jim_madigan_blogWell, despite all the speculation of recent weeks (fed largely by comments from the potential candidate himself) it is now official.

Mitt Romney will not be running for a President again in 2016. The former Massachusetts Governor made the announcement today in a conference call to key past and potential supporters. He basically said he’d had his chance and it was time to let other Republicans take their turn trying for presidential nomination next year.

Frankly, I’m not sure yet whether I am surprised or not by Romney’s decision. Awhile back, not too long after his 2012 defeat, when an interviewer asked if he might run again — Romney said “No” a total of 13 times I believe. That seemed pretty definite to me — but there was a core group of friends and supporters who wanted Mitt to try again for the White House. Now, to be completely candid–one reason many friends and supporters of a politician tell them to run is the simple fact that it’s good to be a friend or key backer of the President. For one thing, you get invited to the White House once in a while. But let’s be fair, there’s a lot more to it –and to Mitt Romney — than that.

Mitt Romney has a solid reputation for honesty and is a very sincere Mormon family man. You may not agree with his classic conservative Republican “trickle down” theory of economics. You may see him as the rich, privileged businessman son a Michigan governor and someone who’s doesn’t understand the everyday troubles of the average family– but you really can’t assail his personal reputation. Don’t forget, he did clean up the financial mess surrounding the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and ran those games very successfully right before he came home to run for Governor.

Still, we have to admit that he didn’t run a great campaign against Barack Obama in 2012. He would have faced a very steep uphill battle for the 2016 Republican nomination and in the general election (if he made it that far) — but the Republican Party and the country could do a lot worse than Mitt Romney. Our guest tonight on this weeks “Connecting Point” edition of “The State We’re In” — Republican State Senator Don Humason — said he was sorry to see his former colleague on Beacon Hill opt against another White House run. Humason said he would have supported another Romney presidential bid– as he supported him in 2008 and 2012 — but he understands and accepts the decision and now it’s times to take a look at the many other potential Republican nominees. That’s what we’ll all be doing –as well as waiting for word, sometime soon I think on, on the 2016 plans of Hillary Clinton.