Opportunist or introvert? D-Day looms
OPINION:Not since Lydia Bennet eloped with Mr Wickham, not since Anna Karenina ran off with Count Vronsky, has such a hue and cry been heard about purloined affections.
The triangle that flared at the climax, with Chris Christie scampering away from Mitt Romney in the wuthering storm to cling to President Barack Obama, the New Jersey governor’s brown eyes looking up trustingly into the president’s brown eyes, added a frisson to a jaundiced race.
Christie was unrepentantly swept away by his new pal, the commander in chief, who also likes to wear a jacket with his name and title sewn on to the lapel.“So, I do pinch myself every day,” said Christie said in Trenton on Wednesday.
“You know, like when I got on Marine One, I’m pinching myself, believe me. Sandy and Bill Christie’s son on Marine One was not exactly what I thought was going to be happening with my life.”
A president who has taken a lot of abuse from Republicans – one refusing to take his urgent calls on the debt deal, many libelling his religion, race and nationality, all plotting to upend his plans – was getting a little GOP love.
It was a jarring sign to Republicans that, despite Romney’s human-like performance in recent weeks, there is no deep tie, nor real respect, among many of those helping with his campaign.
Romney is idolised by his wife and sons, and in his close Mormon circle of friends, but beyond that, there is an intensity vacuum.
In the final days, with Christie cheating on him, Mitt was left with Jeb Bush, who offered the faint praise to CBS News that Romney had been slow to respond to the president’s attack but had finally “found his rhythm”.
Even some of Romney’s advisers confess they don’t really know who he is. Is he the pragmatist who would curb Grover Norquist, John Bolton and Dan Senor, or the severe conservative who would let them run wild? It’s sad when you are hoping someone is an opportunist and a liar.
Some of Romney’s staffers seemed taken aback by his starring performance in the first debate, musing whetherthe rich stiff actually could have had a chance of sending Obama packing.
Having Christie go rogue – and Colin Powell and Michael Bloomberg cross over from wherever they were – was a compelling plot twist in a race that has looked more to the gutter than the stars. Two uninspiring candidates, one Americans had fallen out of love with, one they could not fall in love with.
The only thing about Romney that doesn’t oscillate, besides the exact quota of salt to pepper in his hair, is his weight. He told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that he regularly gets on the scale on the campaign trail to make sure he doesn’t deviate too much. If only his consistency extended to his positions on the car bailout, abortion, climate change, gun control, healthcare etc.
Romney’s closing argument was that he could spark a stagnant economy, but his false claim that Jeep jobs were moving from the US to China was a huge mistake, allowing the big car companies to call him out as a liar.
Voting for either man seems a shot in the dark. You have to make that vote without knowing if either would have the mettle, as president for the next four years, to face down destructive forces and restore America’s lustre.