Ross Douthat explains why Mitt Romney should not run in 2016:
Yes, it’s true, some events since 2012 have made him look better vis-a-vis Obama than he did during their contest. But he won’t be running against Obama: In a campaign against Hillary Clinton, with her distinctive strengths and coalition-unifying profile, he’d be pretty much the perfect foil, the living, breathing proof that the G.O.P. is so much the party of old rich out-of-touch white guys that they keep … nominating … the same … one.
There is that. But Republicans tend to favor candidates with a national profile who have been around the track - think Nixon, Ford (OK, no track experience), Reagan, Bush 41, Dole, McCain, or Romney. The "unknowns" have been the impressively-credentialed Eisenhower, the impressively-named Bush 43, and the true Bolt from the Blue and impressively-defeated Goldwater.
Republicans want to nominate one of their icons, Eisenhower or Reagan, and how has that been working lately? And by comparison, who are Walker, Christie or Rubio? They might be great campaigners and great Americans, but they don't fit the conventional profile of a Republican nominee. They are actually closer to the Democratic profile, since the Dems routinely seek the next young, charismatic (but unknown!) Kennedy. Think Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart (before he blew up), Dukakis (young and novel for his lack of charisma), Clinton, and of course Obama. Try to forget Humphrey, Mondale, the Gore of '88 who finally ran in 2000, and of course John (Forever Young and Back In 'Nam!) Kerry.
Hmm - by this logic, Scott Walker should be the Dem nominee and Hillarity! should run for the Reps. Strange times.
And since you ask, the most Reaganesque figures on the Republican landscape are Mitt Romney and long-time big-state Governor Rick Perry. I report, you deride.