First, Romney seemed to try too hard to remind the crowd that he is, in fact, a man of the Right; he used the word “conservative” or some variant 24 times in the speech. To some ears, it sounded as if Romney was trying to prove his credentials simply by calling himself a conservative over and over. If he didn’t feel he had something to prove, would he have used the word so much? As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein pointed out, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a hugely popular figure among conservatives, didn’t use the word at all in a CPAC speech Friday night…

But the problem with Romney’s my-life-is-conservative argument is that there are liberal Democrats who also get married, stay married, have children and do well in business. One can do all those things and support higher taxes, a more intrusive government, and a weak foreign policy. And as far as business is concerned: Hasn’t anyone seen businesses, firms that are still in operation, waste millions of dollars on ridiculous expenditures? Fiscal conservatism doesn’t always reign in the business world. And finally, as Klein also pointed out, Romney led just as exemplary a personal and business life in 1994 and 2002, when he ran for office in Massachusetts as a moderate. Was he just as conservative then?

Finally, there was the tone-deafness implied in Romney’s use of a single word: “severely.”