ALWAYS was a POS, What else is new.

  2. Tim meyer

    I think standing up for yourself and your policies are presidential. If he doesn’t do it no one will. The media portrayed Romey & GW so badly and they never fought back and the hordes believed the media. I’m glad that we have a president that calls the media out on their lies and goes right to the people with the facts. If I’m concerned with anybody’s behavior it would be Romey. Talk about 2 faced. Mitt you’re starting to look like every other politician. I voted for you the 1st time, but not so sure that I would do it again.

  3. utahn

    recall the back stabing ass,i could have voted dem. shame on me

  4. Bob

    Romney is the perennial loser who doesn’t know how to keep his Mormon mouth shut. He gave the election to Obama because he wasn’t man enough to call Obama on any of his treasonous acts. All he preached was jobs, jobs, jobs. He couldn’t do half as much in eight years for the economy as Trump has done in two. He had his chance at being a leader but he came up very short. Now, he has the gall th criticize the only one who has improved this country in years. Romney is as bad as McCain who was a disgruntled loser himself. Romney should find a safe space, because if he attempts to take on Trump, it will be a losing battle.

  5. Michael Hughes

    Just what this country DOESN’T need, another RINO in Congress!

  6. John

    After McCain’s passing, I was hopeful that we would get good reliable replacements for Flake and Corker. Too bad, as Mitt will always be looking to get up on the stage.

  7. Shelba J Holmes

    Mitt just cannot understand that the American people have already told him to get lost. I am one of them and I don’t feel any different today than I did then. His ego is bigger than he is – way bigger!!!!! Maybe he should run on the Democratic ticket (everybody else is)since he more one of them than he is a Republican anyway.

  8. Patricia

    I don’t think he would be a good President.We already have the best there is.Donald Trump he is the best.