How Will Mitt Govern?

Now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee, The Washington Post ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, believes that the paper should focus more on how he’ll govern, rather than how he’ll campaign. For guidance to the former question, he writes that we should look to his tenure as governor:

To me, the best predictor of Romney as president is not as the former Bain Capital chief executive, but as the former governor of Massachusetts. […]

As governor, Romney cut spending, and, as promised, didn’t raise income taxes, but he did close tax “loopholes” on corporations — and he dramatically raised state fees, such as tuition at state universities. He also won unprecedented powers to cut state aid to cities and towns, and then he angered mayors by assigning his lieutenant governor and underlings to meet and explain the plan to municipal leaders.

At most, Romney’s tenure as governor can give us a sense of his method; how he governs, how he approaches the press, and how he’ll try to fulfill the promises of his campaign. But Massachusetts can’t tell us much about the substance of a Romney administration; for that, we’ll have to look toward his message, his interviews, and his rhetoric on the trail. The short story is that Romney has transformed himself into an avatar for the right-wing, and insofar that he has an approach for government, it will be to his stated ends: drastically lower taxes on the wealthy, a sharp reduction in social services, and a belligerent foreign policy.

You can think of a Romney administration as being like Bush’s, except turned to eleven.

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