The excellent blogger/Weekly Standard writer Dean Barnett has a very candid, informed, and informative piece about Mitt Romney’s character and campaign missteps in the New York Times (I know, I know).
Just read it and tell me what you think. A snippet:
I spent a lot of time with Mr. Romney that year, and I occasionally served as his volunteer driver, taking him to local campaign events. The Mitt Romney I got to know was warm and likable. He had an electric intelligence. He was unfailingly decent. He was totally committed to his family. He treated everyone with respect and kindness.
If you’re like most politically attuned Americans, you probably don’t agree with my description of Mr. Romney. You may consider him to be the personification of political ambition. You possibly believe he will say anything to get elected president. You might even consider him one of the least honorable politicians in the country.
As a longtime admirer of Mr. Romney’s, it pains me that many Americans believe these things. Even worse, Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign has given them cause to feel this way. As a result, in the Michigan primary today, he is fighting for his political life.
I often marvel at how the public perception of Mr. Romney differs so radically from the man I know. The blame for this lies in the campaign he has run…
Allah answers commenters here who have unfairly dismissed Barnett as a Romney spin doctor–and also offers an ouch-inducing assessment of Romney’s problems:
Some of the commenters at MM’s site are dismissing Barnett’s piece as spin but he’s been telling me all of this privately for months — Mitt’s a wonderful guy, razor sharp, but he’s run an essentially dishonest campaign insofar as he made “values” the centerpiece when his top priority lies elsewhere. All of which is comforting yet devastating in how it undermines the legend of Romney as a manager par excellence. If that’s so, how’d he end up stuck with the wrong message and hanging by a thread?