How did it come to this? Mitt Romney generates less excitement in the GOP base than charity. He's as authentic as John Boehner's tan, and about as sexy. Bob Dole could give this guy charisma lessons.
Romney's big pitch is that he's the most electable Republican in the race. This says a couple of things about him, neither flattering.
The Presidency is supposed to be a means. A means to make changes in the way the nation works and what it stands for. A place where one can turn one's core beliefs into history.
But Mitt Romney has no core beliefs. He says whatever sounds best on television; he parrots the complaints of his audience; he plays for applause in the form of votes. Mitt doesn't want the office, he wants the trophy. He wants to win for the sake of winning.
Which is where his second problem comes in. Mitt got here by beating a team of midgets. This roster of stiffs included:
A pizza guy and serial philanderer who was in it to promote his book.
A thrice-married man who wears like Wal-Mart underwear, can't stand success and is in love with the sound of his own voice.
A Texas governor who makes Bush sound like Jack Kennedy.
A homophobic, voted-out Pennsylvania Senator who thinks that life begins at first kiss.
A wack-job libertarian who's convinced the problem with Iran is us and wants to shut the federal reserve and go back to the pewter standard.
A fellow Mormon who is moderate, thoughtful, and loathed for those character flaws.
And a wild-eyed woman who had no idea where she was and why she went nowhere.
So far, Romney has faced the bum of the month, and he's not exactly setting the world on fire. He'll probably get the nod, more by default than virtue. But once Romney wins the nomination, he'll be in the big leagues. He'll going up against the guy who beat Hillary Clinton so badly she wound up working for him. He'll be facing Barack Obama.
That's supposed to make it easy for Romney. Think again. It's true that the country is in a bad mood, but ask yourself the big question: are you better off than you were four years ago?
Well, sure you are. Four years ago the world was coming to an end. The markets were in freefall, the American auto industry was bankrupt, we had 150,000 troops in Iraq, Bin Laden was watching porn from his comfortable retirement villa in Pakistan, and we were heading face first into a bottomless economic pit.