Watching Romney tonight was odd and puzzling for this observer. Wow, here's a surprise- Romney has been busy all year painting Obama as weak and indecisive, and here he embraces most of Obama's foreign policies. odd. Then a possible explanation occurred to me.
Romney has been seeking Tea-party support this year. He struggled to get that support AWAY from Perry and Gingrich and Santorum, and he succeeded. But tonight, he behaved as if someone had explained to him that the path to the White House lies over the dead bodies of the Tea party. Yeah sure, he threw them a couple of rhetorical bones, but whenever he talked about actual POLICY, he sidled up to Obama and gave him a side hug.
The Tea Party is a problem for Romney, and it is also a problem for the Republican Party. The problem is that the Tea Party is too far from the middle, especially in terms of foreign policy. You can curry their favor, but if a camera is running, it is recorded. Then later on, when you want to get some votes from independent voters, how can you effectively disavow everything you said on tape to the Tea Party? You can try, as Romney did this evening. But can you be effective?
Well, he was not effective. But he was in a tight spot with inadequate wiggle room. Thanks for that, Tea Party. Thanks so much.