THE STUMP DECEMBER 12, 2011
Remember when Mitt Romney told us a few weeks ago that he was deeply reluctant to run for president a second time and did not decide to until the last year or two, when it became clear that the current president wasn't up to the task? (Leave aside the campaign book written in 2009, and the campaigning on behalf of candidates in New Hampshire and South Carolina in 2010, and the leadership PAC raising and doling out millions, and his adviser's declaration, on the day that he dropped out in 2008, that "he should be president. 2012.")
Well, now this same reluctant candidate is telling us that it won't bother him much at all if it doesn't work out this time either. Mike Allen sat down with Romney in Manchester and he had this to say when asked if he was worried about the prospect of being rejected by voters:
“Oh, not at all, not at all,” he said. “I’ve got a family, I’ve got a life. I’m putting myself on the line to try and make a difference for the country I care deeply about, and to help the great majority of Americans that are really hurting; and if people don’t want me to do that, that’s fine.”
Romney was asked about a Sunday story on The Huffington Post that began, “Mitt Romney is now officially in trouble.”
“Look, ‘in trouble’ would mean that something bad might happen to me. I’m not in trouble. I’m in a great spot. I could become our nominee, or someone else might become our nominee and I can go back to business and go back to my family. Either one of those is a very nice outcome. … Of course I want to win. I’m fighting hard to win, but, you know, I have a life, too. … I’m not someone who is in trouble. ‘In trouble’ is someone who doesn’t have a bright future.”
That's a pretty casual-sounding description of this effort for someone who had his gubernatorial aides buy their office hard drives way back in 2006 so that -- by his own account -- they couldn't be used against him in a presidential race.
Oh, and one more thing. Allen describes Chez Vachon, where he sat down with Romney, as a "grubby French-American diner." I'm going to risk incurring Playbook wrath here by declaring that Chez Vachon is not grubby in the slightest, unless it's taken a serious turn for the worse since I lived in New Hampshire in the late '90s. It's got some of the best crepes, poutine and salmon pie south of Quebec, and a liquor license to boot. Yes, its quarters on the West Side of Manchester are somewhat more modest than those of Tosca or the Palm, but I'll take it over them any day.