Conservatives should jauntily sing as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers did in a year when the country’s chin was on the ground. Conservatives are hardly starting from scratch in their continuing courtship of the electorate, half of which embraced their message more warmly than it did this year’s messenger.
The election’s outcome was foreshadowed by Mitt Romney struggling as long as he did to surmount a notably weak field of Republican rivals. His salient deficiency was not of character but of chemistry, that indefinable something suggested by the term empathy. Many voters who thought he lacked this did not trust him to employ on their behalf what he does not lack, economic understanding.