But then, there's this from that same piece:
I've always had a soft spot for Mitt Romney, who strikes me, in a way I can't completely define, as a good guy. The fact that he is an audacious liar does not strike me as a definitive judgment on his character, but primarily a reflection of the circumstances he finds himself in -- having to transition from winning a majority of a fairly liberal electorate to winning a majority of a rabidly conservative one, one that cannot be placated without indulging in all sorts of fantasies.
I see him as a patrician pol, like George H. W. Bush, who believes deeply in public service but regards elections as a cynical process of pandering to rubes.I gotta tell you . . . I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I understand what Chait is saying here -- and I understand that his main take-away is that Romney is, in fact, an inveterate liar on the campaign trail -- but couple that with the foregoing and I think what I am listening to is an excuse for Romney to be a huge liar on the campaign trail.
The excuse goes something like: Yeah, sure . . . Romney is lying, but he's only saying things he doesn't believe in order to get elected. Deep down and underneath it all, he's not a bad guy -- he's like Poppy Bush.