Friday Morning Open Thread: Mitt Romney Is Not Going Away

And you thought your weekend looked unappetizing. From the Time article, “Rich Republican Donors Get VIP Retreat Treatment“:

Call it Club Med for the political mega-donors…

The event offers high-profile and high net-worth individuals the opportunity to gather in picturesque Deer Valley, Utah, and the chance to meet with at least six presidential candidates.

Graham and Rubio will be joined by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. According to the schedule… only Rubio and Graham will lead “enthusiast sessions” — the early morning extra-curricular events for the approximately 250 attendees.

The conference was born in 2012 as a way for donors to mingle with Romney, the then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee…

… but this year, it’s the official rich-WASP GOP-Establishment “Anybody But That Bumbling Retread JEB” donor symposium. Rubio’s handlers will attempt to burnish his shadow-JFK cred with a dawn game of flag football, Graham will attempt to burnish his macho cred by shooting skeet, Mitt will introduce the rising generation — both his son Tagg and Gilead Handmaid-in-Waiting Kelly Ayotte — to his fellow Wall Street machers during forced marches dawn hikes. And Anne Romney will lead the well-toned wives in Pilates, with the assistance of quasi-journalist and premier Media Village Idiot Mark Halperin. I’m rooting for injuries, or maybe just expecting them (c’mon, Marco playing tackle? Lindsey with a gun? Crazy-Eyes Taggart on a lonely trail with a bunch of jetlagged, hungover hedge fund managers?… )

For the less athletically inclined (or physically capable), Scott “Sockpuppet” Walker will be given a fair chance to assure the assembled moneybags that he’ll show them the same level of care & consideration he’s notorious for providing the Koch brothers, while Fiorina, Christie, and Kasich serve as comic relief / backup pole performers.

Or maybe…

Late Night Open Thread: Dolla, Dolla

“If those tacky Clintons want to attract a little tax-deductible funding at their family charity, why can’t they find a more tasteful way of soliciting?”

CNN notes that Romney demonstrated some skill at “ducking and dodging”, but they didn’t make the obvious political jokes.

Friday Morning Open Thread: Fairy Tales Can Come True…

gop slather on science block luckovich

(Mike Luckovich via

Or: What if they announced a horse race & nobody came? Dylan Byers, Politico‘s most gullible staffer, prayerfully calls upon the mighty powers of social media:

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second: This is Hillary Clinton’s election to lose. On Nov. 8, 2016, Clinton will start — start — with a minimum 247 of the 270 electoral votes she needs to win…

The conventional wisdom among Clinton’s supporters is that Clinton is invincible, because she has already weathered all the storms of media scrutiny… This argument overlooks two important factors: First, the national media have never been more primed to take down Hillary Clinton (and, by the same token, elevate a Republican candidate)…

Second, the media environment is radically different from the 1990s or even the 2000s. The power and volume of social media means that controversies can be both disseminated and elevated to unprecedented levels. In today’s media environment, nothing with even a whiff of gunpowder comes across the transom without blowing up, because blowing stuff up is what the media do. Or, as Daniel Henninger notes in today’s Wall Street Journal, the “electronic elements have reached critical mass … [and] the new political media that will drive the 2016 presidential contest are like the surface of the oceans — huge, always moving, unpredictable and potentially destructive.”…

And right on cue (creative disruption!), a Washington Post exclusive: arising from the political depths

Mitt Romney, who earlier this year decided against a third presidential bid after briefly flirting with a run, will jump back into the national political scene next month when he hosts GOP presidential hopefuls and some of the party’s biggest donors in Utah…

Confirmed speakers from the likely 2016 Republican field include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.).

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, long seen as a Romney rival due to tensions between their camps, was invited but will not attend…

Yeah, ’cause somebody has so much dough of his own that he needn’t risk getting the luzer stink on him, not to mention the best advisors

One of Jeb Bush’s top advisers on Israel: George W. Bush
After spending months distancing himself from his family’s political legacy, Jeb Bush surprised a group of Manhattan financiers this week by naming his brother, former president George W. Bush, as his most influential counselor on U.S.-Israel policy.

“If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him,” Bush said Tuesday, speaking to a crowd of high-powered investors at the Metropolitan Club, according to four people present. The Republicans in the room spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge information about the private meeting….

Oh, c’mon — if it weren’t for nepotism, John Ellis Bush would be, at best, a mid-level vice-president in a Miami real estate development empire.
Apart from SODH (shaking our damn heads), what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya…

One suspects he’ll recover, somehow [warning: Politico link]:

… The Republican made his name in politics working for George H.W. Bush in the 1980 presidential campaign. He was, in the parlance of Bushworld, “With Bush Before Iowa,” meaning he was on board before the long shot even won the 1980 caucuses. Kaufman went on to serve as political director in the Bush 41 White House and has remained close email buddies with the former president. He’s deeply involved in Bush’s presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M.

In recent years, he has mixed rainmaking lobbying with his RNC work, fundraising and Romney advocacy. When Romney was the Massachusetts governor, Kaufman effectively served as his liaison to Republican Washington. As early as 2005, Kaufman was squiring the governor around the capital and helping him secure support for an eventual White House bid…

As Driftglass would say: There’s a club; you’re not in it.

Open Thread: Mitt-igating Circumstances



“What do you mean ”you’re not running again”, Dad?”

Open thread.


Saturday Afternoon Open Thread: Everybody Hates Romney

As an early (2002!) detractor of Willard Mitt Romney, it has entertained me no little to watch people from every section of the political spectrum greet the tentative marketing campaign for Romney ’16: Third Time’s the Charm! with the contempt it so richly deserves.

As Slate’s Betsy Woodruff put it, “The only people excited about Mitt Romney running for president in 2016 are excited because they think he will fail.” And she was talking to Republicans!

Jonathan Martin, in the dependably mealy-mouthed NYTimes, “Third Chance for Romney? G.O.P. Is Torn“:

… [I]nterviews with more than two dozen Republican activists, elected officials and contributors around the country reveal little appetite for another Romney candidacy. Beyond his enthusiasts — a formidable constituency given that many are donors — opinions range from indifference to open hostility. Read more

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Return of the Romneybot

I’m stocking up on blood pressure medication. Annie Linksey & Lisa Lerer at Bloomberg Politics, “Romney Opens the Door to Another Run at the White House“:

Mitt Romney told donors in New York on Friday that he may run for president in 2016, a development that could upend the Republican field.

Toward the end of a meeting with about 30 donors at a midtown Manhattan office, he said: You all can leave from here and tell your friends I’m considering a run, according to a person who was there. When asked if he would like to be president, Romney smiled and said that he’s run twice and so of course he wants the job. The person declined to be named because they weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly…

Previously, Romney has told former aides that he didn’t believe Bush could win. In a hypothetical Bush-Clinton match-up, Romney told confidants that it would come down to a referendum on the dynasties previous administrations, and that voters would opt for Clinton nostalgia over Bush because it was a better economic period, two former advisers to Romney said. At least a few former aides were caught off-guard by Romney’s remarks, as they had no indication this kind of an announcement was coming…

Actually, the one time I met Mitt Romney in person, I was impressed by his impeccable tailoring. So perhaps he just doesn’t want the Plutocrat’s Party to be represented by this: