A Romney Reset?
You may have come across a link to this article on Mitt Romney in the Boston Phoenix yesterday. The piece looks at how the former Massachusetts governor may be repositioning himself for the 2012 presidential race. Romney will soon embark on a tour in support of his new book, No Apology, and also deliver several high-profile speeches as he traverses the country. Both activities should provide political observers with some new insight into whether he is indeed attempting to reset his candidacy for the next presidential election cycle.
Of particular interest is the article’s suggestion that Romney may forgo an emphasis on social conservatism this time around, in favor of a renewed focus on the economy and foreign policy. As the piece correctly notes, doing so would further elevate the importance of the New Hampshire Primary for Romney, in its capacity to serve as an electoral counterweight (for generating frontrunner status) to the other early contests in Iowa and South Carolina. Those two are much more likely to be dominated by the preferences of social and religious conservatives. Romney’s attempt to court these groups in the South in the last election cycle was met with a great deal of derision from other Republican candidates in the race.
This idea of Romney retooling with what the article calls a blue state strategy for winning the Republican nomination is actually something I considered in a series of posts beginning last August. You can get a feel for the thread of my argument by reading four of the posts in sequence (here, here, here and here). The Boston Phoenix piece does a nice job of fleshing out the implications of this strategy, both in terms of how Romney might chart a course through the primaries, and in considering what it would mean for intra-party tensions between various groups within the Republican Party.
Note: I will be back on Monday with new content for you. See you soon. -Dean
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