Mitt Romney takes center stage as kingmaker this week with his summit hosting current occupants of the 2016 GOP Clown Car. But beware, Republican hopefuls, because it's possible Mitt is really looking over prospects for a running mate.
In the course of the three-day Romney summit being held at a mountain resort in Utah, there will swimming, horseback riding, tennis and talk about global economics, and the GOP presidential prospects who attend will join the others in high praise for the host, Mitt Romney.
It just so happens that if political events were to take certain turns, and the 2012 GOP nominee for president makes a surprise bid for the 2016 nomination, or more likely if a divided and gridlocked GOP turns to Romney as a compromise candidate and statesman, the participants in the Romney summit could raise a billion dollars overnight to support another Romney presidential candidacy, and the political organizers attending the event could organize a full-blown presidential campaign within days, if not hours
Readers of my columns know that within hours of Romney removing himself as a contender for the 2016 nomination, I warned that his withdrawal could well be part of a brilliantly clever plan for him to stay above the fray, let Republican candidates beat each other up and be raked over the coals by the media during the primary season, and then emerge as a consensus compromise nominee of the party.
If Romney had been pursuing such a Machiavellian maneuver, can anyone deny that events since that day have worked with picture-perfect clarity to make the Romney for president scenario look increasingly plausible?
First, for any Romney for president plot to succeed, the Republicans would have to face a list of candidates so long and unwieldy that the GOP debates shape up as a farce that would diminish all candidates by comparison to Romney, and the mathematics would have to be such that a group of bunched candidates receiving 10 to 20 percent of the vote leads to pre-convention gridlock. Check that box, right?
Second, any Romney plot for the nomination requires the overwhelming GOP front-runner at the time Romney withdrew, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), to fall flat and lose the inevitability that he appeared to have at the time. Check that box, yes?
Remember, I predicted it last month. Do not underestimate Mitt Romney's hunger for the power of the presidency. Or Ann's.