THE BLOG
09/21/2012 03:28 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Romney on the Couch

It's official. Mitt Romney is now a Shakespearean character. If you put Macbeth and Hamlet in a blender, you'd get Romney, the tragic story of a prince/warrior with unchecked ambition, whose internal flaws turn his allies against him and lead to his own demise.

Okay, plot summary over. Let's continue to the "speeches":

Who can forget: "I like to fire people"?
Did anyone not wince at: " [Ann drives] a couple of Cadillacs"?
Certainly, everyone's jaw dropped upon hearing the "47 percent" remarks.

Romney, a product of Harvard's elite JD-MBA program is a smart guy, and a capable one. Yet, just Google "Romney gaffe," and you'll find rich rewards. The repeated blunders, the ability to sound just the wrong note, are these really just inadvertent incidents of his penchant for putting his foot in his mouth?

The answer to the issue seems obvious, even if it eludes pundits. If this were an English 101 class analyzing Romney's (mis)statements, the answer would be evident: the warrior/prince is in conflict about whether he wants to be our President: "To be or not to be."

Romney doesn't need another political advisor, or campaign manager. He needs a psychoanalyst, someone who can get inside his head, help him achieve some clarity, and figure out why he keeps sabotaging himself.

So, what's the problem? It's easy to conjecture that he doesn't want to surpass his father whose own misstatements doomed his 1968 presidential bid. His mother also ran unsuccessfully for office. Perhaps his calling to "serve" his country may conflict with the necessary compromises of presidential politics. There are dozens of ways to put Romney on the couch, as well as interpretations aplenty for his repeated missteps.

Like Hamlet, Romney seems to float in a sea of ambivalence about who he is, or should be. We'll never know exactly the source of this internal tension. Like the take-no-prisoners Macbeth, he often fails to reflect before he plows forward toward his next conquest.

If he really were a Shakespearian character, Romney would now be staggering on stage, uttering his final words before the curtain closes. Usually, those lines consist of some epiphany. The country is waiting.

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