That’s what we found out today, as Romney announced to his supporters and the world that he would not seek a third run for the White House in 2016.
As speculation swirled over a potential third Romney candidacy these last several weeks, it was hard not to fall into the trap of pondering what might have been and nearly was a Romney presidency.
For those of us who poured our hearts and souls into the 2012 race, the weeks which followed that election were full of exhaustion and horror over the outcome. Months later, many close friends from the campaign trail admitted that they were still “not over it”, and I counted myself among them.
Decisive Republican victories last November helped cover some of the scars of 2012 defeats, only for those wounds to be re-opened over the past few weeks as the Romney faithful had our loyalties challenged by the teasing glimpse of another run.
Such is the nature of pre-campaign months. Talking heads and surrogates stir up stories which encourage a candidate to dip his toe into the campaign water, only to deflate his chances once he seriously considers the possibility of a run.
Take note that the same media outlets which practically begged Mitt to join the 2016 race quickly shifted to reports of defections and disaster as soon as he entertained the notion. In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”
Today’s news put an end to any speculation over another Romney run and decisively closed the door on a Romney presidency that shall never come to pass.
Although this writer wishes it had been or could be different if only we had it to do all over again, I cannot pretend to be sorry that the roller coaster ride was, this time, brief and merciful.
Now is the time to stop dreaming of what nearly was and begin dreaming of what might be, as other Republican Romeos begin their courtship rituals and move from state to state sweeping activists and voters off their political feet.