Mitt Romney is Inevitable

There are only 50 days left until the Iowa Caucus, which means we’re finally nearing the end of the spectacle of the Republican presidential primary. At this point, Michele Bachmann has utterly disappeared from the race, Rick Perry oops’d his way out contention, and Herman Cain’s poll numbers are finally starting to feel the drag of the sexual harassment accusations. The latest candidate to see a surge in his poll numbers, Newt Gingrich, is a self-styled serious politician who is thrice-married (with some overlap!) and responsible for grinding the government to a halt during some of the country’s most prosperous years. That leaves us with Mitt Romney, Mr. Inevitable.

In many ways, Romney has run the perfect campaign: At every debate, he’s come across as smart, informed, and well-spoken. (Those things alone distinguish him from his opponents.) He’s made no major gaffes. He’s tried to avoid being dragged further right, to preserve his chances in the general election. Jon Huntsman aside, Romney also might be the only Republican who has a shot at beating President Obama.

While pundits and bettors are confident that Romney will take the race, Republicans are dragging their heels. The problem with Romney is that he’s boring. He’s a technocrat, a wildly successful businessman who loves pouring over data. He’s an incredibly safe politician — so safe that he probably wears a helmet while driving his car. And while America could probably use a few more boring politicians (thanks to Anthony Weiner and Larry Craig!), they also don’t want a total stiff — they want to be able to sit down and have a beer with the guy who’s running the show.

Say what you want about the politics of the recent American presidents, they’ve all been interesting. I’d split a bottle of wine with Obama, a sixer of Lone Stars with George W. Bush, and toss back a few martinis with Bill Clinton. Hell, I bet you’d have a grand ol’ time sipping Scotch with George H.W. Bush up in Kennebunkport. But Mitt Romney? If you’re lucky, you’ll get some Diet Vanilla Coke. Yum.