The NYT op-ed board’s resident conservative had this to say about Romney today (emphasis mine):
Six months ago, it still seemed as if Republican primary voters might be choosing a sacrificial lamb to run against Barack Obama. Now it looks as if they might be choosing the next president.
This should inspire Republicans to return, yet again, to the question that has dogged their party’s field all year. Is this really the best we can do?
The answer is no. No one doubts Romney’s intelligence or competence, but he has managed to run for president for almost five years without taking a single courageous or even remotely interesting position. The thinking person’s case for Romney, murmured by many of his backers, amounts to this: Vote for Mitt, you know he doesn’t believe a word he says.
Ouch. It’s nothing anyone doesn’t already know. It’s only interesting because Douthat is openly saying it instead of Markos or Krugman. But still. Ouch.
Douthat of course follows that up by (stupidly) suggesting Chris Christie should run. Bernstein smartly counters that Palin is the only person that could enter this late. It takes over a month of groundwork to begin a Presidential campaign (everything from trivial things like making a good looking campaign bus to the big thing of setting up a nationwide donor network). Perry didn’t just wake up and decide to run two days ago. He’d been planning messaging and logistics for at least a month.