Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Intermediate Mitts Disappear

Accepting the nomination he chased rightward for two years, Mitt Romney tacked hard to the middle last night, leaving behind all those versions of himself who had gone head to head with Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann and Cain in spewing Obama hatred.

Prime-time viewers met this swell guy, great family man, patriot who had been wishing Barack Obama well in restoring American prosperity but had been by gosh so disappointed when the President failed that he felt compelled to do the job himself:

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division.” (Romney’s regrets would be hard to square with the attack of his running mate who led the Tea Party Congress in wall-to-wall obstruction, but that was yesterday’s speech.)

Romney’s Jimmy Stewart impersonation is, of course, only the next step in the Etch-a-Sketch evolution of the man for whom nothing is permanent. As always, last night’s Romney will have a short shelf life as he goes back on the campaign attack and tries to sell what David Brooks describes as a faulty vision:

“Today’s Republican Party may be able to perform useful tasks with its current hyperindividualistic mentality. But its commercial soul is too narrow. It won’t be a worthy governing party until it treads the course Lincoln trod: starting with individual ambition but ascending to a larger vision and creating a national environment that arouses ambition and nurtures success.”

Next week Democrats would be well-advised to show a highlight reel from the GOP debates to put into context the umpteenth version of a new, improved Romney who appeared last night to “show the deepest part of his soul” to independent voters.

There will be more of them coming along soon.

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