Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is scheduled to accept the Republican nomination for president Thursday night as the Tampa convention wraps up.
Some say Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run began the day he quit the presidential race in 2008.
“In this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside, for our party and for our country,” Romney said in his speech on February 7, 2008.
That year, the former Massachusetts governor had staked his hopes on the early-primary states, but never recovered from losses in Iowa to Mike Huckabee and in New Hampshire to John McCain, whom Romney would later endorse.
Fast forward three years, and Romney, well-funded and well-organized, had assumed the mantle of frontrunner. Still, with his conservative credentials under attack, core Republicans seemed hungry for an alternative.
One challenger after another burned bright, then flamed out: from Michele Bachmann to Rick Perry to Herman Cain. Once the contests began, it was Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. But Romney kept piling up delegates until his lead was insurmountable.
“After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days, and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence and gratitude that you have given me a great honor,” Mitt Romney said on April 24.
There were bumps along the way, with Romney sometimes inadvertently reinforcing the image of an out-of-touch millionaire.
Romney was criticized for saying once, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."
But now, alongside new running mate Paul Ryan, and with the party coalesced behind him, Romney takes the stage on Thursday night hoping for a home run, a speech that will energize the base and win over independents, particularly in the swing states he needs to win to have a chance November 6.