Presidential Campaign

Romney/Sandoval 2016

Can a more perfect Republican dream team be imagined going into 2016 than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval?

Romney recently advanced dramatically when his name was added to a poll in Iowa. Since then, punditry and the press have been in mad pursuit. It might even be fair to call this sudden and surprising Romney rise a political phenomenon; that is, something unexpected and unprecedented spontaneously arising as if on its own accord from nature and with a sense of authenticity that connects with and determines the direction of the times. Romney continues to deny that he is running, but as the Concord Monitor has noted, the language shifts incrementally from “not running” to “not planning on running.”

We in New Hampshire and Massachusetts know Romney well and there is little doubt in our hearts and minds that if, when the race advances, danger or instability lurks and our status and responsibilities in the world are challenged, he will without hesitation consider the call.

{mosads}And Romney awakens again in our world as new lights rise in the West. A star was born earlier this month in the debate between California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Republican challenger Neel Kashkari. We see the new rise against the old with the vital Kashkari, who as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said recently, “could be the face of a new GOP,” debating against “Governor Moonbeam.” Brown, like Bill and Hillary, an endless reenactor of his own life. His era has passed, 50 years now, and in 2014 and 2016 will see its final day as T.S. Eliot said, not with a bang, but a whimper.

New rises against the old in the Republican party as well, even as the party is on the verge of defaulting back to patterns of retreat to self-righteousness and nostalgia, nursing and nurturing the superiority of failed, dated and doomed positions. And Rand Paul aside, how many arrivistes in the newly empowered Tea Party today turn out to be only newly minted mini-McCains and Lindsey Grahams?

But what could better symbolize the West rising today in economy, wit and population better than Tesla Motors? And what could more symbolize the rise of the New West than the arrival of Tesla’s battery manufacturing gigafactory outside Reno, which could pump $100 billion into the state’s economy, according to the Los Angeles Times, brought to Nevada by the dynamic and able governor, Brian Sandoval?

Possibly the Tesla deal answers Jack Kerouac’s fateful post-World War II question: “Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” Let this be our answer and our destination. Let this shiny new car be the symbol of America rising to first days again in the West. And let the governor who brought it to Nevada be America’s messenger.

“By negotiating a colossal deal with California-based Tesla Motors for it to build a massive battery factory close to Nevada’s state capital, cowboy-booted, tailored suit-wearing Mexican-American Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has demonstrated he has the tools, brains and sense to lead the GOP out of Obama-inflicted doldrums,” Raoul Lowery Contreras wrote here at The Hill recently.

Economy and population all head west today and have been doing so since the end of World War II. We enter today an age of empowerment and energy rising in the Western states; California, Texas, now with Nevada entering into the first rank.

“Can a Mexican-American candidate save the GOP?” asks Contreras. Indeed, can there possibly be a better East/West matchup for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney in 2016 than Nevada’s Sandoval?

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

Tags 2016 presidential election Brian Sandoval Mitt Romney Tesla Motors

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