Romney Resurfaces In GOP's 2016 Vanguard At 'New Ideas' Forum -- Surprise?

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on June 14, 2014

Mitt RomneyA front page story in the Washington Post June 14 reported GOP insider support for Mitt Romney as a 2016 presidential contender. 

Political writer Philip Rucker's story was headlined, At elite donor summit featuring 2016 GOP hopefuls, a longing for Romney to run again. The paper's print edition used as its headline, GOP summit on new ideas has one old one: Romney.

We have repeatedly predicted here that Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney will lead the GOP's presidential ticket in 2016 because the two represent the dynastic powers that run the country for more than the most likely potential rivals, who tend to be politicians without serious coalitions of a billionaires of long-standing teamwork committed to their success.

Presidential PuppetryA ticket led by Bush with Romney as vice president is also a strong possibility. That would unite the strands of the Bush Wall Street-oil-CIA-New England-Texas-Florida power axis with the Mormon Church, the nation's fastest growing religion and a major financial powerhouse. Bush consiglieri Karl Rove, reared partly in Texas and Utah, is well-positioned to unite the factions and help orchestrate the kind of vote-counting and other campaign tactics that can create a winner.

Compared to that kind of team, the rest of a likely GOP field, including the high-profile New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, will be exposed as a junior varsity when the games begin. A cartoon below predicts that moment by portraying the fall of the Humpty Dumpty.

Political insiders also understand that no GOP presidential ticket has been successful since 1972 without a Bush on it. The second spot might seem a come-down for Romney after two tries at the top spot.

But the White House has been a dream of some leaders of the Mormon Church ever since the Prophet Joseph Smith was assassinated during his presidential campaign in 1844. And even four-term New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller (shown below) was willing to accept a vice presidency from 1974 to 1977 despite being a high-status heir of John D. Rockefeller, the richest person Nelson Rockefellerin American history, inflation-adjusted.

For public dissemination, conventional wisdom has been that Republicans are searching for fresh faces. But conventional wisdom is often wrong in such matters. Whether by intention or inadvertence, leading political pundits often fail to inform their audiences about the insider intrigues.

For a fresh view, my book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters devotes multiple chapters to the Bush and Romney families, along with their power centers. This was only in part a look backward. More important, it is today's world and could be tomorrow's.

Rucker's story helped illustrate that theme with its report on an "Ideas Summit" that Romney hosted in Park City, Utah. The Post reported the event was billed as "a passing of the torch to the Republican Party's would-be saviors."

"Instead," the reporter continued, "the scene at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains quickly became a Romney revival. Minutes after the 2012 Republican presidential nominee welcomed his 300 guests, Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host and former GOP congressman, urged them to begin a 'Draft Romney' movement in 2016. 'This is the only person that can fill the stage,' Scarborough said at the opening-night private dinner, according to attendees."

The Post report is a curiosity in itself as portrays the result as if unintended by the Romney team. In fact, the result will be about as surprising as when Hillary Clinton hears a call for her to consider running in 2016.

For our part, we have been predicting a draft Romney effort for many months. The reasons are in such columns excerpted below as Romney Push For Christie This Week Helps Bush, Romney In 2016 in February, with earlier ones excerpted below.
 
This is a dangerous situation, in part for the reasons suggested by the chapter titles in Presidential Puppetry, shown below. The biggest problem, however, is not the scandal in the past of Romney and his advisors, or even in the Bush family. Instead, the danger comes from the unwillingness of the national media to report these matters, even after two previous presidential runs by Romney in 2012 and 2008, and more than 60 years of Bush family prominence in national government.

 

Presidential Puppetry

Table of Contents (with Romney and Bush sections in red)

 

PART I: HOW OUR IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY IMPERILS US ALL   

1.  ROMNEY AND RYAN: APPRENTICE OLIGARCHS   
2.  THE PRESIDENT’S HIDDEN HISTORY AND WHY IT MATTERS   
3.  HIDDEN EVIDENCE IN PLAIN SIGHT   
4.  COLD WAR, HOT CLIMATES   
5.  BARACK OBAMA: THE PRESIDENT’S FAMILY TREE   
Presidential Puppetry by Andrew Kreig6.  BARACK OBAMA: THE PATH TO POWER   
7.  PRESCOTT BUSH: ROOTS OF THE BUSHES   
8.  GEORGE H. W. BUSH: POPPY’S SEED AND BITTER HARVEST   
9.  GEORGE W.: SHAMELESS, HEARTLESS, AND SELECTED—NOT ELECTED   

PART II: ROMNEY HENCHMEN, ENABLERS, AND FELLOW PUPPETS   
10.  KARL ROVE: A FRIGHTENING FRAUD   
11.  DAVID PETRAEUS: REVOLT OF THE GENERALS   
12.  MICHAEL LEAVITT: ON A MISSION FROM GOD   
13.  BIG BROTHERS FOR ROMNEY – AND US?   
14.  PROBING 2012 VOTING SCHEMES   

PART III: THE 2012 CHALLENGERS   
15.  PAUL RYAN: KILLING US SOFTLY…   
16.  MITT ROMNEY: THE PROPHET OF PROFIT   
17.  MITT ROMNEY: GOING FOR THE GOLD   

PART IV: IMPACT→ FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE   
18.  JOSEPH BIDEN: WHEN THE SMILING STOPS   
19.  BARACK OBAMA: THE PRESIDENT AS PERFORMER   
20.  A PETRAEUS BETRAYAL?   
21.  PLANNING A SECOND OBAMA TERM  
22.  NEXT STEPS   

 

APPENDIX: REFORM RESOURCES   
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS   
BIBLIOGRAPHY   
NOTES AND SOURCES   

 
 
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Related News Coverage

Update: Washington Post, As Democrats avoid Obama, Romney is in demand on the midterm campaign trail, Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, Aug. 2, 2014.During a summer in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Mitt Romney is emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most in-demand campaign surrogates. Over three days in mid-August, Romney will campaign for GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates in West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas, aides said. In September, he is planning visits to the presidential swing states of Colorado and Virginia. Romney is filling up his October schedule, as well. Senate hopefuls in Iowa and New Hampshire are eager for him to return before November’s midterms, while Romney is weighing trips to other Senate battlegrounds. At least one high-profile Senate campaign said it has produced a television advertisement featuring Romney ready to air in the fall.

Mitt RomneyAl.com, It's decided then: AL.com readers choose Mitt Romney in online poll for the 2016 GOP nomination, Jim Stinson, July 7, 2014. The news that Republican Mitt Romney's poll numbers are better than President Barack Obama's -- while Obama's poll numbers are at new lows -- has apparently emboldened many former Mitt Romney supporters. Romney came in first in an online readers' poll. Not by a little, but by a lot. The readers' poll was based on findings from the Quinnipiac University poll, which surprised many. The Quinnipiac poll ranked Obama as the worst president since World War II.  So we asked about his prospects in 2016. Mitt Romney ran away with it. He got 63.67 percent of the votes cast, or 936 votes. So he didn't get a plurality in a crowded field; he got a large majority. "Someone else" got 10.54 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush did poorly. The former Florida governor, brother of former President George W. Bush, came in third. Bush got 7.28 percent of the votes, or 107 votes. ll other named Republican candidates got less than 5 percent.

Washington Post, Mitt Romney returns to political stage as Republicans prepare for midterms, Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, April 18, 2014. Mitt Romney’s long winter was over. After retreating from public view following his crushing loss to President Obama in the 2012 election, Romney has returned to the political stage, emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most coveted stars, especially on the fundraising circuit, in the run-up to November’s midterm elections. Romney, 67, has begun to embrace the role of party elder, believing he can shape the national debate and help guide his fractured party to a governing majority. Insisting he won’t seek the presidency again, Romney has endorsed at least 16 candidates this cycle, many of them establishment favorites who backed his campaigns.

Justice Integrity Project, Romney Push For Christie This Week Helps Bush, Romney In 2016, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 23, 2014. Romney’s push for Christie this week helps Bush in 2016 by helping Christie muddle through longer, and thereby staving off scrutiny of Bush.  Romney still stands tall above others as fallback for a third try. Everyone can pretend otherwise, but Christie has bigger problems than a 2016 candidacy. 

Humpty Dumpty
Justice Integrity Project, New Book By Former Christie Target Sets Time-Bomb for 2016 Race, Andrew Kreig, April 21, 2014. The new book Ruthless Ambition: The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie illustrates that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman correctly identified the real scandal behind the Christie administration that is likely to end his advancement in politics.

Louis Manzo Ruthless Ambition CoverWashington Post, Top Republicans court Jeb Bush for 2016 run, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, March 29, 2014. Conservative leaders, seeing problems with Chris Christie and fearing a run by Rand Paul, consider the former Florida governor the GOP’s brightest hope. Editor's Note: As predicted here months ago....

Washington Post, These are the GOP candidates who might benefit from Romney’s donors, Wesley Lowery, Feb. 28, 2013. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie and Rand Paul have the most buzz for 2016. Every single Romney donor we spoke with this week listed the former Florida governor as their top choice. Mitt Romney knows how to raise money. He collected more than $1.1 billion in the 2012 campaign, relying  on contacts he built during his time as Massachusetts governor, head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, years working in private equity, and as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. And now, with Romney insisting that he will not run again in 2016, literally hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of Republican money is up for grabs -- and donors say that they are already being courted by several potential presidential candidates. The donors said that -- like Romney -- Bush's time as governor proved he can be an effective leader and manager. His willingness to tackle (or attempt to, at least) tough policy initiatives such as education and criminal justice reform remind them of Romney's work on health care at the state level.Also, with solid name recognition and the Bush political machine behind him, Romney donors believe Jeb is the most electable of the potential Republican candidates. For Romney donors, electability is the single most important trait.

Washington Post, Romney to fundraise with Christie for GOP governors, Robert Costa, Feb. 22, 2014. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will fundraise alongside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday in Boston. The joint appearance is a signal by Romney to the Republican establishment that he remains an ally of the embattled Garden State governor, whose administration has become engulfed by a bridge-closing scandal.

Justice Integrity Project, A Mitt Romney Nomination In 2016? Andrew Kreig, Feb. 9, 2014. Don't rule out a Mitt Romney presidential candidacy in 2016. Romney might prove to be the default candidate as in 2012 even though I predict Jeb Bush will win the nomination as a late entry.

Bipartisan Flashback from 2008 During Obama Transition In Selection of Cabinet

Eric HolderFireDogLake, Eric Holder. Lawyer For The Death Squad Terrorists’ Paymasters: Our Next Attorney General? Kirk Murphy, Nov. 22, 2008. When high-powered attorney Eric Holder, partner in the high-power DC law firm Covington & Burling, chose to allow American Lawyer to profile him for a trial balloon about making him AG, he allowed American Lawyer to watch him work for Chiquita. While American lawyer watched, Eric Holder smooth-talked Chiquita’s CEO – the man in charge of a corporation which pled guilty to running terrorist death squads. Chiquita funded terror to kill labor organizers in order to keep down labor costs. It sends an interesting message to labor in the US to hire a man who’s worked for a corporation like that to be Attorney General. The change from the Bush Justice department is hard to see. Change we can believe in?

Earlier this year Chiquita admitted one of its subsidiaries paid about $1.7 million to the rightwing paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, which is also known as the AUC. The group is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Chiquita also agreed to pay the U.S. government a $25 million fine.

When Eric Holder chose to take Chiquita’s money then, he chose to enrich himself by accepting fees from admitted paymasters for terrorist death squads. Gosh, why would Chiquita pay $1.7 million to fund terrorist death squads?  Chiquita is essentially engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the paramilitary organizations to control the banana-growing region of Colombia.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

John BoehnerNancy Pelosi FireDogLake, Congressional Approval on Track to be Lowest for any Midterm in 40 Years, Jon Walker, June 16, 2014. Americans rarely have a high opinion of Congress, but currently its support for the body has been at record lows. Unless there is some dramatic change in the next few months this election could feature the lowest Congressional approval ratings of any midterm election in the past 40 years. Ideally, such horrible numbers should have most incumbent members of Congress terrified but that is not the case. In fact the number of incumbents who are at serious risk of losing their election this November is near historic lows. According to an analysis by FairVote, the number of naturally competitive districts has dropped to only 47 and we can assume roughly 98 percent of incumbents will win re-election. Given how incredibly insulated most members of Congress have become from electoral consequences it is no wonder the institution has become so unpopular. For the most part members simply don’t need to care about what voters think of their institution’s overall job performances. That should be considered a serious crisis in a democracy. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) is shown at left, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) at right.

Gallup, Key Midterm Election Indicators at or Near Historical Lows, Jeffrey M. Jones, June 16, 2014. Approval of Congress at 16%; national satisfaction at 23%. The election environment for congressional incumbents in 2014 will be challenging, with several key public opinion indicators as negative or nearly as negative as they have been in any recent midterm election year. This includes congressional job approval, which, at 16%, is on pace to be the lowest in a midterm election year since Gallup first measured it in 1974. Approval was 21% in 2010 and 50% in 2002.

Washington Post, Dave Brat was mostly ignored by political reporters, Paul Farhi, June 11, 2014.There are hundreds of reporters covering politics in Washington. Before Tuesday night, only a few of them paid any attention to the year’s biggest political story. College professor Dave Brat’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in their Richmond-area district stunned more than Cantor and the GOP establishment. Most of the national news media slept through the campaign, waking up only when the votes started coming in Tuesday. The result: Perhaps not since the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline has the political press been so badly blindsided by an election result.

FireDogLake, America Ranks No. 1 for Over-Priced, Inefficient Health Care, Jon Walker, June 16, 2014. Once again America wins the dubious distinction of having the least efficient health system. It simply can’t be overstated how wastefully corrupt our health care system is.

Jeh JohnsonWashington Post, Influx of minors across Texas border driven by belief that they will be allowed to stay in U.S., David Nakamura, June 13, 2014. There is growing evidence that a surge of tens of thousands of Central American minors across the Mexican border into Texas is being driven in large part by the perception they will be allowed to stay under the Obama administration’s immigration policies. Administration officials — after initially dismissing such reports — are now attempting to push back on the idea, warning parents not to send their children as officials scramble to accommodate tens of thousands who already have arrived in Texas. “Those who cross our border today illegally, even children, are not eligible for an earned path to citizenship,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, shown at right, said this week. “Those apprehended at our borders are priorities for removal . . . regardless of age.”

FireDogLake, Border Patrol Official: Agents Who Talk to Journalists About Immigrant Children May Be Charged With Crime, Kevin Gosztola, June 13, 2014. In an email the Associated Press obtained, an assistant chief patrol agent warns thousands of Border Patrol agents if they talk to journalists about the crisis with immigrant children crossing the US-Mexico border they may be charged with committing a crime. Eligio “Lee” Pena warned “more than 3,000 Border Patrol agents that journalists looking for information about what Obama has described as a humanitarian crisis are likely to ask for information,” according to the AP. “Agents should not speak to reporters, on or off duty, without advanced permission and warned that anyone who does could be charged with a crime or disciplined administratively.”

Washington Post, Immigrant parents urge U.S. officials to help their children flee Central American violence, Pamela Constable, June 12, 2014. U.S. officials are scrambling to understand and manage the exodus of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have turned up at the southern U.S. border over the past few months. The surge has overwhelmed detention facilities, forcing the Obama administration to take emergency measures to provide shelter, hire attorneys and locate sponsors to receive the children. The number of such minors entering the United States has crept upward since 2011, but last fall it began to skyrocket. Since October, 47,000 have arrived; officials expect another 60,000 by the end of this year.

Guardian, Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown, Nafeez Ahmed, June 12, 2014. Social science is being militarised to develop 'operational tools' to target peaceful activists and protest movements. A US Department of Defense (DoD) research program is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar program is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands." Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD 'Minerva Research Initiative' partners with universities "to improve DoD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US." Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model "of the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagions." The project will determine "the critical mass (tipping point)" of social contagians by studying their "digital traces" in the cases of "the 2011 Robert S. MuellerEgyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey." Twitter posts and conversations will be examined "to identify individuals mobilized in a social contagion and when they become mobilized."

OpEdNews, How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases, Ray McGovern, June 12, 2014.  Rarely do you get a chance to ask a just-retired FBI director whether he had "any legal qualms" about what, in football, is called "illegal procedure," but at the Justice Department is called "parallel construction." Government wordsmiths have given us this pleasant euphemism to describe the use of the National Security Agency's illegal eavesdropping on Americans as an investigative tool to pass on tips to law enforcement agencies, which then hide the source of the original suspicion and "construct" a case using "parallel" evidence to prosecute the likes of you and me. For those interested in "quaint" things like the protections that used to be afforded us by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, information about this "parallel construction" has been in the public domain, including the "mainstream media," for at least a year or so. So, I welcomed the chance to expose this artful practice to still more people with cameras rolling at a large conference on "Ethos & Profession of Intelligence" at Georgetown University on Wednesday, during the Q & A after former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke. Mueller ducked my question regarding whether he had any "legal qualms." Bottom line? Beware, those of you who think you have "nothing to hide" when the NSA scoops up your personal information.