Mitt Romney, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, ended months of non-suspense Monday by announcing he is forming an exploratory committee for a 2012 presidential bid.
Romney, who made an unsuccessful try for the GOP nomination in 2008, has already made a campaign appearance at the University of New Hampshire, in the state where an early presidential primary provides an early test for presidential hopefuls.
But as the Los Angeles Times notes, political observers are already wondering how Romney can get around the fact that he signed a state health care plan into law while governor. The Massachusetts plan has many of the features of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, including a requirement for mandatory insurance coverage for all of his state’s citizens.
That kind of moderation might make Romney electable in November 2012, but it will also make him appear toxic to a large bloc of his own party’s voters in state primaries.
I recently watched Romney for a few minutes on a CNN talk show, and came away impressed. He didn’t seem inclined to reduce thorny national and international issues to bumper-sticker-sized slogans, as so many political leaders are doing, in the apparent belief that this is what we want.