Thursday, August 25, 2005

To Run or Not To Run

Today's Herald has some interesting comments by conservative Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN) regarding Mitt Romney's presidential ambitions.

[Souder] said Romney will set himself back from a White House bid if he doesn't convince voters across the country he can be re-elected at home.

"Why do you think you could win elsewhere if you can't win in your own state?" said Souder, an evangelical Christian and member of Congress since 1994. "It becomes more difficult because it looks like you are running away from a fight."
It would appear that Mitt is in a bind. If he doesn't run for reelection, he risks not being taken seriously on the national scene. If he does, he'll have to jettison some of his newfound conservative positions if he's going to be politically palatable here in Massachusetts. But if he does that, he'll risk alienating conservative voters in the Republican presidential primaries. Not only that, but if Romney loses reelection, and he's never polled lower than he does right now, he may as well pack his bags and move back to Utah. A loss kills his presidential ambitions -- maybe not forever but at least for 2008. What makes Romney interesting is his ability to win on liberal turf. If he can't do that, he's just another suit with good hair and a used car salesman smile.