Washington Post, By Philip Rucker, January 27
Holladay, UT — After losing two straight presidential races, Mitt Romney packed up his home in Massachusetts and journeyed west to Utah, building a mansion here in the foothills of the Wasatch Range that has served as his sanctuary from defeat.
Here in the Salt Lake Valley, first settled by his Mormon ancestors, residents look past Romney’s electoral shortcomings and revere him as a savior for rescuing the 2002 Olympics. Romney won his highest 2012 vote margin in Utah — 73 percent to President Obama’s 25 percent. This is also where Romney has been pondering a potential third campaign, calling out to friends and past supporters and praying with his wife, Ann.
“He feels very at home here,” said John Miller, a close friend in Utah who has been talking with Romney throughout his recent deliberations. “This is a very prayerful thing. . . . In the end, it’s really a decision between he and Ann and their belief system, their God. That’s the authentic Mitt.”
If he runs again in 2016, Romney is determined to re-brand himself as authentic, warts and all, and central to that mission is making public what for so long he kept private. He rarely discussed his religious beliefs and practices in his failed 2008 and 2012 races, often confronting suspicion and bigotry with silence as his political consultants urged him to play down his Mormonism.
Now, Romney speaks openly about his service as a lay pastor in the Mormon church; recites Scripture to audiences; muses about salvation and the prophet; urges students to marry young and “have a quiver full of kids”; and even cracks jokes about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.
“I don’t think he sits there and says, ‘God wants me to part the Red Sea and, darn it, it hasn’t happened twice, but it’ll happen the third time,’ ” the former campaign official said. “Although Mitt would make a good Moses. Think about it.”
Mitt Romney expected to declare presidential run – or not – on Friday
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee says he will give supporters an ‘update’ on his potential 2016 plans in a conference call on Friday.
The Guardian, Tom McCarthy, January 30
New York – Will he [or won’t he] do it all over again?
All eyes in the world of American politics were on the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Friday, after he told supporters he would give them an “update” on his potential plans for 2016 in a conference call. [How Wall Street of Mr. Romney…]
The announcement about the announcement followed weeks of intensive work by the former candidate and his former advisers to gauge how many of the biggest Republican donors and party operatives would support him if he ran again.
Romney’s camp was said to be encouraged by polling showing him ahead of potential opponents in the early primary and caucus states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.