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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

As Democrats avoid Obama, Romney is in demand on the midterm campaign trail

From The Washington Post:

President Obama thumped Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, but now their political standings seem reversed. During a summer in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney is emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most in-demand campaign surrogates.

“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.”

For a party without a consensus leader — nor a popular elder statesman like Democratic former president Bill Clinton — Romney is stepping forward in both red and blue states to fill that role for the GOP.

“There’s a pretty big void in the party right now for national leaders, and Romney’s in a unique position, having been around the track, to help fill that void,” said Scott Reed, a veteran GOP strategist who oversees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political operation.

Romney continues to deny interest in a third presidential run in 2016, but his moves have his supporters yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time.

Obama won the popular vote 51 percent to 47 percent in 2012, but a CNN/ORC International poll this past week showed Romney winning 53 percent to 44 percent if a rematch were held today. The same poll showed Romney losing to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton 55 percent to 42 percent in a hypothetical 2016 matchup.

Republican 2016 contenders such as Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) also are building political capital while stumping for GOP candidates this summer and fall.

But in the minds of many Republican operatives and financiers, Romney stands apart from the others because he appears above the fray and without any overt personal ambition. He is also one of the few national Republicans who can raise significant amounts of money and capture the attention of voters in most GOP blocs.

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