Last week resolved the remaining questions about which Republicans are running for president. Chris Christie, the outspoken governor of New Jersey, and Sarah Palin, the misspoken conservative celebrity, will not. The field is set and pointed towards a surprising outcome. In the most conservative moment in the US in decades, a party dominated by Tea Party radicalism is on course to nominate the mild and moderate Mitt Romney.
In the interminable debates that punctuate the primaries, Mr Romney stands aloft from a quarrelling chorus of patriotic anarchists. The Republican nomination is now Mr Romney’s to lose, and there is no reason why he should.
The greatest risk he faces in the primaries and as a potential nominee is becoming a Republican John Kerry. He does not suffer from Mr Kerry’s pomposity or tin ear, but courts mockery by sounding too much like the product of focus-group testing. He lacks humour and spontaneity. Few detest him, but no one outside of his equally flawless family can be said to love him. Read more