The Draper profile of Mitt Romney included this passage that speaks volumes about what we can expect from him:
But as a presidential candidate, he does not always display his intellectual rigor in his policy proposals. An adviser once told me about how in 2007 Romney reacted to the news that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was planning on visiting ground zero during a United Nations convention. First, the candidate engaged in a debate with his foreign-policy aide, Dan Senor. Then the two men switched sides and argued opposite positions. Finally, Romney called for someone to bring him the United Nations Charter, which he read and discussed at length with Senor.
But in the end, Romney’s response to the Ahmadinejad visit was unremarkable. He released a four-sentence press statement denouncing the Iranian leader’s intentions as “shockingly audacious” and concluding that rather than “entertaining Ahmadinejad, we should be indicting him.”
I’m not sure what the point of discussing the U.N. Charter would have been. Regardless, this episode captures one of the things that is wrong with Romney. He can spend all this time pondering an issue (and a very minor one at that), and still opt for the most predictable, ideological response available. Of Romney’s many strange and bad ideas, his repeated call over the years to indict Ahmadinejad under the Genocide Convention has to be one of the silliest, but he keeps saying it anyway (and he said it again at last week’s debate). Romney may be very intellectually rigorous, but it doesn’t produce any better results than if he made no effort and repeated slogans.