Last week, Garry Wills — who has made a career of evaluating America’s presidents and would be presidents — asked in the New York Review of Books:
What lessons will Romney have to teach his party? The art of crawling uselessly? How to contemn 47 percent of Americans less privileged and beautiful than his family? How to repudiate the past while damaging the future? It is said that he will write a book. Really? Does he want to relive a five-year-long experience of degradation? What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it? His friends can only hope he is too morally obtuse to realize that crushing truth. Losing elections is one thing. But the greater loss, the real loss, is the loss of honor.
Romney lost because a majority of Americans — admittedly a narrow majority — realized that he would say anything to win. He was, in the words of Canadian commentator Andrew Cohen, “a confused standard bearer of no philosophical address.”
But yesterday, in a call to big donors, Romney essentially repeated what he had said to other backers in that embarrassing 47% clip:
According to reports in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, the former Republican nominee said during a call with donors on Wednesday that Obama had been “very generous” in doling out “big gifts” to “the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people” as well as to women throughout his first term. Benefits such as access to “free health care,” guaranteed contraceptive coverage, more affordable student loans, and “amnesty for children of illegals,” all combined to give the president a decisive edge in popularity.
The truth is that Romney has always had a philosophical address. It’s just that, when he was running for president, he didn’t want voters to know where he lived. He has now confirmed that he resides in a gated community.