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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Plane speaking

Let's face it: Mitt Romney makes Richard Nixon seem warm and fuzzy. And that's why Herman Cain, Rick Perry and even Newt Gingrich remain viable candidates for the GOP nomination.

Romney simply fails the nice guy test (so important to the George Bush victory) as the Times reports in a dispatch about candidate's aloofness on a recent Delta flight. Glad-handing everyone on board would be a no-no, but sticking on head phones when your seat mate wants to discuss health care reform is rude too. A polite declination would have been far more courteous.

That snapshot clears shows why Romney remains virtually unloved in a GOP primary, hovering around 25 percent in a campaign with outsize personalities. Republican voters may rightly recognize Romney is electable, but they have no clear idea what he stands for and find him wooden and standoffish.

And that's also why no one should write Barack Obama off one year before America votes. Polls may change but people's attitudes often do not. Obama may frustrate friend and foe with his Spock-like coolness, but he has shown passion on the stump and has a solid record of accomplishment.

Recall too that Romney not only has to battle Obama, he has to account for John Boehner and company, a group that makes Our Man Myth seem wildly popular.

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