Mitt Romney Will Never, Ever Be the Mayor of Boston

You know it. Joanna Weiss knows it. The American people know it.

Post-election Mitt Romney, via Reddit

Joanna Weiss’s Tuesday Globe column, “Mitt Romney for Mayor of Boston” suggests Mitt Romney might find his political comeback by running for mayor of Boston in the event that Menino’s health issues keep him from seeking reelection. This will never, ever happen and Joanna Weiss knows it. In fact, she even does a pretty good job convincing us of it, despite nominally arguing in favor of the idea. Here’s why (in her words):

1. Oh, ha, minor hiccup but, um, he doesn’t live in Boston. “Granted, this is largely a thought experiment, not least because Romney is a Belmont man,” Weiss writes. “[E]ven if he snapped up a pied-a-terre in the Back Bay, he probably couldn’t squeak into the next election under the residency rules.” At least she’s honest.  

2. He would almost certainly never run for mayor. “Romney would probably scoff at the idea. If the Massachusetts governorship seemed puny to him, could he settle for running a city smaller than Charlotte?” You make a great point, Weiss.

3. He would almost certainly never win the mayoral race. “I mean no disrespect to the other potential candidates. They’d all have a shot against a damaged brand: a man who lost Massachusetts in November, and who lost Boston when he ran for governor.” That’s right. Some city councilors would have a great shot at defeating a major party’s presidential nominee. Which is probably another good point of evidence for #2, because boy would that be embarrassing for Mitt.

Also just to underscore the point she made there about Romney losing Boston … this city which is supposedly going to elect him Mayor voted for the other guy in the presidential race by a margin of 4:1.

In Weiss’s fantasy land thought experiment, the Boston mayorship is a great place for Romney to act a bit like Mayor Bloomberg in New York, focusing on policy not politics. That’s fine, and the column’s real value is to reflect on the kinds of tasks at which Romney succeeds – ideologically unbiased policy experiments – and to suggest that he find a way to exercise that skill. You and I (and she) all know that the mayorship will not be the place where he does so. We suspect this column was written more for the buzzy headline than anything else. So if you see people passing it around – and already we’re seeing Politico reporters tweeting it out – note that they probably didn’t read through to find that the author herself doesn’t even think it a valid idea.