I’ve never thought much of
This is not only because, during his two presidential campaigns, he scrupulously avoided any contact with me, or really with anyone who might have asked him anything that required a complex answer about his own phantom-like agenda.
No, it’s because Romney is a man who seems to lack any fixed point in public life. He’s always approached his ideological convictions the same way he does his allegiances to the various states where he has homes — as strategic assets to be shuffled around whenever it’s convenient, to the point that I doubt even he knows where he truly resides.
And yet, despite all that, I admired Romney’s decision to
Romney is exactly what his party needs at the moment, if he can at last summon the courage to be what the moment demands.
Romney’s small band of loyalists, of course, would argue that he’s never lacked for courage — only emotional fervor and self-righteousness. In their view, Romney is the ultimate corporate analyst, a conservative problem solver who stalks an issue from all sides and then pounces on it with ruthless efficiency.
The former Massachusetts governor may not have been an intrepid candidate, they argue, but he had more than enough inner steel and intellectual heft to govern the country well.
The problem with this formulation, though, is that campaigning and governing aren’t separate; as President Trump has amply demonstrated, how you do one says a lot about how you will do the other. There has never been a timid, equivocating presidential candidate who became, all at once, a fearless and resolute president.
And too often, Romney has treated principled rhetoric like a stretchy suit he can hurriedly change into in a phone booth, then throw into a trash can when no one’s looking.
Thus did Romney
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