The best case for Mitt Romney's campaign was put forward by David Brooks, he of the center-right, the eastern elite. He doesn't go overboard in praising Romney, and he points out that in the last 11 months Romney has run a brilliant (& lucky) campaign, going from 23% in the polls to... 23% in the polls.
[Republicans] don’t want Organization Man. They want Braveheart.But Brooks argues that Republican activists are distracted by the desire to score points in the media and cause a stir. The real challenges for the GOP are (in increasing order of importance) (1) defeating Barack Obama on an open field of battle and (2) governing effectively and implementing the policy goals that are common to all Republicans.
He also points out what brings presidents down:
He could probably work well with the leaders of his own party... More presidents have been undone by the Congressional leaders in their own party than by members of the opposition.Perhaps it's not a ringing endorsement of a candidate when the concluding line is that "he is nobody's idea of a savior." But Brooks is right when he says that's a strong case for electing Mitt.
Romney may be able to guard against ideological overreach. Each successive recent administration has overread its election mandate.
He comes from a blue state. In government, it really helps to have a feel for how people in the other party think. Neither President Obama nor George W. Bush had this.
Finally, Romney can be dull. Political activists like exciting candidates. But most people, who have lower expectations from politics and politicians, just want them to provide basic order. They want government to be orderly so they can be daring in other spheres of their lives.