Who is Mitt Romney? What does he stand for? What is at the core of his values? His "flip flopping (e.g. abortion rights, healthcare reform, taxation)" is confusing. I think we collectively have asked:
Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?
(Apologies to Bill Stewart and Goodman-Todsman of "To Tell the Truth" fame)
Flip Flopper? Yes. But Why?
Based on positions taken, it's clear where Mr. Romney stands, today. However, such positions are very different from his positions in the past. I'm guessing they may be different than those in the future. Is he just another politician, speaking whatever is currently convenient? A man who can't make up his mind? Is he irrational? Or perhaps, a rational flip flopper? I say no to all of the above.
I've looked to his LinkedIn profile for a clue. A Harvard MBA. A consultant during the hey day of being a consultant. A consultant turned CEO. All great credentials. I've worked with the best of the best consultants. I've worked with great CEOs. I've even worked with consultants turned CEOs. He's one of them.
After discounting all the other reasons why we know so little about Romney's convictions and values, I've realized there is one explanation -- he's a consultant at his core. A consultant turned CEO. And, if elected, I think he'll be a consultant turned President.
See, many consultants rarely have convictions of their own. And, they lack imagination. They have a goal or problem to solve. Employing tactics of gathering smart experts and opinions, diving into the problem, applying methodologies of their firm, consultants "get to to the bottom of the problem and find a solution." Or, maybe just telling the client what the client wants to hear. Cynically or real, the joke most often told by a consultant seems to be, "My job is to look at a client's watch and tell him (her) what time it is." Rarely, it seems, that consultants have opinions of their own. And, even less common, do they formulate imaginative, creative solutions. Rarely do personal values or convictions enter the equation.
Consultants-turned-CEOs often employ the same strategies. Such CEO's rely on the success of their past. They use the consultant's methodology to solving problems. And, oftentimes they create a complete disaster or fail to turn around a company because of the lack of imagination or personal insight.
Mitt Fits the Suit
Is this the real Mitt Romney? A consultant-turned-Presidential candidate? His resume certainly points to this. Sure, proponents point to his business leadership as qualifications for the Presidency. If you want a consultant in the White House, maybe this makes sense. If you want a President with convictions and ideas of his own, maybe not. And, if you are searching for core values, I'm guessing you won't find them. That's by design.
(Caveat: I await the comments of "Not *ALL* consultants or consultants-turned-CEO are this way." True enough. Lou Gerstner was a great consultant turned CEO. I only speak in generalities. YMMV.)