I am not yet evolved enough as a human being to feel any sympathy for Mitt Romney, but the past couple months were among, if not The, most difficult in his life so far.
And I wonder: why is this man running for president? He is a multi-millionaire (or billionaire for all we know), a Bishop in his church. He, and his seemingly close-knit family, could live any life they choose, practically anywhere, pursuing causes they care about through the power conferred on them by their uncountable wealth. Romney would have to answer to no one. He would be treated with respect and not called out as a fool in headlines from California to Poland.
He’s traded Atlantis for a soapbox under a magnifying glass on a hostile corner and is constantly called on to do the one thing for which he exhibits no skill: have unscripted exchanges with people. Every speech, practically every public conversation, is clearly an ordeal for him — an obstacle to be overcome, not an opportunity to connect.
Does he simply want to serve his country? If so, in what way? He has no platform, and tunes his positions as best he can to suit the audience at hand. My concern with this is not so much that he flip-flops on issues as needed; the deeper question is why, without a hint of what in corpspeak would be called a Mission Statement, does he even want the job? What does he want to do and what does he imagine his days will be like, this man whose most remarkable talent is saying exactly the wrong thing in exactly the wrong way and (perhaps unwittingly) insulting most everyone he talks to, from NASCAR fans to heads of state. The POTUS spends most of his time in conference and negotiation with people who are quite good at conferencing and negotiating: a life that would likely be hell on earth for a personality like Mitt Romney’s.
So, apart from whether or not he would succeed as president, I am baffled as to why this individual, who can quite literally have anything he wants, is single-mindedly pursuing a situation that ensures four years of living hell followed by a lifetime of Secret Service details. I don’t believe he’s got some secret agenda, for two reasons: his inability to commit to any agenda at all and the selflessness required to sacrifice the quality of one’s life in the service of some larger cause. I do not see evidence of selflessness or altruism in either Romney’s history or his character.
More than a few of the candidate’s observable mannerisms appear on lists of Asperger’s or autism-spectrum symptoms. Could such a syndrome also result in someone choosing such a wildly unsuitable goal?
I don’t believe Romney wants to be president, he just wants to win this election. He doesn’t seem to be thinking (or speaking about) much beyond that.
His communication difficulties have become more pronounced as the pressure increases around secret tax returns in the wake of a humiliating international debut. He cannot be looking forward debating Obama; the very thought may be keep him up nights.
It wouldn’t shock me if Romney dropped out of the race.