An editorial from today's edition of the Manchester Union Leader nicely encapsulates the ambivalence that a lot of Republicans, including me, feel toward Romney at this point.
Gov. Romney has many strengths as a presidential candidate. His management record is stellar, with the exception of his lawn maintenance contractor. He has brains, to be sure, and he is right on most issues -- at least at the moment.
We have to say that he impressed us with his intellect and his analytical abilities during both of our interviews with him. And on the campaign trail we have observed him express his views with eloquence and explain himself with the discipline and detail with which a math professor might explain a complex formula.
And yet for all of his strengths, we sensed something lacking. In months of observing and interacting with Gov. Romney, we haven't discerned in him a real passionate political conviction.
Yes, he says all the right things. But given the noted changed in many of his positions, how does one believe that he now means what he says? Romney does not speak with the passion of a convert, but with the calm demeanor of an analyst.
Maybe he really is converted to a deeply conservative philosophy. Maybe he just doesn't express himself in emotive ways. Or maybe he has figured out what the Republican base wanted and decided to be that candidate. We honestly don't know, and that bothers us.
The editorial goes on to reiterate the Union Leader's support for McCain. I not there yet, but I have begun to rethink the strength of my opposition to him. We'll see how things play out.