I was thinking about the possibility of an Obama v Romney matchup in next year’s election and it struck me that, in a lot of ways, Romney looks like Obama’s role model. That’s true in terms of their signature policy achievements (very similar health care policies), their general lack of (and even disparagement of) commitment to particular policies or principles, and their acceptance of the centrist view of the world in which the correct position is always midway between extremes, however those extremes may have been determined, and whatever their substantive content. Romney’s success in winning office in Massachusetts was a model for Obama’s success in what is (at least in Obama’s view and that of his advisors) an essentially rightwing country. Romney even gets some diversity points for being a successful member of a minority group.
As a temporary alien and permanent foreigner, I don’t have to worry about voting. But, of course, like everyone else on the planet, I will be significantly affected by the outcome. Still, as long as the Congress remains divided, it’s hard to see a choice between Obama and Romney making a big difference (of course, I thought that about Bush v Gore, so there you go).