Mitt became the one not because he is a political genius, well maybe he was to be the 2012 Republican Party Presidential Nominee. I'm sure that's it's official name. But Mitt isn't the party's A-game. Mitt took the next-in-line concept and was...next-in-line. Just like John McCain was in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000, Bob Dole in 1996, and the list goes on. But he sort of got it by default. He was almost an understudy for the actual next-in-liner.
The time it takes a presidential candidate to seriously run for the nomination, he or she must begin as soon as Election Day is over. By the end of the mid-term elections, the candidate must be in-it-to-win-it. When the 2008 election ended, Obama the victory and the GOP on the losing side, the nomination for the 2012 election didn't have a next-in-liner like previous elections which had candidates waiting like a ride at Disneyland. The 2008 election cycle produced possible contenders; Romney the second place finisher in the primaries and Governor Sarah Palin, the second place finisher in the Electoral College for the vice presidency.
The A-game of the GOP like Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour stayed out of the 2012 election because they didn't want to face a popular incumbent like Obama. Even with the economic troubles he faces Obama has a chance of winning reelection...even at 50-50. Obama's misfortune is Romney's gain, so the A-game might be rethinking their decision. Other A-gamers like Chris Christie didn't enter the race even at the halfway point of Obama's first term.
So not facing Obama in the general was one factor, and another factor in the A-game vying for the GOP nomination would be to face the Republican Party star Sarah Palin. After losing in the 2008 General Election, Palin became the party's frontrunner for the nomination. She had political capital after her national introduction at the Republican Party Convention in Saint Paul. She's a good politician. I don't mean she's one that writes legislation and works across party lines, but as a politician that can rally people for a cause. But she's not a traditional politician that plays by established customs. It didn't look like she was a serious contender for the 2012 nomination. All the other wanna-be-nominees waited for Palin's decision while still massing their armies for the primary-caucus battles. In the end she chose not to run for the nomination, disappointing her following and allowing the other candidates to try and win her over...as well as her following.
With Palin out of the way and the A-gamers not wanting to challenge a popular incumbent no matter the problems, the next-in-line would be Mitt Romney. As he would mention in the (2011-)2012 primary-caucus debates/forums, he wasn't a politician. But that was by the voters decision. He lost the 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy and used that failed election, as well as his business background, as a campaign for Massachusetts Governor...WHICH he won. But instead of allowing the voters to decide if he should continue being governor, Romney chose not to run for a second term. Instead he went after the 2008 Republican nomination and came in second to McCain. Instead of being rewarded with the second spot on the ticket, that went to Palin, he went to being considered as a fronter-runner for 2012.
While others with more experience, knowledge, education sat out because of fear of challenging two popular political figures allowed a non-"politician" out politician the politicians and Sarah Palin. Wait I don't think she's a practicing politician anymore. She's simply a political commentator...or agitator. But yeah...GO MITT! You did it. You got the party's nomination and if by some chance you connect with those few individuals that decide this election I hope you don't run for reelection. But once again...I don't think we'll have a referendum on a Romney Administration.