THE BLOG
10/24/2012 06:57 pm ET Updated Dec 24, 2012

Romney's Commander-in-Chief Problem

Sometimes the evolution of a candidate can be a good thing. Take President Lincoln's evolution on the meaning of emancipation or RFK's views on the war in Vietnam.

But those evolutions occurred over time, through internal conflict and reflection.

And let's be honest, Mitt Romney is no Lincoln.

Mitt Romney's evolution seems to take place week-to-week, moment-by-moment or political-opportunity-by-political-opportunity.

The trouble is that the commander-in-chief isn't given the luxury of such volatility.

Decisions need to be made quickly, often with conflicting and limited information. They take fortitude and a willingness to take a risk to reap a reward that benefits the American people. That's what real commanders-in-chief do.

Ask bin Laden.

But as Romney showed in the third debate on foreign policy, he has a commander-in-chief problem. His views on foreign policy shifted from the 2008 election to the 2012 primaries to the 2012 general election to... well... last week to this one.

It begs the question that was best put by the Salt Lake City Tribune in their recent endorsement of President Obama, "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"

"The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney's next speech or sound bite," the Tribune noted. "Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear."

This is a good question. Just what does Romney stand for?

Do we really know?

In the foreign policy debate he spent so much time trying to appear moderate and run away from the stances he took in the primary that he ended up supporting most if not all of the policies of the Obama administration in the last four years.

Think about that.

In the time Romney started running for president in the Republican primary last year his foreign policy has "evolved" so much that he went from naming Russia the number-one geopolitical foe of the United States and basically blaming the Obama administration for everything that isn't right in the Middle East to saying he wouldn't do anything different from Obama on drones, Egypt or really even Iranian sanctions.

I don't know about you but why have a copycat when you can have the real thing?

Polls taken after the debate seemed to agree giving a decisive victory to the president. And for good reason. The president showed he was the commander-in-chief.

Sometimes the evolution of a candidate can be a good thing.

But when you're choosing a commander-in-chief it is good to know where someone stands. And the problem for Mitt Romney is no one really knows.