David Brooks, perhaps anticipating a disaster for Romney in Wednesday night's debate, has thoughtfully provided an opening statement for the candidate. It begins: "Ladies and gentlemen, Id like to use the opening minutes of this debate a little differently. Id like to say that I wish everybody could have known my father, George Romney. He was a great public servant and Ive always tried to live up to his example. The problem is that you get caught up in the competitiveness of a campaign and all the consultants want to make you something youre not."And continues: "Ive allowed that to happen to me. Im a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and Ive been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. Im a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. Ive ended up dumbing myself down. It hasnt even worked. Im behind. So Ive decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself."Brooks goes on to outline some interesting policy analysis and suggestions for the Republican candidate.I found it a refreshing, if unlikely, stance for Romney to take. Your views: Yes, especially you Republicans!Here: NYTimes, October 2.

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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