Excellent points on tax returns, etc., Jonah. On Romney seeming unprepared for these attacks, I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that he’s not really a natural politician. I have a hard time seeing Mitch Daniels ever spending time on nice watercraft in the middle of a hard-fought presidential campaign. Or seeing Chris Christie ever opening a Swiss bank account. Or Paul Ryan saying that he’s not worried about the very poor. These are the kind of things that people who have been around public life for a long time don’t typically say or do. Now, Romney has many things going for him — he’s very smart and disciplined, he’s a talented manager, and he has a superb temperament. He’s a profoundly decent man. His private-sector experience has genuinely been enriching. But I suspect there’s always going to be a little political tone-deafness there. As for not defending Bain more strongly on the merits, I think that goes to a certain lack of ideological self-confidence, i.e., any long-time movement conservative might be more comfortable defending Bain in the public arena than the guy who made it his life’s work.
by Rich Lowry