You've probably already heard the big news, but if not, let me be the one to break it to you gently: former Massachusetts governor and twice-defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won't run again in 2016. And, just as you might expect, people are talking about it — Twitter reacted to Mitt Romney's announcing he won't run in much the fashion you'd expect, giving him a less-than-serious sendoff.
Romney's decision brought a quick end to a few weeks of anticipation and speculation; he announced he "wanted to be president" back in early January. It also effectively brings his presidential ambitions to an end writ large, for all intents and purposes. Whether a Democrat or Republican wins in 2016, our old pal Mitt will be 73 by the time 2020 rolls around, and 77 by 2024 — but more importantly, in all honesty, he probably didn't have a better political moment left in front of him than he did right here, right now.
As for why he decided to pass it up, you can sort of pick your own excuse. Maybe he didn't think he could win, maybe the toil was just too much, maybe he sincerely doesn't want to monopolize the GOP brand. But this much is now clear — Mitt Romney won't be elected president, in this cycle, or almost certainly any other.
The decision to halt this would-be presidential run before it really got started is a vindication for the people who never believed it all along, but I have to admit I wasn't one of those. Like so many, I was lulled by the siren song of Mitt's well-demonstrated thirst for presidential power — while all politicians try to some extent to remake their image on the biggest stage, few to my memory have tried to so completely mold themselves to whatever politics immediately suited them as Romney did in 2012.
In the end, I bought into the idea that he just couldn't stay away, and I was clearly wrong, along with a lot of people.
So, what's next? According to reports, Romney is expected to get dinner with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Friday night, stirring rumors that he may throw his support behind Christie's widely assumed 2016 presidential run. This would make a lot of sense, frankly — both Christie and Romney have similar political profiles, both being moderate (in relative terms) GOP figures who'd have to handle withering attacks by their own party's right flank to secure a presidential nomination. And who knows? Maybe Mitt could slide into the White House on the bottom half of a presidential ticket? It's hard to figure why he'd want that job, but who knows?