Temperament vs. Beliefs

Carol Platt Liebau

1/9/2012 11:46:08 AM - Carol Platt Liebau
One of the conservative criticisms that have been made of Mitt Romney has to do with his seeming lack of "urgency":  His failure to "show [a] sense of the urgency of the tasks before him"  or his inability to "convey the urgency of the present hour."

Perhaps his critics are right, and Romney doesn't, in fact, "get it."  But couldn't it likewise be true that -- just as many failed to grasp the radicalism of Obama's policies because of the moderation of his temperament -- that the same kind of thing is happening with Romney now, i.e., his somewhat mild-mannered demeanor is being mistaken for insufficient understanding of America's problems or a lack of commitment to fixing them?

It's perfectly fair to look at Romney (or any candidate) and decide that their policies (or shifts) make them the wrong person for the times.  But it strikes me that political judgments made on the basis of demeanor can be perceptions that are often incorrect, as they were with Obama.   What's more, although conservatives would no doubt like a campaign infused with more of a sense of "urgency," I'm not sure that regular voters -- struggling in their lives and afraid for the future -- need more drama.  Maybe for those who are not as ideologically committed (but who still turn out to vote) someone with a less dramatic approach (or "urgency") is more attractive?