Richard Cohen isn't a guy I read very much, but I hear his name tossed around from time to time. I infer he leans left, but as an opinionizer for The Washington Post, he seems able to piss off both sides with regularity. I can't vouch for his wisdom one way or the other, but he's written something that's entirely consistent with what I believe about Mitt Romney, with respect to how he'd govern: namely that, contrary to claims he'd be a centrist, in fact he'd remain beholden to and afraid of the most radical and moneyed forces in the Republican party, and be putty in their hands. And he agrees that The Rominee seems not to have any core vision other than that he'd love to be president (or that, as was the case with Perry and Bachmann and Gingrich and Santorum, god told him to do it):
In the first place, Romney would likely have a Republican House, and maybe a Senate, too. This means he has to work with a party that has just recently punished Richard Lugar for excessive moderation and is willing, at this very moment, to bring down the country’s credit rating another notch rather than budge on the debt ceiling. To Romney, who made a fortune with the clever prestidigitation of debt, this has to make no sense, but he would go along because (1) he’d have to, and (2) he always does.
Congress, though, would be the least of President Romney’s troubles. The real threat will come from the Republican Party’s very core, which likes him little and trusts him less. The moment he shows the slightest moderate or rational tick, someone such as Rick Santorum will barrel out of the GOP’s piney woods, screaming oaths, and enter the 2016 Iowa caucuses that, you might remember, Santorum won in 2012. ...[...]
It’s hardly conceivable that, as president, Romney will become the Romney some think he is. The forces that shaped him in the primaries and caucuses will not go away. He has been clay in the hands of the political right, and this will not change. After Romney recently disparaged Carter’s political courage, Gerald Rafshoon, once Carter’s communications director, shot back with this viaBloomberg View: “Scour Romney’s record for a single example of real political courage — a single, solitary instance, however small, where Romney placed principle or substance above his own short-term political interests. Let me know if you find one.” Rafshoon’s phone has not been ringing.
According to what a family friend told the New York Times, Mitt and Ann Romney decided he should run for president because they both “felt it was what God wanted them to do.” Having done just that, Romney has left it to others to define what sort of candidate he would be. Nothing would change if he were president. Weakness is his one consistency.
We'll find out soon enough. And I don't think I want to know.