It is impossible to ignore the rumblings. Rolling in the streets, through the fields, across the mountains, down the rivers of this nation, there is a great shake. The air is different. There's an electricity, a vibrancy, pulsing through the heart of each and every American. What is this feeling? Is this a signal from the Divine? Close enough, patriot: It's Romneymentum.
We at Salon Dot Com began feeling the surge on Thursday afternoon, a sudden change of barometric pressure unrelated to the weather. And then it landed in the form of an email from NBC News, announcing the most stunning journalistic coup of this young century: "EXCLUSIVE: MITT ROMNEY ON 'MEET THE PRESS.'" How did NBC News pull this off? It's not every day that you land an #exclu with the top politician since at least Abraham Lincoln. NBC News would not respond to a query from Salon, so credit this one to a miracle.
"Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney joins David Gregory for an exclusive interview live from his E2 Summit in Park City, Utah where the biggest names in the Republican Party are gathering on the heels of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning defeat," the announcement read. "What does this all mean for the GOP and 2014? And who does Romney think can beat Hillary Clinton as she weighs a run for the White House?"
Well, we hardly had to wait for yesterday's interview to air to learn who could beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The answer, of course, is Mitt Romney. Don't believe us? Then hear it from that other most consequential kingmaker in right-wing politics today, MSNBC coffee chat host Joe Scarborough:
Romneymentum came to life on Friday when Romney delivered a fairly standard and opportunistic attack on the Obama administration's foreign policy to the group of assembled donors, thought leaders and other "ideas summit" groupies. Romney "cited the rise of jihadism, the Taliban’s resilience in Afghanistan and the current turmoil in Iraq as evidence that Obama’s foreign policy is failing," the Washington Post reports. "He accused Obama of offering to meet with the leaders of Cuba, North Korea and Iran and bypassing Israel during his first trip abroad as president." Powerful stuff -- guy didn't even go to Israel during his first term! How did Romney even come up with these upper cuts? Romney added that "the Obama-Biden-Hillary Clinton foreign policy is a monumental bust." See how he included not just the current president, vice president and ex-secretary of state there, but also two of the Democratic Party's top 2016 presidential contenders? Mitt's still got that legendary fastball.
It's strange that this is being treated as some fiery return to the political stage for Romney. He has been on "Meet the Press" and countless other political shows various times since his 2012 defeat and campaigned for midterm candidates everywhere. All the while he, himself, has been saying that there's no way he'll run for president again since he already had the nomination once and everyone made fun of him and he lost. Now he's getting together with some politicians and assorted other rich people in Utah for an "ideas summit" where he's making common complaints about how this White House loves Muslim terrorists and coddles our enemies. So what? So everything. The Washington Post described Romney's speech as a "campaign-style policy address." NBC News reported that Romney was "back in campaign mode" and "sounded a lot like a candidate." No, he sounded a lot like any old Republican, lobbing lots of mean words at the Obama administration, especially its foreign policy.
Which brought us to the main event. Sunday. Mittens. Dave Gregory. "Meet the Press." Would Gregory ask Romney about a 2016 presidency? After getting a definitive no, would Gregory press again, like a fool? THIS. IS MEET THE PRESS.
DAVID GREGORY: Will you be a candidate in 2016? If you were drafted, if the conditions were right, would you consider another run?
MITT ROMNEY: David, I'm not running for president. I said that so many times.
Well, 100% Mitt Romney will not, even if drafted, will not be a candidate in 2016?
I'm not running and talk of the draft is kind of silly.
America will just have to change Mitt's mind for him. If Mitt Romney doesn't run for president in 2016 on a platform to reinvade Iraq, this country is spent once and for all.