Did any of that teach him to dig in his heels and fight for what he wanted? No, I think not.
Did any of that mean that, should he fail, he might plummet down and hit rock bottom, and not have a rich dad to call for a bailout? No, I think not.
Did he ever know what it really meant to risk? Again, no, I think not.
So did he really succeed? Or did he simply put his feet into the large impressions left by his father's phantom size 13s? Again, I have to say that I think the answer is no.
Part the second: why did the previously-apolitical Romney get into politics in the first place? It seems we can blame his wife and his father. Ann Romney urged him to run in his first race, against the late Senator Ted Kennedy, in 1994. And we are also told that Mitt wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps place his feet into the aforementioned large footprints that man's shade endlessly left for him to fill.
Mitt Romney lost, of course: 58 to 41, which, while it was
Teddy's worst election return ever, was hardly a squeaker. And by the time it
was over, an apparently demoralized Mitt Romney told his brother "I never want
to run for something again unless I can win."
(It's that risk thing, you see. He doesn't seem to like it, which is unusual since a lot of business involves risk. But, again, if it falls though, and a bailout's just a call away, then is it really risk?)
Subsequent runs would prove more fruitful, as his experience in Massachusetts proves. And while he took a bit of a drubbing in the 2008 election, eventually losing out to McCain in February of that year, he left as what could be called a Serious Contender, and went back to doing what he did best.
Namely, making money, and laying the groundwork for the next run at the presidential nomination.
Part the third, let's talk about what happens when you try to secure the party's nomination. At some point, after the initial press conferences are over, and you're sitting around with your advisers and your advisers' advisers and media consultants and caterers, you have to take stock of the tremendous undertaking you've just embarked upon.
And then you have to ask what you're going to do when you lose.
Pessimistic? Not really. The math is simple: if you run for the candidacy, and there's more than a few people doing it, then there's a good chance you won't make it. The Republicans started out with 12 worthies, this time around, some of whom left early and some of whom jumped onto someone else's train.
So why would Mitt Romney, who doesn't want to run for
anything unless he can win, try out for something like this?
Because even if you lose you still win, provided you stay in long enough.
You get your name out to the public, provided it wasn't out there already. You make allies and contacts, and turn them into networks. You make the right friends, and find out who your real friends are. You also learn, by extension, who your enemies are, and -- hopefully -- how to turn them into allies.
Yes, you hemorrhage cash like it was water flowing through a sieve. But in the process you get backers, and learn who's willing to throw parties in your name, or just hand over the big bucks. And it's not like you won't make more money ever again, now, is it?