Nothing wrong with any of these characteristics, but they are out of step with a Republican Party that has tailored its message to Southern evangelicals who live in mostly rural or suburban areas.
By income, by religion and by where he worships, Romney shares very little in common with the typical Republican voter. His signature policy while governor was universal health care that served as the model for what Republicans sneer at as “Obamacare.”
Yet, a few weeks from now as Republicans gather for their convention in Tampa, the party will formally install Romney as the man to challenge Barack Obama this fall.
Call it an unusual marriage. Like most odd pairings, both sides have had to compromise.
The party’s conservative base has grudgingly accepted that its favored candidates — Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, et al. — don’t have what it takes to win the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the 45th president of the United States.
For his part, Romney shifted to the right, adopting conservative positions unseen when he governed Massachusetts in the middle of the last decade. Romney has tried his best to be reborn as Ronald Reagan, a tax-cutting, government-hating, true believer.
Will it work?
Maybe. Maybe not.
The real battle between Romney and Obama will be fought in a few swing states, not the Republican strongholds that will support the candidate with an “R” behind his name regardless or the Democratic strongholds where Obama is certain to win.
In the so-called battleground states — Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia and a few others — Romney’s un-Republican characteristics may matter less. However, if Republicans fail to win the presidency this fall, they will surely ask themselves this question: How did a candidate whose background and experience are so out of step with current Republican values become the party’s presidential candidate?