In the classrooms where Mr. Romney distinguished himself, there were no “right” answers — no right questions even, just a daily search for how to improve results. The Mitt Romney classmates knew then was a gifted fix-it man, attuned to the particulars of every situation he examined and eager to deliver what customers wanted.That's from an article by Jodi Kantor in the NYT, and you can try to figure out if it's trying to promote Romney, undermine him, or tell it straight. I don't really know, but then, I like pragmatists and don't trust ideologues. For voters who look for an ideological structure of beliefs and mistrust pragmatism, this portrait will look different. But what I'm noticing, after all these months of mushy complaints about Romney's lack of "core values," is that there is no dirt on Romney. The criticisms about him are utterly abstract: he seems "plastic" or wishy-washy. Why do people keep saying things like that? I think it's because that's all they can say. The man has lived a blameless, virtuous life. He's the man who's never done anything wrong. Do you have a problem with that? He's too good?
“Mitt never struck me as an ideologue outside matters involving church and family,” said Howard Brownstein, a classmate. “He is a relativist, a pragmatist and a problem solver.”
If Mr. Romney melded with [Harvard Business School] l intellectually, he kept some distance from it socially. He was married and a parent. In the liberal precincts of Cambridge, he and his wife, Ann Romney — pictured wearing matching sweaters at a fall 1973 business school clambake, with their two sons on their laps — seemed like they were from “out on the prairies,” Mr. Brownstein said.He's a big old square, you see.
The future governor abstained from things many other students were doing: drinking coffee or alcohol, swearing, smoking.... When classmates visited the Romneys’ tidy home in suburban Belmont, they felt as if they were visiting a friend’s parents, not members of their own generation, and the young couple’s closest friends came from the Mormon church.
The Romneys did let outsiders into their world, sometimes inviting study group members to their weekly “family home evening,” a night Mormons traditionally set aside for husbands, wives and children to spend time together. (Mr. Brownstein remembered Mrs. Romney showing him her basement: in accordance with Mormon custom, she had a year’s supply of food stored in bins and freezers.)Those crazy Mormons! Family home evening... a year's worth of provisions, stored in the basement... are these the kind of people you'd like to put in charge of the economy?
Mr. Romney never seriously considered practicing law. “He wanted to make money, he wanted to solve problems,” said [Howard] Serkin, his former classmate. (In Mr. Romney’s world, money is “how you keep score,” he added.)How many Howards did the NYT find to inject snark into every fact? Don't we want a President who will "keep score" with money? Or does solving problems and keeping track of money fit your "no core values" template for Romney?