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Romney Reconsidered

The outcome has been all but certain for so long now that it seems anticlimactic, but Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination Tuesday night with a win in the Texas primary. Congratulations are hereby offered.

Although we started out with the same qualms about Romney as the rest of our conservative brethren, especially that darned Massachusetts health care bill and a certain technocratic instinct that it indicates, over the course of the long race we’ve come to rather like him. He offers a convincing critique of the status quo, sensible alternatives, long and successful experience in both the public and private sectors, and he seems to be a good guy.

There’s no use denying that Romney won the nomination simply by lacking the glaring flaws and avoiding the embarrassing missteps that caused each of his opponents to self-destruct, but there’s reason to believe the same strategy will work just as well in the general election, and the slow, steady, reassuringly boring competence of the Romney campaign bespeaks the very qualities needed in the next president. Romney did not mark the occasion in his victory speech by proclaiming that it marked the moment when the earth began to heal and the oceans the started to recede, but rather said that “I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us,” and that is another good sign.

Romney isn’t the ideal candidate that we and the rest of the party faithful had yearned for, but we really can’t think of anyone who is, and it now seems clear to us that the Republicans have made the best available choice. We expect that he would be a better president than Barack Obama, and perhaps even a very good one.

— Bud Norman

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