When he ran for president in 2008, Barack Obama famously said, “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.”
If Reagan was Obama’s model, Team Romney seems to have a slightly less ambitious legacy in mind: James K. Polk.
That’s according to the HuffPost’s Jon Ward — who interviewed Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades. “Polk is an allegory for Rhodes,” writes Ward in a piece available today on iPads. “He did great things, and then exited the scene, and few remember him. That, Rhoades suggested, could be Romney’s legacy as well.”
I always thought John McCain, because of his advanced age, should promise to serve just one term. It would have been a gimmick, to be sure, but it might have worked. He could have said: “My plan is to turn around Iraq, save the economy — and then retire. My life has been about service. Sen. Obama is a young man. If you like him, you can still vote for him … in four years — when he will be a more seasoned senator.”
Maybe it would have worked and maybe it wouldn’t have.
But Romney isn’t McCain, and aside from the fact that Polk is an unusual model to aspire to, it strikes me odd that Team Romney would even flirt with the idea that that Romney might be a one-term-er.
Keep in mind that President Obama is still haunted by the his line about a “one term proposition.”