Mitt Romney is back.
Well, not all the way back, but he is making headlines that he is considering a run for president in 2016.
Last Friday, the Washington Post reported that the former Massachusetts governor told 30 donors, “I want to be President.”
Is it definitive that Romney is back in the hunt for President? Not necessarily. What is definitive is that Romney is challenging Jeb Bush over donor money. Bush's recent surge has forced Romney to show his hand earlier than he might have wanted to, realizing that a lot of money could be gone by summer.
Since then, reporters have been scrambling to find out if Romney's run is authentic, asking former Romney campaign advisers if he has a plan.
Politico found that his time frame for a decision will be in “weeks, not months” and that Romney promises a different campaign path focusing on poverty. He also plans on having a different communication staff to portray a different Mitt Romney in 2016.
“He really has to show people that he’d do it differently, rather than just say he’d do it differently,” a former Romney adviser told Politico. “He needs to assure folks he’d take a much more direct approach to laying out the vision for his campaign versus having those decisions driven by a bunch of warring consultants.”
One reason he might take that direct approach is that the path to president in 2016 will be relatively easier than it was in 2012, when he faced an incumbent Barrack Obama. This time around, in a possible third presidential run, Romney won't have to speak to the far right to get the nomination like he did before.
What he must avoid is his old nickname, flip-flop Mitt. In 2012, one of Romneys major flaws as a candidate was his history of flipping sides on issues such as gay rights, abortion, health care, and climate change. His recent decision to consider a run for president can be added to the list, as Mother Jones points out nine times since 2012 he has declared he wouldn't run for president in 2016.
While he will have to work on his flaws, everyone agress his 2016 campaign must have a message. Reports have determined that other than poverty, he will focus on supporting the middle class and foreign policy.
“If he does go forward, there will be heavier doses of foreign policy,” another adviser told Politico. “That was a strength of his last campaign. A lot of what he said has been borne out … All that feeds into a narrative.”
But the economy will also be a key issue. In 2012, Romney unequivocally denied that Obama's economic policies could bring positive returns. Yet, the economy has been growing with 58 straight months of job growth. His conservative economic policies will be challenged by a successful democratic history of economic policy.
But lets not get ahead of ourselves. The real challenge to Romney is Jeb Bush. As of now, he is simply telling donors not to join the Bush bandwagon.
Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican advisor thinks that Romney can make an impact with donors.
“Romney knows that he can block donors from going to Bush if he sends a clear enough message,” he said.
Only time will tell if Romney goes through with that message. For now, Romney plans on freezing that money until he decides.