Drought of public competence
Romney has this advantage: In supporting him, no Republican is called upon to surrender his or her deepest ideological convictions. Romney is temperamentally conservative but not particularly ideological. He reserves his enthusiasm for quantitative analysis and organizational discipline. He seems to view the cultural and philosophic debates that drive others as distractions from the real task of governing — making systems work.
His competitors have attempted to portray Romney's ideological inconsistency over time as a character failure. It hasn't worked, mainly because Romney is a man of exemplary character. But he clearly places political ideology in a different category of fidelity. Like Dwight Eisenhower, Romney is a man of vague ideology and deep values. In political matters, he is empirical and pragmatic. Those expecting Romney to be a philosophic leader will be disappointed. He is a management consultant, and a good one.
Has the moment of the management consultant arrived in American politics? In our desperate drought of public competence, Romney has a strong case to make.