Kathryn Jean Lopez had this to say about Gov. Romney’s book tour:
If you had any doubt who he is, you’re seeing it now. Watching Mitt Romney on the No Apology tour thus far, he’s talking about what he wants to, what moves him. What moves him is being a Mr. Fix It businessman — on the economy, diplomacy, or health care. He wants to do this because he believes America is great and should and can continue to be. He appreciates — in a firsthand and in a practical, sociological way — that families are the building block of a great country, and he sees how good policies help them. And that’s what he wants to talk about.
And if a social issue hits his desk — based on his Massachusetts record — he’s going to do what he can to preserve families and life. (And that, by the way, makes a huge difference. We don’t, for instance, in the White House right now. And it can have a chilling effect: in executive orders, in the courts, on staffing, in health care … ) But it may not be what gets him up in the morning — the opportunity to talk about D.C. gay marriage, for instance.
Speaking of his Massachusetts record: It seems clear that he is not going to apologize for trying to tackle the health-care problem there. Their final plan was clearly imperfect, but it’s more right than what Washington is doing now. He’ll be stubborn in defense of it because governors tackling health-care reform — and, oh, by the way, with the input of the likes of the Heritage Foundation — is to be encouraged.
And so on Letterman last night, you didn’t see pizazz or stand-up. You heard dorky jokes — the rapper on the plane broke my hair — and a serious guy. That’s who he is. His CPAC speech this year and his book reflect that. He’s uncomfortable changing his emphases to fit Iowa or anywhere else and he doesn’t pull it off convincingly when he tries it. And if he runs again, don’t expect him to.
That, I believe, is the No Apology big picture. This is Mitt Romney.