Susan Eisenhower: What Drives Mitt Romney?

Roundup: Media's Take

Susan Eisenhower is President of the Eisenhower Group, Inc, which provides strategic counsel on political, business and public affairs projects.

...In answering a question about the former president of your own political party, most of us might have expected that any criticism from Romney would, at the very least, have come with a qualifier. He could have easily said: “Although the Bush deficits were far too high, the president was dealing with a national emergency—September 11.” This would have been smart since Romney also challenged Bush’s record on China, another sensitive matter.

Romney owes the GOP nomination – in large measure – to the Bush family. As pillars of the current Republican establishment, they still wield enormous power. The Bush family could have demurred and refused to endorse anyone, making it probable that a more extreme candidate would have gotten the nomination and lost the general election. This would have left the window wide open for a Jeb Bush nomination in 2016. After all, if Romney wins this November, Jeb will be sidelined in 2016.

Instead, during the grueling GOP primary fight one Bush after another came forward to support Romney, against the tide of opinion within the party rank and file. In March, former Governor Jeb Bush went first. He was followed a few days later by former President George H.W. Bush.  Both of these endorsements came after former First Lady Barbara Bush had already recorded robocalls for the Romney campaign. A few months later in May, President George W. Bush informally mentioned that he is backing Romney. This was noteworthy because the former president had decided to stand back from a formal endorsement, as immediate former presidents often do....

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