Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It’s A Feature, Not A Bug

David Brooks takes all of Mitt Romney’s weak points and turns them into sales pitches.

The central problem is that Mitt Romney doesn’t fit the mold of what many Republicans want in a presidential candidate. They don’t want a technocratic manager. They want a bold, blunt radical outsider who will take on the establishment, speak truth to power and offend the liberal news media.

They don’t want Organization Man. They want Braveheart.

The question is: Are they right to want this? Well, if they want an in-your-face media campaign that will produce delicious thrills for the true believers, they are absolutely right. But if they actually want to elect an effective executive who is right for this moment, they are probably not right.

He’s a flip-flopper? No, he “adapts.” He has no vision? No, he’s a manager; he can get the things done that Republicans already know they want done. His staff is made up of Bushies? No, they’re experienced. He’s inauthentic? No, he’s just not going to “overreach.” He’s dull? Sure, but who really wants a firebreather?

It’s exciting to have charismatic leaders. But often the best leaders in business, in government and in life are not glittering saviors. They are professionals you hire to get a job done.

The strongest case for Romney is that he’s nobody’s idea of a savior.

That reminds me of the guy who tried to sell me a car without an engine and four flat tires. Hey, it doesn’t use much gas, and you’ll never have to worry about someone stealing it.