Tony Blair got no end of flak for talking about his “irreducible core”, because that was the kind of absurd jargon that only a well-paid New Labour PR team could have come up with (New Labour...it all seems so long ago now!).
Now we all know that Mitt Romney has no problem with corniness (witness his announcement speech...), but I suspect that this business of the core—let’s call it The Core, for emphasis—will be something that troubles both the lunatics in the GOP primary and voters at large.
I can almost picture Romney on the operating table, a surgeon and his team hovering frantically over him. “Team, we’ve got to find The Core before it’s too late! Get on it!”
“Here Doctor, I’ve found his healthcare plan in Massachusetts!” “Well done, that looks like the basis for a practical and humane philosophy. Dig a bit deeper, we must be close to The Core”.
“But wait, over here...I’ve found him inveighing against healthcare reform as a “government takeover” and talking about the Obama Misery Index!” “Abort! Abort! Look elsewhere!”
“But over here he’s advocating for keeping the minimum wage in line with inflation...no one could retreat from such a basic defence of the need to preserve the ability of the working classes to live decent lives!”
“Don’t cut just yet...here he’s arguing that sustaining corporate welfare is more important than the well-being of the working class! And now we have him arguing that corporations are people!”
“Ah, but here Doctor, he’s supported a woman’s right to an abortion. Surely this speaks to a respect for civil liberties and equality of gender?”
“Not so fast, nurse! Over here I’ve got him denying that he was ever pro-choice!”
“Ah, but at last we’ve settled on a shred of commonsense...he supported gun-control measures in 1994 and noted that this move would hardly make him beloved of the NRA”.
“Hold your horses now...he bought a lifetime NRA membership in 2006 and has been touting his hunting prowess (admittedly limited to “small varmints”) ever since!”
Maybe, in an effort to jazz up Romney’s campaign in the face of onslaughts from the wild-eyed lunatic from Minnesota and the hard-charging idiot from Texas, they could commission a graphic novel: “The Core: Saving America!”.
Or if his bid for the presidency goes south, he could create a television show, “The Core”, in which the suited hero travels from one galaxy to the next in search of a philosophy to pilfer. I can see it selling really well with the ages 5-9 crowd.