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Biden’s Kennedy Curse

The real, existing threat from Kennedy is right there, out in the open, staring at Democrats in the face.
The real, existing threat from Kennedy is right there, out in the open, staring at Democrats in the face. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Peter Hamby
November 13, 2023

Mitt Romney, through his Senate office, said Monday that he “is not considering running for president on any ticket” in 2024. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has closely followed Romney’s career. He has already run for president twice, losing both of those campaigns. He recently retired from the Senate, acknowledging his old age (76) and calling for a “new generation” of leaders to step forward. Also, politics these days is an increasingly degrading and undignified avocation, especially for the sort of Republican, like Romney, who views the job as a genuine public service.

But Romney’s statement was a blow to a small group of centrist plotters—mainly donors and a few out-of-touch pundits—who harbor fantasies of a moderate presidential ticket in 2024 that can restore sanity to our polarized political system, and get us back to a time of pre-Trump comity in Washington. Romney would have been one part of that hypothetical centrist dream team, along with retiring West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, or former Maryland governor Larry Hogan, or former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. (If it wasn’t obvious here, diversity is an afterthought in these ranks.)