One of Mr. Romney's chief aides admitted Mr. Romney is running for President with announced policies he will not follow once he is the nominee. If he becomes President, he would change even more.
We will not hear any more about Mr. Romney, the Waffler, because a new symbol has been put out there by Mr. Romney's own staff. Mr. Romney, it is said, will simply shake the Etch A Sketch of his policies in the autumn. A clear screen will appear and Mr. Romney will start over with his new/old policies.
If you are paying attention, then you understand Mr. Romney is trying to energize the base of Republicans, who have been largely unable, or unwilling, to warm up to him. Almost all candidates do this in some way or other. When I started this string of posts months ago, one of the things I mentioned is what any novice Presidential contest finds out early. The Democrats run from the Left of Center and then govern from the Center. The Republicans run from the Right of Center (or Far Right) and then govern from the Center if elected.
Ronald Reagan ran as a fiscal conservative in favor of small government. Then he tripled the national debt, raised taxes eight times and placed fees over the tax increases. Bush I said "Read my lips. No new taxes." He then famously raised taxes, which had to do or face default.
Mr. Clinton and Bush II are less egregious examples, largely because Mr. Clinton was dominated by a Republican Congress and Mr. Bush had his presidency overwhelmed by Terrorist attacks on the American home soil. Still, each one reached some kind of accomodation with their campaigns, accomodations which still allowed them to govern.
Mr. Romney gets called out for doing what Presidential candidates have done for decades. He gets called out because of the twenty four hour news gatherers and their pesky recording devices, the fragility of the Republican base and, well, Mr. Romney's obvious shortcomings as a campaigner.
Mr. Romney was born on third base and awarded home. He cannot be expected to "get it" when he has to ask for something, like a vote, or some applause he does not pay to get. He is a patrician from a stable of patricians. His policies are fractal because he is manifestly unfamiliar with the word "No."
Will this make Mr. Romney a bad President? Like many Republicans, I have some hope we will not have to find out just how bad he would be in the office. With each passing day, however, I lose a little of my hope that someone will ride over the horizon, bugles blowing, flags snapping the breeze, sabres glinting.
I have already stated the dangers of a "brokered" or "balloted" convention, not seen in America since the GOP contest between Ford and Reagan in 1976. That convention led to the election of James Earl Carter, noted peanut farmer from Georgia. It finally led to Reagan's election in 1980 and 1984. Interest rates were at 22% before the Carter Presidency ended, the economy was in a shambles and Iran was hooting at America.
Mr. Carter, a sincere humanitarian, later won reknown as "America's Best Ex-President."
Many Republicans still hope Mr. Romney will win reknown for something other than his now predictable gaffes after some primary victory. This last one has the most potential to be a long lasting problem for him because it makes him look like a cynical, disingenuous poser. You know, like a politician in an election year. This gaffe may have some legs, as we say.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.