To the surprise of absolutely no one who has been keeping an eye on him since the 2008 elections. He made the announcement via Twitter:
He rebooted his website, which contains the following video message:
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson pointed out on Twitter and on CNN’s “John King USA” that the R in the Romney logo looks like it was done with Aquafresh toothpaste. He may have a point. Have a look at this side-by-side comparisons of the logos from the two websites:
Romney is the second Republican to form an exploratory committee. The intent in announcing is the same reason the president announced a week ago: it allows the committee to start raising money for a presidential campaign. According to Roll Call, Romney will criss-cross the country on a fundraising blitz for the next six weeks, beginning with an event at New York’s Harbor Club today.
This Politico article is a good recap summing up Romney’s background and the challenges he will face the second time around. The key dynamic change from four years ago is the passage of Obama’s health care plan, which Obama and many Democrats have repeatedly and gleefully pointed out was based in part on the health care plan Romney signed into law as governor of Massachusetts. Romney is now stuck with the tricky political position of trying to defend his accomplishments as governor while at the same time distancing his health care plan from the Obama health care plan, which is politically radioactive in Republican circles. This could help sink his chances at winning the nomination. Obama and the Democrats know this, and that is why they complement him as much as they can.
Don’t know if Romney’s strategists and branding people did their homework before launching the website, but Ben Smith points out that Romney’s “Believe in America” slogan was previously used by Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry during his unsuccessful presidential run in 2004.
Another Kerry-Romney comparison comes from former DNC staffer Matt Ortega who recently launched the site Multiple Choice Mitt. It is essentially the Democrats using George W. Bush’s highly successful flip-flop attacks on Kerry, this time aimed squarely at Romney.