There was a time when it was said of George H.W. Bush that he epitomized “every woman’s first husband.” There seems to be something of that same obedience-to-duty, unexciting quality to Romney. He’s like broccoli, or, as Victor Davis Hanson wrote recently, the Republicans’ “castor oil”:
Nominating Mitt Romney is sort of like taking grandma’s castor oil. Republicans are dreading the thought of downing their unpleasant-tasting medicine but worry that sooner or later they will have to…To beat an ever-more-vulnerable Obama, Republicans keep coming back to someone who resembles a Romney, with strengths in just those areas where Obama is so demonstrably weak: prior executive experience as a governor, success in and intimacy with the private sector, a past fully vetted, and an unambiguous belief in the exceptional history and future of the United States.In short, if Republicans are happy in theory that Mitt Romney could probably beat Obama, they seem just as unhappy in fact that first they have to nominate him.
One might think that after the obscene, rock-star mania that swept the country in 2008, the GOP would be delirious at the thought of a personal-scandal-free, upstanding, Eagle Scout-ish nominee like Mitt. The problem is that despite what could be viewed by some people (not yours truly) as possessing “movie star good looks,” he seems so phony, the kind of phony that Holden Caulfield couldn’t stomach, and neither can many conservatives. He seems lifeless, like a candidate pieced together by a presidential-candidate-fabrication committee.
It’s been said that a camel is a horse put together by a committee, and Romney has that same plodding, everyone-on-the-committee-is-pleased-and-thus-no-one-else-is-pleased blah quality.
I’ve never once gotten the faintest impression that real blood was coursing through Willard Mitt Romney’s veins. I think if he needed a transfusion, his blood type would turn out to be H2O, and tepid H2O, at that. Obama ’08 was all throbbing excitement over nothing. The thing about Romney is that there’s no throbbing excitement over anything, but there is a sense of “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” when it comes to his slippery changes of positions on core issues.
We all seek to evolve, but if we’re evolving so constantly that no one can tell where we stand and what we stand for, it isn’t evolution, it’s pandering. One reason that the “my-foreign-policy-is-to-have-no-foreign-policy-and-my-defense-policy-is to-have-no-defense-policy — and by the way, let me introduce my campaign mascot here, Oscar the Ostrich” Ron Paul is out-polling Romney on the conservative magazine Town Hall’s latest straw poll is that, no matter how bats-in-his-belfry, crazy-uncle-in-the-attic he strikes many as being, at least you know where he stands. He may be in gaga-land, but at least you know.
And so the search continues for that elusive candidate just beyond our grasp, just beyond the reach of all who seek the perfect Lone Ranger, the candidate with The Right Stuff, the one who can and will — as St. Patrick did with the snakes of Ireland — rid our land of the cunning but clueless serpent who slithers day and night in the White House and whose woefully ignorant and blinkered policies have brought each of us and the entire world to the very brink of disaster.