[Boston Globe opinion writers were asked to comment on a notable term from the political and cultural whirlwinds of 2011. My brief thoughts on "not-Mitt" appear below. To read my colleagues' thoughts on "Pippa," "occupy," "frack," "tiger mother," and more, please click here.]
Not-Mitt (n.): On paper he has it all: brains, family, and wealth; a stellar business career; gubernatorial experience; a history of success.
He's pragmatic and steady, handsome and well-spoken. Among the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, no one appears to be more of a natural-born executive than the organized, thoughtful, and focused Mitt Romney.
And yet Republicans are leaving 2011 the way they entered it: looking for Not-Mitt. Nearly everyone in the field has taken a turn atop the polls, as the GOP has lurched from one candidate not named Romney to the next. It isn't that Republicans are fickle. They avidly seek a standard-bearer who can beat Barack Obama, but they also want a leader who can convey the urgency of the present hour — and why that urgency demands a Republican. Romney is sure he wants to be president, and he certainly fits Central Casting's idea of what a president should be. But his party hungers for more, and the search for Not-Mitt goes on.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
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