Mitt Romney, alleged grown-up

Makes a foreign policy address that doen’t mention al-Qaeda.

Did he just make a major foreign policy speech that didn’t mention al-Qaeda? And promised to reverse “massive defense cuts” that haven’t actually been made?

It’s mostly a long list of scare stories, unaccompanied by any actual plans other than chest-thumping and sabre-rattling.

And yet this empty suit – in Charlie Cook’s phrase, a man who “still looks like he could be a Haggar slacks model” – is the pundits’ idea of a “serious” Republican. Has there ever been a major party so utterly devoid of talent?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

8 thoughts on “Mitt Romney, alleged grown-up”

  1. When has spouting non-sense and in general not having a clue about what they are talking about ever hurt a Republican candidate? Well maybe Sarah Palin but she IS an extreme case.

  2. I disagree with Mark, but only for reasons that strengthen his point.

    I can easily think of past elections in which a major party was even more devoid of talent. I can even put aside the sorry string of post-Civil-War Republican nonentities between Grant and Roosevelt. (Most of the Dems were not much better, although Grover Cleveland was the best of the lot.) Mitt Romney is the best talent the Republicans have run since Bob Dole. And before Bob Dole . . .

  3. He doesn’t have to be splendid, he merely has to be perceived as better than Obama by a majority of voters in states with 270 electoral votes. Obama, who though not in Scott Brown’s league could himself model Haggar slacks for profit, could well lose. I get wistful for a parliamentary system sometimes.

  4. From this morning’s email joke list–Republican politics could well be worse:

    Steven Short saw a bumper sticker on a car parked at the Kentfield campus of the College of Marin:

    “Bachmann/Palin 2012: It’s a no-brainer.”

  5. Mark: “Has there ever been a major party so utterly devoid of talent?”

    Mark, the GOP has world-class talent in looting and destruction. That’s all that they want, and that’s all that they need.

  6. Mark, the question you asked is almost the correct question, but not quite.

    The correct question is “Has there ever been a major party so implacably hostile to the idea that talent is relevant?”

    The answer, clearly, is “no.”

  7. How are these guys (and girl) different from past republican candidates????? Going all the way back to Reagan I don’t detect one bit of difference between them and him and everyone else in between. Their policy prescriptions are the same and their willingness to use race, religion and whatever else to win is the same.

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