Mitt’s foray showed some new colors, as he intended, but they were not flattering ones. We now know how little he knows about the world, how really slow on his feet he is, what meager social and political agility he has.

Wherever he went, whatever situation he was in, he remained frozen in himself. It was reminiscent of the stinging review of an Oscar Wilde lecture by Ambrose Bierce, who wrote that Wilde was a “gawky gowk” who “wanders about posing as a statue of himself.”

The odd odyssey underscored Mitt’s off-putting mix of opacity and insularity. Weren’t American elites once more worldly, like the Kennedys and the Harrimans? Romney was in the forefront of a revolution in American finance, he was the governor of an important state and he was an elder in the Mormon Church. But that’s all the stuff he doesn’t want to talk about, so we’re left with a narrow spokesmodel, banally handsome with an empty look; not like President Obama and Bill Clinton, where you always see the brain whirring behind the eyes.