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Mitt Romney to speak at CPAC. Why?

Mitt Romney says he'll speak next month at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) to say thank you. But maybe he'll also outline his plans for staying involved in politics.

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Romney could also announce some sort of foundation/fundraising group that will keep a national office in D.C. and give him a platform from which to plot a comeback. Not for himself, necessarily. (Can somebody fan Mr. Rove? He looks faint.) But the Romney name could use a little political refurbishment if his son Tagg wants to run for office. Remember, Tagg Romney was briefly mentioned as a possible GOP entry in the upcoming Senate special election in Massachusetts. Tagg didn’t shut the door on a political career when he said “no,” and at least one other Romney son, Josh, has expressed an interest in entering politics in Utah.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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Finally, Romney could just be tired of being a punching bag. CPAC has always been a good forum for him – he won its presidential straw poll numerous times – but at the moment his name gives lots of Republicans the vapors. He lost a race they thought he should win. Lots of party members blame him personally, for essentially allowing the Obama campaign to paint him as a rich plutocrat who wanted all the nation’s illegal immigrants to self-deport.

Have you noticed that potential 2016 GOP candidates have already begun emphasizing their working-class cred? It’s no accident that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida talks a lot about the working-class neighborhood where he grew up.

So Mitt might just get up and say he was sorry, the “47 percent” tape was a disaster, but he didn’t create the party’s problems with Hispanics, and the economy recovered just enough so that US voters decided they’d stick with the president they had and see what happened. Deal with it, folks. You can’t run a Ronald Reagan hologram in 2016.

At the Hot Air! blog, conservative commentator Allahpundit says the speech will be awkward, but adds that he believes nobody disagrees that the GOP has problems that are bigger than Romney.

“That’s not to excuse his screw-ups during the campaign, just to say that I think that awareness will inform the audience’s reception of him at CPAC,” he writes.

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