Update, 5:23 p.m.: While disappointing Republicans eager for him to jump in at the last-minute to fill John Kerry's vacant Senate seat, Tagg Romney left open the door for a future political run — just not right now. "The timing is not right for me," the eldest Romney son said in a statement to CNN late Monday afternoon, adding that he was devoted to his day job and "family time" after a day of widespread speculation that Massachusetts Republicans were pressuring him to step in after former Sen. Scott Brown dropped out last week. Tagg has been notoriously coy about his political future, as you can see in our original post below — but commentators were not at all shy about responding to the news with really obvious jokes.
Original post: Now that the potential field of candidates in the Massachusetts special election is starting to narrow, the punchy Tagg Romney is emerging as a potential big-name replacement for a Republican party desperate to avoid losing a chance to snag John Kerry's vacant Senate seat.
The Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot reports today that Mitt Romney's eldest son — the one who was always "probably not" into politics himself — is "considering a run" for Kerry's seat after former Sen. Scott Brown's decision to bow out of the race last week sent Massachusetts Republicans scrambling for a replacement to compete with the coalescing Democratic field. The Herald, a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid that long advocated for Brown and has been known to have questionable sources, is definitely putting its 43-year-old man in the ring:
There is no doubt that Tagg Romney, if he decides to run, could be a shining knight to crestfallen Republicans who had set their hopes on Brown. State GOP officials are scrambling to find a viable candidate, despite a lackluster Democratic primary field that includes U.S. Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch, and might be further strained by the entrance of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone.
Whether Tagg is actually up for it is another question altogether. In a lengthy New York Times profile during his father's campaign centering on Tagg's political future, he had a classic Romney-esque non-denial denial:
“I don’t want to say I’d absolutely never run,” Mr. Romney said in an interview during a campaign trip last week in Ohio, “but I’d be really surprised if I did. It’s a really horrible process, and honestly I just don’t want to go through it, and I don’t want to put my family through it.”
Over the weekend, the Herald also mentioned Ann Romney as a potential candidate exciting conservatives in Massachusetts. And the all-potential-famous-people-on-deck strategy may have to do with just how thin the field of potential GOP candidates has looked since Brown pulled out. The most prominent potential candidate after Brown was former Gov. Bill Weld, but he announced he wouldn't run on Monday morning, too. Richard Tesei, another prominent state Republican, dropped out over the weekend.
Tagg was easily the most visible Romney child on the campaign trail, what with his wanting to punch the President during the debate and his post-mortem comments on Mitt's desire to be elected. The Massachusetts special election is scheduled for June 25, with Democrats Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch expected to battle it out on the other side.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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