Alas, Romney is a normal middle-aged American. He is the kind of man we all would like to have live next door. Facts are facts; all the aforesaid candidates save Reagan and now Romney are weird! Americans do not mind having them wearing funny hats and eating ethnic food on the campaign trail, but almost no American would want them as neighbors. Not so Romney. He would be welcome in our neighborhoods and maybe even trusted with a key to the house. Romney is NORMAL.
That is one fundamental reason, as this campaign season draws to an end, I am glad he will get the nomination. Think about it. Practically everyone who has run for the presidency over the past few decades has been odd. You would not want any of them in your neighborhood. Why would you want one of them in the White House? Rick Santorum ran a fine, if improbable, race, emphasizing values many of us share. Dr. Ron Paul reminded us of our constitutional principles that set Americans apart from the citizenry of other nations. Yet Newt Gingrich was the standard-issue candidate of recent decades. He was as bizarre as Bill Clinton but lacks Bill's charm -- if that is the word for it.
Romney is normal. That is what those in the press corps really mean when they say things like he fails to inspire or he commits gaffes. Compared with whom, with Joe Biden? The other day, Joe addressed the perfectly nice female president of Scott Community College, Dr. Theresa Paper, as "Dr. Pepper." Joe's list of gaffes is encyclopedic. Moreover, Romney is campaigning for things most Americans believe in and, in fact, many consider exigent.