Jonah Goldberg, Real Clear Politics:
You know how superhero flicks often have an extra scene after the credits to hint at what the sequel will be like? Well, this would be the perfect end to the movie Romney 2012.
The problem is that “Romney for president” is now an art-house film thinking it’s a blockbuster franchise and that there’s a huge market for another sequel. There’s not.
Don’t get me wrong. I wanted him to win in 2012, and I think voters made a serious mistake not following my advice. I’ve met the man, and I know several of his friends and former staffers. He inspires great loyalty in them, and that speaks well of him. He’s an honorable, capable, and decent person.
But I know lots of honorable, capable, and decent people. I don’t want them to run for president either.
Romney’s support outside his personal network of donors is largely made up of people who lament that he lost the last time around. That — and name recognition — is probably the biggest explanation for why he polls so well. The last poll to include him among the GOP contenders (Fox News, December 16), had him leading the field at 19 percent, with Jeb Bush second at 10 percent.
But the only poll you need to know about was the exit poll of voters in 2012, which asked, “Which one of these four candidate qualities mattered most in deciding how you voted for president?”
Romney won three out of four. On “shares my values,” Romney won 55 to 42. He won on “is a strong leader” 61 to 38. He took “has a vision for the future” 54 to 45.
But in the category “cares about people like me,” Romney lost by a staggering 63 points (81 to 18).