March 12, 1947 (Detroit, Mich.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
- Governor of Massachusetts, 2003-2007
- President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, 1999-2002
- Co-founder of the private equity investment firm Bain Capital, 1984-1990
- Vice President of the management consulting firm Bain & Company, 1978-1984
Mitt Romney enters the 2012 cycle as the Republican party's nominal front-runner having waged a competitive, but ultimately unsuccessful, campaign in 2008.
Romney's extensive business background (executive at a consulting firm, CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City) could help him make the argument that he is the candidate best equipped to handle the economy, which is of even greater concern for voters now than it was in late 2007 and early 2008.
He also has all the campaign infrastructure in place from his previous run, including an extensive fundraising network. Romney can also draw on his significant personal wealth should he need to inject additional cash into his campaign.
Romney is by no means a sure thing to win the nomination. He has yet to fully address questions about his authenticity that he faced during the 2008 campaign. Another potential problem for Romney is the health care plan he approved as governor of Massachusetts, which bears a strong resemblance to the national overhaul signed by President Obama in 2010.