Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who is Mitt Romney anyway?

Like the White House, it seems that the media has decided that, momentary signs of life notwithstanding, Rick Perry will not be defeating Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination next year, that we will have our first Mormon candidate for President challenge our first African American Presidential incumbent. And so the stories now begin to flow in, all attempting to answer that most vexing question—who is Mitt Romney anyway?

If one judges the man by his recent foreign policy address, the conclusion most easily drawn is of Romney as a Mad Man neoconservative; Don Draper with dreams not of the suburban utopia but of razing Tehran. One might have guessed that, following the political and foreign policy catastrophe that was the Iraq War, no Republican today would seek to align himself with the previous GOP President’s signature intellectual legacy (indeed, Bush himself largely abandoned neoconservatism during much of his second term). But Romney’s speech in South Carolina sounded as if it were plucked from time, transported from the heady days of 2002 and 2003, when preposterous announcements of America’s reality-making power were taken gravely—and disastrously—seriously. Like Draper during a sales pitch, Romney certainly can talk the talk:

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