This Mitt Romney character certainly is enigmatic

Personally, my hunch is that the real Romney is the pragmatist, the nonideological problem-solver. I can imagine him as the political equivalent of a management consultant, where your job is to go in and fix messes without worrying too much about partisanship or ideology. Romney’s old friends and colleagues tell me that’s the Romney they know — and that the one in the Republican primaries was a fraud…

Yet there are strong counterarguments that worry me. The first is that the early Romney may have been the false one. He may have been a centrist only to be viable in a liberal state like Massachusetts. Or Romney may have evolved, with the Republican Party itself, to become more ideological. Or after all his time in the Republican primary echo chamber, he may have come to believe his own rhetoric.

A broader worry is that presidents inevitably empower their political parties, and, in Romney’s case, that would be a Republican Party that today makes no pretense of moderation.

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