Saint Mitt: Netflix’s 'Mitt' and 2016

ObamaCare is broken and needs to be fixed. There may be only one man out there with the skill and expertise to fix it: the one who established a “RomneyCare” prototype, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

It is what he does. He fixes things. He made a career of fixing things at Bain Capital. He fixed the Olympics at Salt Lake City when they were broken. Possibly he could now fix ObamaCare. And that is possibly why people are starting to look at him again. America is not so much broken as it is mismanaged. And Romney knows how to manage things.

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The National Journal reported yesterday that Romney leads the Republican field among New Hampshire primary voters for 2016. “Why not make it a third run for president,” they ask? “That's something that the former Republican nominee is definitely not thinking about right now. To put it in his own recent words: ‘Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no.’ "

But apparently someone is. The Virginia-based bipartisan policy firm Purple Strategies added his name to a recent survey for Granite State voters, and it shows Romney in the lead with 25 percent support, they say. Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are behind with 18 percent and 17 percent support, respectively.

New Hampshire has always liked Romney. If I can speak for my state, conservatives here are somewhat different than in other states, like Texas, also noted for being conservative. That he is Mormon or Buddhist or Zoroastrian, for that matter, would hardly be noticed or mentioned in northern New Hampshire. What might be said about New Hampshire conservatism is that what works here first might work elsewhere later. New Hampshire attitudes get amplified in Texas. Vermont attitudes get amplified in California.

But it might take longer. It takes awhile to get to know Romney. 

“If people really get to know who you are it could be a successful campaign,” said son Craig Romney in Netflix’s recently released documentary “Mitt.”

Possibly full acquaintance might necessarily demand three runs instead of the usual two.

“Could Romney run again in 2016?” Bloomberg asked recently. “Romney in 2016?” headlines the blog Daily Pundit. A wistful what-might-have-been “state of the union” piece had Romney won ran yesterday in on the Daily Caller website.

So why are they turning to Romney now? There is this from Tammy Bruce in today’s Washington Times: “After this week’s GOP State of the Union response, it has become undeniable that someone (everyone?) in the Republican machine has no idea what they’re doing, and that is the generous assessment.” Or that is possibly because Christie’s star is fading. National Journal ran astory called “Why I was wrong about Chris Christie” just below the Romney piece.

“Mitt” may be having an effect. Romney appears vulnerable, almost a sacrificial Billy Budd done in by brutes and bullies, by us, the fickle and insensitive horde, terminally hooked on sensation and novelty and rock stars and action junkies and political pimps and hustlers.

His son Tagg tells him at the beginning he should run because it is his “... duty to country and God to see what comes of it.” While “... the country may think of you as a laughing stock ... we’ll know the truth.” Possibly the film is so effective because we learn the truth.

Strangely, Romney appears almost saintly, a social saint whose light was noticed only when it had passed.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at quigley1985@gmail.com.