His travel schedule gave him away long ago. Yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney conceded the obvious: He said he is considering a run for president in 2008.
''If someone said, well, the governor's testing national waters, that's a fair characterization," Romney said in response to a reporter's question at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum after delivering a speech on health coverage. ''But I'm planning on running for governor. Time will tell. I'll make a final decision and an announcement in the fall, and we'll go from there."
Romney has traveled to South Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, and California this year to speak to GOP audiences and meet with political activists and fund-raisers. He has also made himself available to national media organizations for interviews.
Earlier yesterday morning on WBZ-AM radio, Romney's wife, Ann, raised the issue of her husband's future. ''We are still in this process that we call the investigative process, and we are thinking and looking at it, and it's not something that we've decided," she said.
Later in the day, at an event in Waltham to promote support for public libraries, she said her health would be a factor. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. ''I think my health plays a role in everything that we do in our life, and definitely it's a factor in everything that we decide," she said in response to a reporter's question.
Until yesterday, Romney and his aides would only publicly say that his appearances around the country were aimed at helping the national GOP.