Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So Long Harry? – Speculation growing for 2010 Romney Nevada Senate Run

Photo Ethan Miller from Zimbio

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and 2008 Presidential Candidate is rumored to be positioning himself for a run at Harry Reid’s Nevada Senate Seat – and these “rumors” are not without some credence. Romney was a virtual unknown in Massachusetts prior to his run for the Governor’s Office and it was “rumored” that Romney was “brought in” to take the top job. Additionally, at that time, there were questions raised by Massachusetts Democrats and the New York Times, about his residency in Utah. Republican’s do win in Massachusetts, known as the “bluest state”, but it takes a well-funded candidate, running against a troubled incumbent or, in Romney’s Massachusetts case, a less competent Democrat candidate, to win an election. (Watch for a competent G.O.P. candidate to run against embattled Gov. Duval Patrick in 2010.) Romney worked well within Massachusetts Political circles, keeping the Democrat controlled statehouse in check (as best he could), the budget in line, all the while straddling a fence between being “too liberal” and “too conservative” – no mean feat.

The speculation began with an article in a weekly newspaper, the Pahrump Valley Times. A local doctor, Frank Toppo, had received tickets from Harry Reid to attend Obama’s inauguration, and while there, he apparently was given a tip on Romney’s Nevada designs.

Frank Toppo passed along some political scuttlebutt from inside the Beltway: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is planning to move to Nevada to challenge Sen. Reid for his seat in the 2010 election.

This story was followed by an article in the Reno, NV, News Review

Online columnist Sally Denton (a Nevada native and author of a book on Nevada politics): “Rumors swirl in Las Vegas that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is in the process of establishing residency in Nevada with his eye toward unseating his fellow Mormon.”
David Bernstein in the Boston Phoenix in Romney’s home state: “Mitt vs. Harry Reid? If you’re looking to sell a palatial estate in Nevada, I think I might know somebody who’ll be looking to buy soon. … Hint: Mormonism is an asset in Nevada. (Reid is Mormon, in fact.) Romney, you might recall, campaigned hard in Nevada and won the caucuses there, helping to blunt his loss in South Carolina. The genius of running against Reid is that, win or lose, Romney becomes a hero to the GOP just for taking it on. I think he’s planning to do it. Of course, he doesn’t actually live there, but that’s easily fixed.”

Once again, a tip, and a rumor are merely circumstantial, that said, the circumstantial evidence is beginning to pile up. From February, 19th, Boston Globe comes an article outlining the Romney’s selling two of their properties, a home Belmont, Massachusetts and a ski lodge in Deer Valley, Utah, with a combined estimated sale value of $8.25 million. A spokesman for the Romney’s insists that the former Governor is downsizing and intends to buy a condo in the Bay State.

Romney, who recently won the straw poll at the recent CPAC convention, is being held up as a candidate for 2012 by members of that organization. That said; the same organization pushed the 2008 Romney candidacy, which was less than successful. CPAC, is a Conservative PAC with a fiscal conservative bent. Roughly 7,000 people attended the last convention, where Rush Limbaugh was the keynote speaker. In other words, CPAC is holds a “conservative” convention rather than a GOP convention. (Yes, there is a difference.) “Romney for 2012” enthusiasts are confident that the “rumors” of a Nevada senate run are false. They may, once again, be mistaken.

Facts: Mitt Romney is an avid campaigner, has no qualms about moving into a state in order to take a high office, has the funds to do so, and will have the backing of the Nevada RNC if he does choose to run against Reid. Reid, is facing a tough road in 2010, regardless of who the opposition may be. Not to go unnoticed, Romney has also put in three appearances in Nevada with new Nevada State GOP Chair, Sue Lowden.

Romney as party loyalist, would have the honor of knocking off an incumbent Democrat Senate Majority Leader (Daschle), he would find himself in an immediate leadership role within the Senate Republican ranks, given that he has strong GOP contacts in both Nevada and neighboring Utah – this “speculation” may be more fact than mere “rumor”. What to watch for? An established Romney Presence in Nevada by the end of 2009.


Chuck said...

I don't know. I'm not a big fan of this. Two reasons, too much like a carpetbagger (think Hillary in NY) and likely only to set himself up for a presidential run in 2012.

Tina Hemond said...

Hi Chuck, consider this is, as noted, based on speculation, however, that said, I’m not opposed, as it is an ends to a means – additionally, I don’t believe that Romney, being as smart as he is, would consider a second run at the White House – the reason being, he cannot hold the south in a primary, let alone a general election – in 2008 primaries, with a three way split – Huckabee and McCain clocked Romney in the south – which, when one looks at the overall “big picture” – Huckabee was a natural to take southern states, but the kicker is that McCain did well, beating Romney soundly – Romney’s religion was not a factor, (although fingers were pointed in that direction) – if one looks back at the 1968 election, Nixon lost heavy southern states to George Wallace, however, in 1972, picked up all states with the exception of (hanging my head here) Massachusetts! – It is more a question of position – Massachusetts appears to be the worst place to launch a presidential campaign from – given Dukakis and Kerry (that first come to mind) – and I’m not sure it is party affiliation that matters, when exported nationally – a move to Nevada would put Romney in a better position to run, at some point, but the appearance of “carpet bagging” would be called into question if he ran too soon, and I don’t for a moment think he would risk that – He would, however, be a fine majority leader – a strong fiscal conservative within the Senate is what the nation needs – and although there are party leaders, a national figurehead would do more to further the interests of conservatives from that position. Re: Hillary Clinton, to her credit she served (I believe) two terms in the New York State Senate before running – at least one full term (which is 6 years).

Ralph Short said...

I tend to agree he would not be trying to position himself for a Presidential run assuming this story is true. It also seems to me there is more and more of this "carpet bagging" these days. The first one to do it was Robert Kennedy, if my memory is right, when he ran for the senate in NY. Then Hillary did the same back in 2000 for the Senate. Btw, my memory is she ran 2x for the seat but never completed the second term.

What a blessing it would be if Reid was retired and even though I did not vote for Romney in the primary I believe he is a sharp guy and would make a good candidate.

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