Is Mitt Growing As A Candidate?
This campaign is coming down to two competing views of America. As it plays out, I think something very profound may be happening to Mitt Romney. Romney reminds me of a good many smart businessmen I have known. They live their own lives by a set of solid small-c conservative rules, but they are too busy solving smaller daily problems to think much about political conservatism as a coherent system. Such people often pay lip service to the left-of-center conventional media wisdom about big government and public morality even as they rigorously practice all the bourgeois virtues of thrift, hard work, neighborliness, sobriety, and sexual continence in their personal affairs.
As long as the conventional wisdom doesn't impact their daily lives in a concrete way, why bother challenging it? They have better uses for their time. Now this very smart, very competitive man is facing an opponent who is perhaps the most rigidly ideological man ever to become president. Romney doesn't like what he sees happening to the nation, nor does he much like the person he is running against. Confronted with the problem of beating not just the person, but also the ideology, and then fixing what is broken, Romney may be discovering for the very first time that he is actually far more ideological than he ever thought he was.