Raiffa’s Rule in Presidential Politics

Inspecting the politically target-rich environment that is Mitt Romney’s personality and record, Barack Obama’s strategists are reportedly torn between two approaches: pointing out that Romney is a soulless vote-seeking zombie with no actual core beliefs, or instead trying to label him as a right-wing lunatic.

But as Howard Raiffa said, when given a choice between A and B, you should always ask “Why can’t I have both?”

Mitt Romney is a soulless vote-seeking zombie with no actual core beliefs, whose political calculation has induced him, and will continue to induce him should be become President, to act like a right-wing lunatic on topics ranging from shutting down Planned Parenthood to enriching the rich at the expense of the rest of the population.

There! That wasn’t so hard, was it?

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.