At the presidential debates, many Americans were looking for something not easily defined: a bearing, a mannerism, some kind of presidential quality. Many did not see that quality in President Obama’s performance. But as I watched, I was struck by something else: Romney may have been forceful, but he sure as hell wasn’t presidential.
Presidents, like it or not, are hamstrung by history. They can spin, but they can’t rewrite – events take place, and they are forced to react, in real time. Romney, on the other hand, has behaved like a particle of light: as his campaign picks up speed, Americans can be less and less sure of his position.
The Daily Kos has helpfully prepared this video of Mitt Romney debating himself. As I watch this campaign move forward, it occurs to me that I know less and less about what a Romney presidency would look like. He still sounds like he wants to repeal the healthcare expansion, which is grounds enough for him to lose my vote. But his position on foreign policy is critical of President Obama’s even where it shamelessly steals from it. Romney’s tax cuts either rip 20% out of the federal budget, or they don’t do anything, or they don’t exist. His energy plan vacillates from day to day, his immigration policy has faded to nothingness, and his beliefs seem to inescapably lead to one conclusion: Presidency at all costs.
As I think about it, it seems like he’s worse than a wave-particle of light: he’s like some kind of boson, occupying all possible policy positions at the same point in space. He will do everything for you that you’ve always wanted -as long as you don’t ask for specifics. Because I have a bad feeling about what happens if we are so foolish as to collapse Romney’s wave function.
EDIT: 10/10 – Today Romney proved me right: he’s now both pro-life, and also won’t move to alter abortion rights.