Romney's Problem: He's Whoever We Want Him to Be

Candidate is an 'other-directed personality': David Brooks

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2012 11:18 AM CST

(Newser) – David Brooks has a theory about why Mitt Romney isn't winning the hearts of Republicans: He fits the classic definition of an "other-directed personality," a type of person who is "adept at pleasing others, at selling him or herself" rather than being guided by a strong set of internal principles. He's "pliable." That makes him successful as a businessman in the information age, as a manager of managers, but it's precisely the wrong time for an "other-directed" politician to be running for president, writes Brooks in the New York Times.

"Americans are again in a state of spiritual anxiety, wondering if they are losing the hardy pioneer virtues that built the nation and defeated fascism and communism," he writes. "In a period of fragmentation, information overload, and social distrust, they want a leader who is rooted and resolute." Romney needs to show some backbone, take some unpopular positions. Rick Santorum, for example, never wavers from his core beliefs, but few would say the same of Romney. "If he can’t fix that problem, he may win the Republican nomination, but it won’t be worth much."

Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at his Colorado caucus night rally in Denver Tuesday.
Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at his Colorado caucus night rally in Denver Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
7%
4%
15%
1%
72%
0%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!