It doesn’t cause me any joy at all to point this out. I wish the President could’ve pulled it off. He hasn’t. And the very things about which the media mocked Gov. Romney are actually coming to fruition. From BuzzFeed:
Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.
From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.
“I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,” said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romney’s finance director and is a close friend to his family. “I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.”
Of course, there is a long tradition in American politics of dwelling on counterfactuals and and re-litigating past campaigns after your candidate loses. Democrats have argued through the years that America would have avoided two costly Middle East wars, solved climate change, and steered clear of the housing crisis if only the Supreme Court hadn’t robbed Al Gore of his rightful victory in 2000. But a series of White House controversies and international crises this year — including a Syrian civil war that is threatening to pull the American military into the mix — has caused Romney’s fans to erupt into a chorus of told-you-so’s at record pace.
In the most actively cited example of the Republican nominee’s foresight, Romneyites point to the candidate’s hardline rhetoric last year against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration. During the campaign, Romney frequently criticized Obama for foolishly attempting to make common cause with the Kremlin, and repeatedly referred to Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe.”
Many observers found this fixation strange, and Democrats tried to turn it into a punchline. A New York Timeseditorial in March of last year said Romney’s assertions regarding Russia represented either “a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics.” And in an October debate, Obama sarcastically mocked his opponent’s Russia rhetoric. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” the president quipped at the time.
That line still chafes Robert O’Brien, a Los Angeles lawyer and friend of Romney’s who served as a foreign policy adviser.
“Everyone thought, Oh my goodness that is so clever and Mitt’s caught in the Cold War and doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” O’Brien said. “Well guess what. With all of these foreign policy initiatives — Syria, Iran, [Edward] Snowden — who’s out there causing problems for America? It’s Putin and the Russians.”
Read it all here, if you’ve got the stomach.