IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The CEO president?

In National Review, editor Rich Lowry argues that Mitt Romney should dump trying to connect with voters and simply channel his inner CEO.

If Romney is the Republican nominee, he would be wise to resist all the advice he’ll get on how to forge the kind of connection with voters that has heretofore escaped him. He should play by different rules: Don’t go out of your way to empathize. Don’t tell anyone about your passions. Don’t share endearing personal stories.

Romney needn’t dazzle with his personality or move people with his struggles. The standard he has to meet is the one Barack Obama famously established for Hillary Clinton back in their 2008 campaign — “likable enough.” People have to like Romney the way they like their accountant. They have to consider him trustworthy and capable, full stop.


Romney is a workmanlike politician. His pitch for himself should be that he’ll be an equally workmanlike president. Although it hasn’t set the GOP on fire, his truest, most natural message is that he’s a turnaround artist — the guy who can rationally evaluate a situation, come up with a plan and execute it. Romney can’t fall back simply on the dreaded Michael Dukakis buzzword of “competence.” His case has to include a vision of a better America. But his implicit slogan should be “No one ever regretted hiring Mitt Romney to do a job.”