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The Insiders
Posted at 09:48 AM ET, 10/24/2012

What kind of president might Romney be?

Hard to figure, based on his record of sailing with the prevailing political winds.  But here's my best guess. Mitt Romney believes he has expertise in management and knows something about job creation. And he will need a budget deal. So his entire focus will be on these issues. Although his approach to the economy and the budget will likely short-change investments in America's competitiveness, his overall plan might be more reasonable than some of the tea party fanatics will like.  But he will be able to "triangulate" off them and use a mix of Democratic and Republican votes to jam through his budget and economic plans. 

Here's my concern. To compensate for the anger of tea party conservatives who will say Romney sold them out by compromising too much on his budget and jobs packages, Romney will give the social conservatives free reign.  He will let them dictate his policies on Planned Parenthood, abortion, gay marriage and  Supreme Court appointments, to name a few examples. The consequences of such policy outsourcing are worth considering given the recent comments of Indiana's Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.  According to Mr. Mourdock, if a woman is impregnated by rape, it is God's will.

President Nixon's first-term is the mirror image of what I am describing above.  Nixon was interested in designing and executing a new world order and bored by the minutiae of domestic policy.  So he mostly conceded it to the liberals in his party — yes, there were many then — and Northern Democrats. The EPA, urban renewal, the Endangered Species Act, affirmative action in government are just a few of Nixon's domestic initiatives.

For conservatives, Nixon's policies had profound consequences. Romney's may be just as profound for liberals.

By  |  09:48 AM ET, 10/24/2012

 
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