I wouldn’t rule out a 2016 candidacy by Mitt Romney. I think it’s a very live possibility. He’s in an excellent position right now – the reluctant candidate profile works great. I’m not saying he’s playing games – he probably is reluctant to run – but he might do it.
A further piece of evidence for a run that most would probably count as evidence against a run is an appearance this week by former Romney spokesman Ryan Williams on Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg show.
Williams seems to suggest that Romney’s not running. But one of the things you learn as a reporter is to listen very closely to your subject’s words, especially if your subject is an experienced public relations operative. Such people tend to choose their words very carefully.
At no point during the interview does Williams say Romney definitely won’t run. This is what he does say:
Gov. Romney has been very clear that he is not planning on making a third run for president. He’s done it twice before. He’s put his family through this process.
A close look at the statement reveals that is it essentially meaningless and even includes diversionary information.
Romney is not planning on running. What that means merely is that he’s not sitting in the drawing room of one of his houses working up a strategy over cigars and cognacs.
He’s done it twice before. He’s put his family through this process. Okay, and so? This doesn’t preclude that he’ll put his family through the process again.
“Gov. Romney would be a very strong candidate,” Williams also says.
Uh, wait a second. That’s not consistent.
And Williams spends plenty of time talking about how Romney was right about this and that during the campaign.
It’s a non-denial dressed up as a denial. And if people keep demanding a curtain call, the star of last year’s run may well oblige them.