Notwithstanding his poll leads in Iowa and New Hampshire (and depending on whose polling you read, Michigan, Nevada and, slightly improbably at this point, South Carolina), former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is frequently an afterword in any British commentary on the 2008 US presidential elections. Partly, perhaps, this is because everyone assumes that a Democrat (in fact, a Democrat named Hillary Clinton) will win. Partly, also, it may be because Romney, unlike Clinton, Edwards, Giuliani, McCain (and even Obama), has never been a national (let alone international) figure.
The conventional wisdom (at least this side of the Atlantic) states that Romney won’t win because he appears so polished and scripted that he must be a phony. And then, whisper it, there’s his religion – the elephant in the corner that no-one (including, arguably, Romney himself) has yet dared to address.
But what isn’t talked about is the fact that Romney is probably the most intelligent and accomplished man or woman in the field. This article, possibly the best ‘from the trail’ piece I’ve seen so far, expresses clearly how this is impacting on the campaign, particularly in New Hampshire.