“There are answers in numbers-gold in numbers,” he [Romney] wrote in “Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games,” his 2004 memoir. “Pile the budgets on my desk and let me wallow.” His campaign manager, Beth Myers, told me recently that Romney regularly checks Mittromney.com, and sends off e-mails to aides, asking them to add more detailed information to the site.
I still think Mitt Romney’s religion will lose him too many votes on the margins of his target audience to make him viable. But if that isn’t a problem, the data-jock attitude is a serious issue. There’s no bar on being president and several standard deviations or more above the norm in intelligence. Thomas Jefferson was president of The American Philosophical Society; but suffrage was limited to the “higher orders” when he was head of the American state. Jimmy Carter might have had a physics degree, but he was a down home southern boy! I don’t know if Romney is smart enough to know that he has to start actin’ a bit dumb now and then.
P.S. Of course, we could use a head of state with a head for numerical details. But that’s low on the priority list for American presidential candidates judging by the current crop which is considered viable. Rhetorical skills seem more important judging by the notable surplus of lawyers.