The New York Times has a good editorial commentary today on the “moderate Mitt myth.” Quoth the Times:
The way a presidential candidate campaigns for office matters to the country. A campaign should demonstrate seriousness of purpose and a set of core beliefs, and it should signal to voters whether a candidate shows trustworthiness and judgment. Those things don’t seem to matter to Mitt Romney.Yep, Proteus. But Proteus didn’t aim to please an audience. I’m reminded less of the ancient shapeshifter and more of Orin Incandenza, the tireless seducer of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. In a letter that forms the content of a long endnote, a former friend describes one of Orin’s pick-up strategies: Orin would approach a woman in a bar or at a dance and say, “Tell me what sort of man you prefer, and then I’ll affect the demeanor of that man.” The difference between Governor Romney and Orin Incandenza: Orin acknowledges that it’s an act.
From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power.
The strangest part: the name of Orin’s former friend is Marlon Bain.