Political Animal


February 04, 2013 10:04 AM Romney ‘13

By Ed Kilgore

Could the Lord be so beneficent as to give Massachusetts Democrats a second chance to defeat the Romney family in much less than a year? It’s beginning to look that way, according to the Boston Herald’s Hillary Chabot in a piece inevitably entitled “Tagg, you’re it for GOP Senate hopes”:

Tagg Romney is considering a run in the special Senate election now that Scott Brown has opted out….
Calls for Romney, 42, to join in the short campaign to replace Secretary of State John F. Kerry have increased since the Herald first reported heavyweight Republicans are urging both Romney and his mother, Ann, to get in.
The eldest son of former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney already has statewide name recognition and could quickly ramp up the campaign infrastructure for a short, five-month race.

I don’t know why the younger Romney would want to do this unless he’s even more arrogant than he sometimes came across in posing as the power behind the scenes in his father’s campaign. He has no prayer of winning, even in a turnout-depressed special election. To even become competitive he’d have to take positions that would make him permanently toxic in national GOP politics—or at least require him to emulate Mitt’s remarkable ability to repudiate his own record.

I still don’t know why if Massachusetts Republicans just need a placeholder in the Senate special election they don’t just draft Mitt himself. For his admirers, it would represent a Last Hurrah moment the quick-to-be-forgotten 2012 nominee otherwise will not get. And for his intra-party detractors, it would be a political stake through the heart that he’d have to pay for himself.

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.


  • c u n d gulag on February 04, 2013 10:24 AM:


    That douche, Tagg, makes his daddy seem warm and fuzzy.

    At least Mitt could say that, yes, his father was the CEO of a car company, but the only mansion they ever lived in, was the Governor's Mansion in Michigan.

    Tagg's never had an umpampered, un-mansioned, nano-second in his whole life.

    And I can't see him walking around, shaking hands with the riff-raff, trying to get some votes - not even with a surgeon's mask and a ten gallon container of hand-sanitizer strapped to his back.

    And what would he say to the working stiffs?
    "Hi, my name is Tagg. If you thought my Dad was a douchebag, then come and talk to me. I'm the douchiest Romney that ever was!"

    Bill Weld's the one that worries me.
    But he's nowhere near insane enough to garner support amongst Republicans, who, though they live in MA, are still total loons.

  • bigtuna on February 04, 2013 10:42 AM:

    A political trick? A feint? No one can be serious about this. please.

  • jim filyaw on February 04, 2013 10:50 AM:

    when uncomfortable questions were starting to come up about how mitt skated nam, and people were starting to point out it was a family tradition (none of his sons served--even though they had three opportunities for a war), didn't willard offer as an excuse that tag had more important things to do, like getting his daddy elected president?

  • jhm on February 04, 2013 11:07 AM:

    The amazing void left behind by the absence of Mr Brown is truly a thing to behold. Apparently not one GOPer thought that they would have to worry about a candidate. There seems to be no one really willing to do it; either they're young and ambitious and do not want to get involved in a short campaign for an abbreviated term during which they will have to exhibit some kind of "moderate" bona fides (but not as moderate as the DINO who threw his hat in the Dem primary); and the old who do not want to abase themselves to the wingnuts for possible national advantage (besmirching their Mass reputations in the process).

  • Mikhail the History Grad Student on February 04, 2013 11:26 AM:

    Speaking as a Massachusetts resident, Tagg has about a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected.

    Brown has the advantage of being likeable and competent and a non-extremist, and he still lost to Warren. But I think people around here were just badly offended by the Romney campaign, which seemed to drop his entire tenure as governor down the memory hole. At least, almost everyone I've spoken to about it found it a betrayal.

  • Perspecticus on February 04, 2013 11:38 AM:

    Any discussion of a Tagg Romney candidacy needs to stop until an extraordinarily important question gets answered:

    What qualification does he have to become a United States Senator?

    Yes, the same question needed asking of Scott Brown, but he entered during the fever dream stage of American Politics where the only important qualification was saying "Freedom!" over and over and ensuring your flag pin was bigger than your opponent's flag pin. I feel we have moved out of that phase and can now start moving the discussion towards electing capable legislators, not just who bought the coolest tri-corner hat.

  • internet tough guy on February 04, 2013 12:24 PM:

    Is the Herald that bored?

  • John on February 04, 2013 1:20 PM:

    Bill Weld was mentioned by an earlier poster. Boston.com is reporting that Bill Weld announced that he will not be a candidate.

    An interesting angle not reported here, but, in yesterday's Boston Globe, it was reported that Middlesex County District Attorney Gerald T. Leone was thinking of throwing his hat into the Democratic race. Lots of interesting possibilities to be explored if this happens.

    I believe Congressman Markey is not as well known with the Commonwealth's electorate as some may think he is. The Democratic Party establishment were coalescing around him in the days prior to last Friday's surpise annoucement, but he hasn't had to seriously campaign for at least two decades now.

    Although, at the moment, things are in serious disaray for the Republicans and their prospects bleak, this race in the end could be a lot closer than anyone is expecting right now.

  • N.Wells on February 04, 2013 1:43 PM:

    They should run Rafalca, and that way they'd be adding the whole front half of a horse to the traditional Republican ticket.

  • ET on February 04, 2013 3:22 PM:

    Is this part of Rove's new Conservative Victory Project? Cause it sounds like something he would do.

  • ottercliff on February 04, 2013 4:30 PM:

    What if Tagg and Ann jointly ran for the spot? As a Massachusetts voter, I believe that the combo, a "Tagg team" if you will, would best remind many of us of all we felt for the Romney family.

    Imagine a commercial by "Dad" reminding us how "severely conservative" he was as our absentee governor! Or Ann aboard Ralfaca, crapping (Ralfaca) on the State House lawn. Or Tagg smirking his way through an Obama slam (maybe in a pose with some hundred dollars hanging out of his pockets just like the stunt "Pops" pulled in his heyday).

    Oh please, let it happen! We want achance to show the love to the Romneys one more time!