The post-mortem of a failed presidential campaign is always good fun. Immediately after the election, and sometimes before then if it’s clear where things are headed, those in the campaign start shuffling for position outside of the blame spotlight, pushing each other under a series of buses. But the Boston Globe’s analysis of the campaign contains this jaw-dropping statement:
More than being reticent, Romney was at first far from sold on a second presidential run. Haunted by his 2008 loss, he initially told his family he would not do it. While candidates often try to portray themselves as reluctant, Tagg insisted his father’s stance was genuine.
“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run,” said Tagg, who worked with his mother, Ann, to persuade his father to seek the presidency. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”
The spectacle of Romney’s campaign was not one of a great man being reluctantly thrust into the spotlight to do what only he could, it is of a man who would do or say anything if it helped him gain the presidency. There was not a single idea in his entire political life that one could say he actually believes in other than his own superiority as a leader. This was not a man being forced into running for president by circumstance; this is a man who wanted desperately to be president and was willing to do or say anything to make that happen.
There’s spin. There’s making oneself look good. And then there’s just plain living in a fantasy world.