After midterm votes have been counted, inquiring minds will focus like a laser on possible GOP presidential candidates and the race for 2012. Plan on plenty of speculation, anticipation, and investigation over the holidays. Once 2010 is ushered out and 2011 rung in, eagerness to hear presidential candidacy announcements will crescendo further with each passing week.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has noted what Mitt Romney has been doing for nearly every waking moment for the major part of this year – helping conservatives get elected. They say Romney gets ready for 2012. Aaronius linked to this article when he posted the Romney-on-Hannity announcement.
DAYTON, OHIO – Mitt Romney ambled through the exhibits at the InfoTech 2010 conference here the other day, shaking hands, posing for photos, sneaking an occasional chocolate turtle and, ever the salesman, promoting the candidacy of yet another Republican candidate.
On this trip, he was stumping for Rob Portman, the Republican Senate candidate who is heavily favored to win his race Tuesday. Romney was self-effacing as he moved along the rows of exhibits. “This is Rob Portman, he’s running for Senate,” he said as he introduced the former congressman to a group at one exhibit. “I’d love for you to vote for him.”
All talk of a 2012 presidential candidacy was brushed aside. “I haven’t made that decision,” he said to one person who inquired about his plans. “I’m just working for this guy [Portman]. Let’s get this guy in.”
That’s been the Romney way this fall. Head down, low profile, tending to the business of deepening relationships in a Republican Party that turned aside his bid for the presidential nomination in 2008. While other potential GOP presidential candidates have sought or drawn attention this fall, Romney seemingly has done the opposite.
He has campaigned in 25 states since the summer, according to a list prepared by his staff. Just recently, he crossed the million-dollar mark in money contributed to other campaigns and candidates from his political action committee. The money has gone to 21 gubernatorial candidates, 25 Senate candidates, more than 200 House candidates and a slew of people running for state legislatures.
In the 2010 cycle, he has done events in 13 senatorial races and an equal number of congressional races, many of them fundraisers. He has appeared at 48 events for gubernatorial candidates and eight more for other candidates running for state office. He has recorded more than 30 radio or TV ads or robo calls for candidates. He has signed 95 letters, e-mails or invitations appealing for money for candidates or Republican Party committees.
On Monday night, Romney will appear on “The Sean Hannity Show” on Fox News. What’s notable about that is that it will mark one of his rare appearances on television this fall and a clear contrast to some of his potential 2012 rivals.
Sarah Palin attracts attention wherever she goes and is a Fox News contributor. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a 2008 presidential candidate who might run again in 2012, has his own program on Fox. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, is another Fox contributor. He has been lobbing rhetorical grenades at President Obama and the Democrats all year and now talks more openly than ever about running for president.
Romney has taken a different approach. His team has sworn off any public discussion about 2012. Their line is that all focus is on the midterms. What comes after that can wait until the votes are counted Tuesday. But Romney is no less methodical – and no doubt wiser – about how to prepare for a likely presidential campaign, having gone through the experience of running unsuccessfully in 2008.
“We’ve picked our spots all along,” said one Romney adviser, offering an insight into his boss’s thinking about appearing on television or at major events. “We only have him go out there when he has something interesting to say.”
Read more here.
Along with appearing on the Hannity TV show, on Monday (11/01/10), Romney will join John Loughlin for a Victory Rally in Rhode Island. Loughlin is running for the congressional seat formerly held by Patrick Kennedy:
October 29th, 2010
Please join me for a Victory Rally with Governor Mitt Romney on Monday, November 1 at 2pm. The rally will be at my campaign headquarters, 329 Warren Avenue in East Providence. This is a free event and we look forward to seeing lots of friends and supporters!
We are thrilled to have Governor Romney’s support and look forward to seeing him on Monday!
On Monday evening, Romney will stump for Jeff Perry who is running for congress in Massachusetts.
“The last time the White House answered an SOS call from Massachusetts Democrats it was to try to stop Scott Brown’s historic election to the U.S. Senate,” said former Governor Mitt Romney. “It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. People are fed up with business as usual in Washington, and Jeff Perry is the best candidate to cut spending, reduce debt and create more jobs.”
Romney’s non-stop work ethic will take him right down to the wire on November 2nd. We could use that kind of jaw-dropping, hands-on focus in the White House.
H/t to Rebel Ross for video link.
► Jayde Wyatt