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Wizbang Breaking News: Romney won't run for re-election as MA governor

Mitt Romney, in the third year of his four-year term as Massachusetts governor, tonight announced that he will not be running for re-election next November. He will leave office in January of 2007, and resume his life as a private citizen.

So, what the heck does this have to do with anyone outside Massachusetts?

Romney has been quietly "testing the waters," in his own words, for a possible Presidential run in 2008. But Romney, a very devout Mormon, is also very much a man of his word. He promised the people of Massachusetts that he would not seek another office while governor, and would serve out whatever term he was serving. Had he run for re-election next year, he would have excluded himself from the 2008 presidential race. The ghost of Michael Dukakis and his 1988 campaign, conducted around his duties as governor, still looms large -- as well as John Kerry'd dismal attendance in the Senate over the 2003 and 2004 sessions.

By bowing out early, Romney is also doing a service to the Massachusetts Republican party -- they now have plenty of time to line up potential successors. Romney's current lieutenant governor, Kerry Murphy Healey, is still regarded as a bit of a lightweight (her critics call her "Muffy"), but she's trying to establish some credentials. Another potential candidate is Christy Myhos, the former renegade Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Commissioner who was essential in blowing the whistle on the huge cost overruns and other screwups on the Big Dig.

For about a decade, Massachusetts has had Republican governors, who all have had to deal with Democratic-dominated legislatures to various degrees (I think Romney has it worst). It's been the sole sign of sanity in the Bay State for some time now. There are a couple of prominent Democrats lining up, but despite the overwhelming advantage the Democrats hold in the state, the smart money is on a competent Republican to beat pretty much any Democrat that can win the party's support.

I think Mitt Romney is the first Republican to openly talk about running, and actually take a step or two towards a campaign. Let the games begin!


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wizbang Breaking News: Romney won't run for re-election as MA governor:

» Alarming News linked with Eye on the big prize

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Mass. Gov. to Skip Re-Election Bid in 2006

» Adam's Blog linked with Night of the Commenter

Comments (15)

I may move there just to vo... (Below threshold)

I may move there just to vote for Healey. A Republican female who's been elected while being a big fan of The Clash and the Buzzcocks, has an enormous upside.

A Mormon? I'm guessing he ... (Below threshold)

A Mormon? I'm guessing he won't be the Media's darling candidate.

Presidential run? I don't ... (Below threshold)
Scott C:

Presidential run? I don't think so. I'd vote for him, and I think he'd make a great President.

That said, I don't think he can pull it off, and I think he knows that. There are just too many big name candidates (Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich, or Rice) who could throw their hats into the ring which would be the death knell of Romney's campaign.

He might be taking the longer view and building a base to pitch himself as the VP choice, with his eyes on a Presidential run in 12 or 16, or he might be eyeing a Senate run against Kerry.

This should make the next ... (Below threshold)

This should make the next election very interesting.
Raymond B

"... as well as John Kerry'... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

"... as well as John Kerry'd dismal attendance in the Senate over the 2003 and 2004 sessions."

So, 2003 and 2004 were different from the previous 17 years? How'd you know?

what JT will never admit to... (Below threshold)

what JT will never admit to in public is that he wants to one day be in a position to do what Jack Ryan does in the Clancy novel, executive decision. rebuild our govt. Not from a need for power but because he isn't afraid to take advice and open the ideas of others.

Why is it that the best politicians are the ones who would never campanign

I would vote for him, but o... (Below threshold)

I would vote for him, but only if he agreed NOT to put me on his cabinate.. as I have no clue what I would be doing

I'm going to give my opinio... (Below threshold)

I'm going to give my opinion and people are free to disagree, but to me, I think not running for re-election as Massachusetts Governor is going to hurt Romney big time for a few simple reasons:

1) Romney would have a hard time winning re-election. The only election he's ever won was in Masachusetts. If he couldn't be re-elected to the one office he won, where's his appeal for '08.

2) Romney moved to the right from where he stood in 2004 and 1994. In 1994, he ran for the US Senate as essentially a pro-choice moderate who believed abortion should be legal, to moderately pro-life. It appears to be what Christian Conservatives could rightly call a "Road to Des Moines Conversion." He's moved right on gay civil unions, going from supporting them to opposing. (What is about Massachusetts guys and waffling?) I'd have had a lot more respect not to mention confidence if he'd faced the peole.

3) The effectiveness of Romney's political leadership's in doubt. Because his re-election was in such doubt to begin with, it really raises a question as to whether he's a winner and a leader who can bring results to the GOP. The evidence in Massachusetts says no. In the 2004 Massachusetts legislature mid-term elections Romney failed to deliver gains to the GOP despite the GOP pouring a ton of money into legislative elections and the gay marriage fiasco, which should have produced a slight backlash.

The question Romney raises for Social Conservatives is not his Mormonism as has been inferred, but his reliability. What we've seen in Massachusetts has been some prety cold political calculations. How can this guy be trusted to stand for Conservative values when his own core beliefs are so transient. He'll run, but I'd be greatly disappointed in Conservatives if they didn't see through this guy.

I agree with Scott C on thi... (Below threshold)

I agree with Scott C on this one. There are too many big names in the Republican Party who will be running. Romney is a big fish in a small pond. However, the idea he may be using the run for president to angle for a VP position would be smart politics.

Mass government is so screw... (Below threshold)

Mass government is so screwed up.
I couldn't muster a vote for a candidate of either party, from the state which produced the likes of Kennedy and Kerry.

With Teddy's Senate seat up... (Below threshold)

With Teddy's Senate seat up in 2006 and Kerry's up in 2008, is this MA gubernatorial race going to cost the Commonwealth a good GOP Senate candidate?

Who's on the list so far for a possible MA Senate run? Christy Mihos, Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins of Newburyport?

I hate the possibility of a 73-year-old Kennedy running unopposed in 2006.

Senator Curt Schilling ?

Here's my two cents (and wo... (Below threshold)

Here's my two cents (and worth every bit of it):

1. There is no one -- including Romney -- who is capable of beating either Kennedy or Kerry in a Senate election here. The numbers are just no there.

2. I disagree that Romney couldn't get re-elected here, especially if he was running against either Tom Reilly or Deval Patrick. But it's a little bit like winning the prize that entitles you to sit in the dunking booth on a cold fall day.

3. Romney's failure to achieve much in his term really is not the liability that Adam thinks it is, in my opinion. None of his Republican predecessors accomplished much either, at least not that wasn't fully supported by legislative leaders. It is certainly true that neither Weld nor Cellucci would have accomplished their budgetary discipline without Tom Finneran and John Rogers running the show in the House.

However, I think he can get away with one term of lackluster success, but certainly not two. With DiMasi and Trav running the State House, Romney will not have nearly the opportunities to achieve successes that Weld/Cellucci did. He'd be looking at 4 years of tilting at windmills, very close to an irrelevancy -- and that would be harder to ignore in a national campaign than one term of mediocrity.

4. Romney's real failure in Massachusetts, IMHO, has been the bench of minor leaguers who are running the administration without a clue as to what they're doing. With the exception of Eric Kriss, his team has been generally tone deaf and totally out of their element.

5. I really think Romney is angling more for VP or Cabinet.

6. Remember though, that he is one of very few guys that could bankroll nearly an entire presidential campaign out of his pocket change.

I think he uses his tenure as Chair of Republican Governors Association to raise money for candidates and collect chits, and goes into the campaign as a playah with chips at the table. Look for him to end up, if not a VP finalist, as Secretary of the Treasury or Commerce.

I mostly agree with wave ex... (Below threshold)

I mostly agree with wave except that I am surprised he didn't run again with Healey then like Weld and Celluci resign and give her the benefit of incumbency.

"A Republican female who's.... (Below threshold)

"A Republican female who's...a big fan of The Clash..."

Poor Joe Strummer must be rolling over in his grave. Is she at least hot? I'd vote for a broad if she were a Clash fan and hot. Even if she was a republican.

seamus, she's very very <a ... (Below threshold)

seamus, she's very very hot






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