It's increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is running for president again, an idea which to many people makes very little sense. The Washington Post quotes one Romney advisor as saying that Mitt "believes he has something to offer the country and the only way he can do that is by running for president again." At this point, mind you, Romney has been mounting presidential campaigns for longer than he was governor of Massachusetts. And unlike in 2012, there are any number of seasoned governors of medium-sized states with orthodox conservative records who can run.
I am not sure what Mitt Romney's team is thinking, but maybe a little advice from someone who knows - not everyone is meant to be President.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 13, 2015
To really understand why it's happening, you need to remember this one sentence from an article Sean Sullivan wrote in December 2013: "Romney's seven highest-paid campaign staffers all made more in 2012 than anyone on Obama's campaign."
That is nice work if you can get it. Another relevant point is from Jim Rutenberg's July 2012 article about the network of wealthy Mormon families who've supported Romney in his every political campaign.
Add access to a unique donor base to a candidate whose known for generously compensating his senior campaign staff, and you have not quite a rationale for a national campaign but a reason for a group of seasoned political operatives to come up with one.
To be sure, there's always money to be made in lobbying or consulting. But those careers need constant refresh of one's contacts, and a spin on a decent and well-financed Romney campaign is a good chance to give those practices a boost.
This sets the stage for a perfect storm of self-deception. Romney is surrounded by associates who have every incentive to tell him not just that Barack Obama is a bad president, and that liberal ideas are inferior to conservative ones, but that he in particular has unique attributes that call him to the stage of national leadership. That's the kind of thing anyone would be prone to want to believe. And these are, mind you, successful, highly paid political consultants who are very, very good at making their political theories sound plausible to aspiring leaders.
And note that Romney — whatever his virtues as a businessman or a politician — is known to be prone to the human frailty of falling for self-flattering beliefs. According to many, many, many reports, Romney genuinely woke up on Election Day 2012 believing he would win the election even though polls told him otherwise.
There's not much at stake for America or the world in the question of a Romney 2016 bid. There is zero reason to believe he'd govern any differently from any of the other Republican contenders. But in dollars and cents terms for Romney's inner circle of advisors the stakes couldn't be higher. No wonder they're so eager to tell the story of Mitt as a unique man of destiny.