Debra J. Saunders

Obamaland tried to paint Romney as a conservative anti-woman extremist, but his happy wife and soft-spoken manner belied that image. Stanford professor William B. Hurlbut, who advised Romney on bioethics, describes Romney as a "decent man" who is clear-minded. "He's capable about thinking of a subject both in its human implications and its practical implementation."

Obama also has criticized Romney for being light on details -- specifically not telling voters which tax exemptions he would eliminate to compensate for his proposed tax rate reductions. I, too, question Romney's ability to deliver on his pledge to reduce all income tax rates by 20 percent, increase military spending and reduce the deficit. But I think he starts from a sweet spot.

Romney earned his reputation as a turnaround artist as a venture capitalist and savior of the Olympics. He balanced four state budgets and passed a landmark health care bill with the help of Kennedy, a former rival. Romney has proved that he can get things done, work across the aisle and broker deals.

I asked Martin F. Nolan, former Boston Globe Washington bureau chief, how Romney got along with the Bay State's Democratic leaders. "He didn't love them, but he talked to them," quoth Nolan. Romney held regular Monday meetings with the leadership, which is why "you never hear any of them trashing him."

And he knows how to get a job done.

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Debra J. Saunders

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