What’s the problem with Mitt Romney?

Updated

Let me finish tonight with the frontrunner with no clothes. 

You mean “the frontrunner has no clothes?”  Did someone just yell that from the crowd that Mitt Romney, who looks right, might not be what he seems?

That is what the Republicans are saying in Republican fashion.  Let’s face it, traditional Republicans - as opposed to the full-mooners on the right – are the quiet car in the conservative train. They don’t yell; they make their points in ways you have to pay attention to get.

If Mitt Romney is so great, why did John McCain go to Alaska to pick an alternative as his running mate last time?  Why did he pass over the number two candidate in the field, the guy he had to beat to win the nomination?

If Mitt Romney is so great why does Huckabee say such terrible things about him - like that he didn’t think Romney has a soul? Why is Huntsman in the race? Didn’t Romney save the Salt Lake Olympics? Isn’t he a hero out in Utah?

Why is Rick Perry talking himself up?

The straw poll of contenders at the Republican Leadership Conference this weekend had Mitt Romney in fifth place – barely ahead of Newt Gingrich.

So what’s the problem?  Some point to his backing of healthcare up in Massachusetts, others point to his religion. 

Or is it the “empty suit” problem - that he’s willing to “dress for success” as a conservative to win in 2012 just as he was willing to “dress for success” as a moderate-to-liberal up in Massachusetts in 2002?

I hear about Romney being a “straw man,” a guy who is really not all that deeply involved in the issues he speaks out on now, as someone who really sees the competition for the presidency as a course you run, things you have to say, and not say, ways you have to present yourself but basically not really about “you” but about them. They want to see a kind of candidate; show yourself as that kind of candidate.  It’s just a game.  The important thing is to know the game and win it so you can move on to the winner’s circle - where you were born to be.

I wonder if passionately committed conservatives, zealots, are willing to go along with this kind of process where they support a person for president that they really don’t “get” themselves, rejecting true believers like them, like Michele Bachmann and perhaps some others. Are they ready to watch these debates and pick as the winner the one who simply plays the cards right - the three-by-five cards, that is - to say what they, the listening conservative public - expects to hear? 

Mark me down as skeptical. There are candidates in this field, who are who they are - Bachman is one - and those who are, for the audience, what the audience wants to see - Romney is one.  Does anyone really disagree with this? Is there anyone out there who doesn’t wonder - if not whether the frontrunner is without clothes - but whether he might just be wearing someone “else’s?”

Mitt Romney

What's the problem with Mitt Romney?

Updated