The Republican presidential standard-bearer last year not only has to deal with personal political failure after twice shooting for the White House. He’s also the symbol of the GOP’s major problem these days: the failure to connect with an electorate that is becoming younger and more diverse than its membership – certainly more moderate than the party’s leadership.
Mr. Romney may have had a good personal story to tell – an attractive family, a life of quiet good works tied to his Mormon faith – but it came too late in the presidential campaign. Plus, there was no way he could dispel his image as a really, really rich white guy who had trouble relating to working families and less-fortunate Americans – the “47 percent” he derided when talking to campaign donors.
For the record, at least, few Republicans or conservative leaders speak unkindly of Romney these days.
“Certainly he gave a lot for the cause," Tim Phillips, president of the national conservative group Americans for Prosperity, told The Associated Press. "But most of the movement is wanting to look forward. They want to look forward to the next generation of leaders."