Romney a ‘Puff of Presidential-Looking Air’

It’s hard to find a single Republican, including those most solidly behind him, who demonstrates true passion for him or can do even a persuasive pantomime of it. They call him effective, not inspirational. They praise his competence, not his charisma. He doesn’t exert any sort of gravitational pull on his party. There’s no full swoon…. Almost all of the presidents elected over recent decades have been propelled by pockets of intense enthusiasm, which can paper over so many specific political predicaments and eclipse tensions with the base. They were saviors before they were disappointments, not disappointments right out of the gate. And almost all of them had something solid — a resonant personal story or an outsize personality or a bold vision — for admirers to latch onto. Romney wafts through a voter’s fingers, a puff of presidential-looking air.

— Frank Bruni, writing in the New York Times.

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