Political Animal


February 21, 2013 10:22 AM Mitt Returns to the Scene of the Crime

By Ed Kilgore

I’ve probably already said more than is merited by the news of Mitt Romney’s pending zombie appearance at the 2013 CPAC conference.

But since we had to spend so much time watching and listening to this strange man during the last two presidential cycles, it’s probably worth underlining Steve Kornacki’s point that in making yet another CPAC appearance, Romney is in effect returning to the scene of the crime: the locale of his annual pandering to the conservative movement, which netted him CPAC “straw poll” victories in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. His serial CPAC abasements had a lot to do with his survival during the 2012 cycle of what at one point looked like the unsurmountable handicap of “Obamneycare,” as Tim Pawlenty once called it.

So I guess he does owe the regular attendees of the event a special thanks for making him a viable Republican presidential candidate—twice, no less—at a time when all the dynamics in the party should have made him about as welcome as the ghost of his famously moderate and sometimes downright liberal father. Or maybe he’s just missing the spotlight.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Ronald on February 21, 2013 10:27 AM:

    I'm laying money on the 'missing the spotlight'. Ego's like Mr. Romney's thrive on being the center of attention, and what bigger center than running for President?
    Now that's gone for good, he'll be desperately trying for relevancy in a party that didn't want him to begin with, but found him convenient to use to their own ends.
    Like a certain half-term governor I can think of...

  • Josef K on February 21, 2013 10:45 AM:

    Echoing Ronald's comment above. No sane individual could possibly take anything Romney says on faith any longer, never mind see him as a viable anything (pundit included).

  • rea on February 21, 2013 11:03 AM:

    On the contrary, Mitt is the logical candidate for 2016. It's not like any of the alternatives are more appealing . . .

  • T2 on February 21, 2013 11:08 AM:

    Don't forget that Romney is a major player in the Mormon Church and he, for better or worse, is their "spokesman" to the non-Mormon world....it is important for them to keep him out there working to convince the rest of us that Mormons aren't a cult.

  • Aussiesmurf on February 21, 2013 5:53 PM:

    Love the use of an Australian classic by the Hunters & Collectors. They had many classics, including Holy Grail, Throw Your Arms Around Me, Do You See What I See, Blind Eye and so on.