Dear Partners in thought,
The Washington post essay of last night, which was a clear Happy New Year salvo from Mitt Romney against Trump, was predictable and marks the start of the pre-campaign for the Republican nomination. While he has not yet declared himself, Romney, a patriot, did not come back to the frontline of politics just to represent Utah in the US Senate – something I wrote to you in earlier Book Notes and Interludes. He is a Republican of the old fashioned (and quasi-extinct) way post-Trump absorption and had to voice his serious concerns against Trump and his administration notably in relation to the damage done to America around the world.
His words were unambiguous: “The appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the President’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down”, adding that “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world” and that his “conduct over the past two years is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office”. It is to be noted that last November he had already started in an oblique way his attack in stressing that the media was “essential to the Republic, to our freedom, to the cause of freedom abroad, and to our national security”adding that he would now “speak out against statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest and destructive to democratic institutions”.
Romney who managed a serious presidential campaign in 2012 is standing for the old Republican Party of the Nelson Rockefeller moderate wing. While his position is as an independent before he takes office in the Senate in two days, he would likely gather support in the future pre-Republican primaries throughout 2019 at a time when the economy will provide little shelter for Trump who will keep amassing problems largely of his own making. There is little doubt in my mind that after this clear salvo Romney will seek the Republican nomination. If and when he wins the nomination, his moderate yet conservative approach will position him well to win the presidency nationwide, also as the Democrats may go too far left and nominate someone like Elizabeth Warren who is currently making soundings about a primary run.
America and the world could not have wanted a better start of 2019. Very Happy New Year, Mr. Romney!
Serge Desprat- Jan 2, 2018 (Prague)