In recent weeks, Sony has made the news for canceling the scheduled Christmas release of their Seth Rogen comedy, ìThe Interviewî, a movie about two inept amatuer spies enlisted to assassinate the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un. In the wake of a devastating computer hack against their systems, carried out by a group known as the Guardians of Peace who followed with terrorist threats against any theaters found to be showing the movie, Sony made the decision to halt distribution, effectively submitting to the terrorists’ demands turning themselves into a target instead of widespread criticism from within the US. Many Americans accused them of cowing, President Obama himself expressed his opinion that they ìmade a mistakeî, and now, potential 2016 presidential candidate Mitt Romney has weighed in on the controversy.
Echoing the views expressed around the nation, Romney has urged Sony to ìfightî, calling on the company to release the movie for free online and ask for voluntary $5 donations to fight ebola. Given the reaction to Sony’s initial decision (which, it should be noted, has since been reversed), it is a politically safe move from a politician who likes to court good will. By choosing to offer his two cents, Romney leaves the door open to further speculation that he is preparing himself for a 2016 run. His intentions in that regard are unclear; sources within his own team have reported that he is still considering his options, and has not yet reached a decision on whether to run. Romney’s friends at fundraisers have stated that, even if he does eventually choose to become a candidate again, he might wait as long as mid-2015 to announce it, as his is a known name and character and would require less time to build an image with voters.
A Romney run in 2016 would be difficult. He would be plagued by the lingering impression many Americans hold of him as a disingenuous flip-flopper, a politician who goes whichever way the wind blows to win votes. And of course, Romney did himself no favors when he made his infamous ì47%î remarks about the lower classes which are now well-known and inescapable. On the other hand, as previously stated, Romney is a known quantity. That means his negatives as well as his positives are already out there and have been beaten to death, leaving less opportunity for his opponents to use them to his advantage this time. Romney’s run is far from certain, but if he chooses to go for it, he has a real shot.