Mitt Romney has had the kind of smooth life that makes people want to trip him as he bounds up stairs two at a time. But he has become a steadying presence in a field of Republican presidential candidates who raise the blood pressure -- and not in a good way.

At this week’s debate in New Hampshire, Romney was a mighty oak planted at center stage, with little saplings arrayed around him. In every Republican primary poll, Romney holds a sizable lead. And in a June 7 ABC News/Washington Post poll, the former Massachusetts governor made everyone sit up and notice: Romney led President Barack Obama 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. Tea Party heartthrobs Sarah Palin and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who announced her candidacy June 13, don’t come clos




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