As so many start to have buyer's remorse and look for an adult - Mr. Hair doesn't look so bad now, does he?
For a while, it looked like Mitt Romney would become more a figure of ridicule than promise. Stiff, square, and allegedly two-faced, the former Massachusetts governor was a triple-punchline target of late-night comics.It will be a long four years - I think a lot of people will want a professional with a history in gov'munt and out of fixing problems.
But now, with a more statesmanlike bearing and some measured criticisms of the Obama administration, Romney suddenly seems like the only adult left standing among the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls.
But the focus on economic issues that followed the campaign actually played to Romney's strengths. The former head of a private-equity firm, Romney has been one of the few Republicans to go beyond anti-pork rhetoric and talk in depth about economic issues.
Last month, he smartly cast his lot with his friend, former eBay impresario Meg Whitman, who is running for governor of California as an entrepreneurial savior. She's not a bad bet to win both the GOP nomination and the governorship, while test-driving Romney's message of economic growth.
And then, while Limbaugh and some other CPAC speakers were serving up cable-show vitriol, Romney made clear that he wished President Obama well and hoped for the best for the country. He then offered a more measured - and therefore more believable - critique of the new administration.
"Parts of the stimulus will, in fact, do some good," he averred. "But too much of the bill was shortsighted and wasteful.
"So far, the administration has been unclear on what it will do to address the huge decline in the pool of risk and investment capital," he said, arguing that an elimination of taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest could spur investment.