Tagg Romney considering Senate run for some reason

UPDATED: Mitt Romney's eldest son may carry on the family legacy of losing elections

By Alex Pareene

Published February 4, 2013 8:42PM (EST)

     (AP/Pat Wellenbach)
(AP/Pat Wellenbach)

Remember Mitt Romney? He was this rich guy who ran for president because his dad wanted to be president, a long time ago. He didn't win. Running for president to fulfill your dad's legacy and then losing is, you would think, the sort of thing that would sour your family on electoral politics, but it might've just inspired an endless cycle of running-for-things-to-honor-your-dad. That is really the only explanation I can come up with for this news:

Is the next generation of Romney politicians beginning? Despite press reports that Tagg Romney will not be running for Senate, a source close to Tagg Romney tells National Review Online that Tagg, the oldest son of Mitt and Ann Romney, and a prominent surrogate for his dad during the election, is seriously considering making a Senate run in Massachusetts — and expects to decide one way or another soon.

OK, Tagg, sure.

Taggart Romney currently helps run a private equity firm -- yes, "private equity," that thing that made Mitt Romney both rich and unelectable -- called Solamere Capital. He started the firm right after the 2008 election, when smart people knew that Tagg's dad, Mitt, was almost definitely going to be the next Republican nominee for president. And like his father, who likes to imagine himself a self-made man, Tagg simply does not understand why people insist that it's weird that someone with no private equity experience at all managed to start a firm that got a lot of rich investors right away.

Solamere’s founders dispute any notion that they have cashed in on their political connections, arguing that Solamere, like any fund, has had to persuade investors on its merits.

“No one we went to as an investor said, ‘Oh, your dad is Mitt Romney, I’m going to give you $10 million,” Tagg Romney said, noting that his father’s political future was uncertain when the firm began. He added, “Our relationships with people got us in the door, but that did not get us investors.”

Even so, Mitt Romney was the featured speaker at Solamere’s first investor conference in Deer Valley in January 2010. Mr. Romney, who made his fortune in private equity at Bain Capital, also gave early strategic advice.

The Romneys are all so good at self-deception. That is like the thing they are second-best at, after "getting rich people to give them money because they are named Romney."

Anyway, as the Weekly Standard points out, Tagg Romney has no political history to speak of, and has never expressed any sort of political opinion at all beyond wanting his dad to be president. Running for office would simply be a vanity project, because the Romneys are all convinced that their holding elected office constitutes noble public service. Their only political conviction is that a person named Romney is so uniquely talented and virtuous that putting him in charge of stuff would be good for everyone. That's why it's fun to watch them lose elections. Tagg Romney is perfect for the job of "person who will lose the Massachusetts Senate election, to a Democrat."

UPDATE: Tagg's not running. I very much recommend this NRO post reporting that fact, because it's very fawning. "Romney, a sharp and amiable surrogate for his father, had conservatives excited." Oh well, there's always 2014.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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