BOSTON (CBS) – On Friday, former Massachusetts governor and two time presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced he would not seek the republican nomination.

“I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney said.

It is curtains for the Romney in 2016 show after an abbreviated three-week run. So what happened?

“His money people weren’t forthcoming enough, the media was shall we say underwhelmed, and I think he put those two things together, and a man who is not a fool doesn’t run,” Boston College Professor Marc Landy said.

Longtime Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom was surprised by the announcement, and says his man could have run and won.

Eric Fehrnstrom (WBZ-TV)

Eric Fehrnstrom (WBZ-TV)

“A lot of the voices of dissent that we heard were the same voices that were opposed to his nomination in 2012 so it really didn’t factor into his decision making,” Fehrnstrom said.

“I think Mitt Romney struggled with the decision,” Fehrnstrom said. “I know he and his wife actually made the decision a week ago, didn’t tell anybody, but just wanted to sit with it for a week or so and test how comfortable they were with it, and ultimately they decided that this was the time to let this opportunity pass to a new group of leaders.”

Professor Landy sees Romney’s exit as a chance for younger, more populist republicans like Florida Senator Marco Rubio or Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to step forward.

“This next generation of leaders is much more tuned into the grassroots which has developed an antipathy to the country club,” Landy said.

So what’s next for Romney? Fehrnstrom says if Boston Olympics organizers want his help with their bid for the 2024 games he’d be happy to do it.

Jon Keller

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