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What Friday’s Romney News Means – and What It Doesn’t

Image: Mitt Romney Campaigns With AK Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan In Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, AK - NOVEMBER 03: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the crowd during a rally for Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan at a PenAir airplane hangar on November 3, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska. The U.S. Senate race in Alaska between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republican candidate Dan Sullivan continues to be closely contested. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images) David Ryder / Getty Images

Here are three things to consider from Friday’s news that Mitt Romney is weighing a third presidential bid. One, he clearly disliked being ignored from the 2016 conversation. As we wrote last week, one of the biggest consequences of Jeb Bush’s presidential maneuvering was Mitt Romney’s absence from the 2016 chatter. Well, that certainly changed Friday. Now this doesn’t mean we’ll see Romney on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire later this year, but he is -- for now -- channeling that Simple Minds song from “The Breakfast Club”: Don’t you forget about me. Two, a lot of this is about poking Jeb Bush in the eye, especially after Bush has been so explicit in trying to contrast his likely 2016 with Romney’s (like with his announced taxes release). Indeed, don’t miss this Romney adviser firing back at Jeb via Buzzfeed: “Jeb is Common Core, Jeb is immigration, Jeb has been talking about raising taxes recently. Can you imagine Jeb trying to get through a Republican primary? Can you imagine what Ted Cruz is going to do to Jeb Bush? I mean, that’s going to be ugly.” (Then again, “ugly” could have also described Romney’s primary performance against the under-funded Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich). And three, Romney still wants to president. Once you get so close, you usually don’t get over it (see John McCain, Al Gore).

And what the news doesn’t mean

People close to Romney still can’t imagine him doing the little things one often needs to do to win the presidency -- in addition to a party’s presidential nomination. Hitting the constant fundraisers. Attending to the constituency groups. Courting local politicians in key states. That’s probably why, at the end of the day, Romney ultimately doesn’t run. But he definitely wants to be a part of the conversation.

Obama White House gets criticized for not attending Paris rally

If you’re not a fan of President Obama and are looking to get outraged, here’s your latest chance: Obama or Vice President Biden, or Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t attend Sunday’s unity rally in Paris after the terrorist killings there. "Don’t look for the president or vice president among the photos of 44 heads of state who locked arms and marched down Boulevard Voltaire in Paris. Nor did they join a companion march the French Embassy organized in Washington on Sunday afternoon,” Politico writes. White House officials tell us that that they weren’t aware of the rally until Friday, and -- for logistic and security purposes -- they couldn’t have organized a trip that quickly. What’s more, Kerry was en route to his trip in India. Now U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for meetings; in fact, he appeared on remote location for NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. But he didn’t attend the rally. National Journal’s Ron Fournier puts it well: “America doesn’t need to march its president in the streets of Paris to prove its resolve.”

Obama’s latest State of the Union sneak-peak

Finally, at 11:55 am ET today, President Obama delivers remarks at the Federal Trade Commission outlining his plan to improve consumer privacy and combat identity theft. It’s the latest of his sneak-peaks for his upcoming State of the Union address.

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