New York Times columnist David Brooks has a tendency to upset a lot of conservatives because he takes positions that are usually more moderated. And his reasoning in making a case for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seems to be an instance of just that, pragmatism trumping ideology.
On Friday’s airing of “NewsHour” on PBS, Brooks explained that while the country is clamoring for a GOP presidential nominee like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, his nomination might not be the wisest thing for the country.
“Yes, I mean as Mark [Shields] says, [Christie] has this phenomenal, rare skill of talking about wonky issues in a normal way and that is just not something that comes along every day,” Brooks said. “And so he has that skill. But to follow Mark’s metaphor, I agree the Republican primary electorate wants the guy with the leather jacket. But I think the country wants the guy from the rotary club. I think they want the Mitt Romney guy, because we are in a very scary period.”
Brooks warned that if crisis strikes, an aggressive individual like Christie would be less effective than the more moderated Romney.
“I expect, before the election, there is going to be more bad news from Europe or somewhere else. And my presumption is, on elections, people always vote for the candidate who seems safer and more orderly,” Brooks continued. “Obama seemed more orderly than McCain after the financial meltdown. Bush seemed more orderly. Whether they are really going to want somebody like Chris Christie, who is rambunctious and big and not exactly orderly, I`m not convinced. I think the Republicans should be pretty happy with Romney.”
However, Brooks didn’t predict the electorate would go with Romney.
“The perception is that Obama moved the country sharply to the left, and they want somebody who will shake things up and move it just as sharply to the right,” Brooks said. “And Romney doesn’t send off those ‘I’m going to move the country in a radically disruptive direction’ – the way Trump does, the way ‘the Hermanator,’ Herman Cain, does, the way Chris Christie might.”