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Monday, February 22, 2010

Ready for Mitt , Romney Re-Emerges

Via Newsmax:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is stepping back into the public spotlight after spending two years behind the scenes laying the groundwork for a second presidential campaign.

Romney has shifted from social issues that brought accusations of flip-flopping and undermined his 2008 White House bid. With unemployment hovering around 10 percent, his new focus is on economic themes and fix-it skills he claims as a former businessman. That plays to what some observers believe would be his strength in a second race.

Now, with one presidential campaign behind him, and no obvious successor to the party's 2008 nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Romney has a better chance of controlling his agenda, aides say. That agenda got a test drive in January, when a team of Romney advisers helped Republican Scott Brown win Democrat Edward M. Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat by focusing on public doubts about government spending and the handling of terrorists.

One Republican thinks it's a smart strategy.

"At the end of the day, I don't think Mitt was as identified with issues related to job creation and economic growth as he should have been," said former Sen. John Sununu from politically pivotal New Hampshire. "That's a very valuable and important perspective to have in Washington, because it's in such short supply."

Former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, another important electoral state, said a second Romney campaign would benefit from the experience gained in the first, as well as a sense within GOP circles that Romney has paid his dues, showed grace in losing by earnestly supporting McCain and has a fitting resume for the times.

"There is a tremendous hunger to answer the question, 'Who is our leader?'" said Martinez, whose endorsement of McCain undercut Romney's chances in Florida in 2008. "People are impatient because there's this sense you have to wait for the next cycle to begin before they emerge. I think people think of him now as that 'next person.'"

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