Where’s the real Romney?

Remember in 2008 when the process of running for President seemed to drain John McCain of most of the qualities that had once made him appealing to independents and even some liberals?

Timothy Egan’s brilliant piece at the New York Times suggests that something similar has happened to Mitt Romney:

Romney[‘s] story is laden with land mines of his making. Or rather, that of his party, which has turned so quickly against common-sense solutions to the nation’s problems that Romney’s real achievements, and prior principles, are now toxic to most Republicans.

The truly interesting, even admirable parts of Romney’s family history; his business career; his term as governor of Massachusetts—all of these will be off the table at the Republican National Convention, Egan notes, to avoid offending the radical conservative sensibilities currently dominant in the party.

Caught between effective Democratic attacks and the demands of Republican ideologues, the “real Mitt,” like the real McCain in 2008, has left the building.