BOSTON (CBS) – I don’t know if this is necessarily true of all other cultures, but it’s undeniable that Americans love a good circus.

Check: Primary Results

And the history of our robust, often messy, sometimes nasty politics speaks to that love affair.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Other countries are content with brief presidential elections that last a few weeks; ours go on forever.

In fact, they go on for so long, and feature such a parade of candidates, debates, conventions, disputes, attack ads and public hysteria of all types, that it’s easy to forget how little all the hoopla has to do with the real business at hand.

Last night’s decisive New Hampshire victory for Mitt Romney, which sets up a likely sealing of the GOP nomination by Romney in South Carolina and Florida over the next few weeks, is a case in point.

After all the invective that’s been thrown at Romney over the past four years, it’s somewhat astonishing that anyone would vote for him to be the animal control officer, let alone president.

He’s been portrayed as a cold, ruthless robber baron, an unprincipled con man, a pathological flip-flopper and – in the elegant language of the oh-so-distinguished Prof. Newt Gingrich – a liar.

But a resounding plurality of New Hampshire voters didn’t seem to believe all that.

Or if they did, they made a decision that he was still the best-equipped person to make the change they want in Washington, so they voted for him anyway.

I prefer to believe that people simply took the measure of Romney, and found him to have been unfairly maligned.

And it’s no coincidence that arguably the most moderate GOP contender, with all due respect to Jon Huntsman, is on track to be the nominee.

The squeaky wheels of left and right get the grease, but I notice most presidents wind up governing mostly from the center, even our current one, and the candidates who run that way usually win out.

Circuses are fun.

But the presidency is serious business.

That’s why Romney is in the driver’s seat, and Gingrich, Santorum and the rest were relegated last night to a dog carrier on the roof of his car.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (16)
  1. Dave_D says:

    “Resounding plurality”? I think that I understand both words, but I don’t often see them that close together.

  2. tsalnew says:

    “…they made a decision that he was still the best-equipped person to make the change ” – not quite. The best person in the circus that calls itself the GOP hopefuls. Not a whole lot to chose from.

  3. gramps says:

    Huntsman is really the only electable competition that ‘Mitt’ has….but….He’s cash strapped.

    That is, unless his ‘Dad’ loosens up the ‘Family’s Fortune’, changes his ‘Will’ & allows him to fight through South Carolina & Florida.

    I’ll always remember going to the Circus @ the old ‘Boston Garden’, it’s sights & sounds…..

    But, “boy did it ‘SMELL’!


    1. tsalnew says:

      And again we agree gramps. And I remember that old garden smell too and the circus. Got a chameleon and named him Emmit for Emmit Kelly. yes this is a circus.

  4. Gail says:


    You showed your true colors this morning. If you think extreme liberal Obama is governing from the center, than your thinking is farther left than the current occupant of the White House.

  5. Ellen says:

    So let me get this straight, New Hampshire holds all the cards on who’s going to get the Republican ticket, and what the rest of us should just go along with the N.H. election results. Isn’t this a bit old and out of sync for the 21 century.

  6. Stephen says:

    Your comment that, “most presidents wind up governing mostly from the center, even our current one” is evidence of your fatigue from spending all that time covering the primary scene in Iowa and New Hampshire. Our current president governing from the center? You should proofread your commentaries before broadcast time.

  7. andyme says:

    Obama governing from the center, really? Jon, you have been around all those liberals from Cambridge too long!

    How long do you think it’s going to take for the GOP leaders to corral Newt and Perry and stop the vulture capital remarks? Go Rush, give Newt hell!!!!!

  8. tsalnew says:

    With regard to Obama governing from the center, perhaps the right has moved so far to the extreme that many would not recognize center. When the republican party parallels the John Birch society – a group it deplored and was embarrassed by decades ago – it gives me serious room for pause.

  9. BostonIrish says:

    Jon, wow… Obama is governing from near center?????

    Do you have any vacation time left? Maybe it’s time…

    1. tsalnew says:

      you too BI – say it ain’t so. I figured you’d see how far off base the right has shifted. I am on vacation (sort of) this month and thought the comment made sense so Jon vacation won’t help either of us. Darn – I have to go rethink how wanting to save the foundation of this country from crumbling is not good old centrist common sense.

      1. BostonIrish says:

        Tsal, if Obama would stop crumbling it I think we may be able to salvage the foundation. But I’m afraid he’s going to get re-elected. I would rather Hillary. She’s not AS socialist, and it would be an improvement.

  10. tsalnew says:

    crumbling ??? It’s either let the GOP have its way or cut the middle class off at its knees – he has not had a choice – socialist – Socialist? definition is keeping middle class intact? Or plutocracy which defines as a wealthy few in charge and the remainder as working poor? I’ll take socialism if that’s the current definition :)

    1. BostonIrish says:

      tsal, I don’t know why my opinions and views define me as anti-center or any of that. Your views are yours. I believe that Obama and the left’s policies regarding budget and spending are wrong. And my opinion is he is a socialist. I don’t view him as anything resembling center. I also applaud the congress to push back against senate spending and the fed printing excessive money. I want them to stop for practical financial reasons. And I don’t want the debt ceiling to be raised. I don’t advocate a plutocracy, either.

  11. emom says:

    What’s the chance Hilary would run,, I know she wont , But image if she did. I so wish she won last time. the way I see it , none of the candidates are even coming close to a solutions,. I still say the back woods are looking far better to live than around here.. At least I can do what i want.;
    Ok I see where your going JON, from the middle a safe place to be taking a little from all sides to try and quelch all. However it has not worked out that way. and far to many are just not pleased, FLIP FLOPPING wait all do that, Also politics have gone the way of super mudslinging and tearing the others down, The mere chance of talking about the problems at hand is like a 3 ring circus. or should I say more like guess where the lady is under the card. Pinning down a politicians to answer a honest question about the countries problem GOOD LUCK.. they rather find fault with others, look for problems with others and skirt around the true issues . Let the MUDSLINGING continue. cause I see nothing happening with the problems in this country , Common folks will suffer greatly and nothing will be done to fix the current problems with GREED on a corporate level, it will get worse.
    Jon your right , most stay in the middle , its a comfort zone , But by doing this and having nothing to show with it you would think they would change tactics. Talk about flip flopper’s, double standards and well doing nothing to change the issues.. Wait I think our state is doing much the same, sticking to the middle and pacifying those that matter. THE RICH. This is my opinion ,,,, politicians stuck in the hole up to their chins in MUD.

  12. Tsalnew says:

    Emom you simply make me smile. Your comments are great and the humor between the lines is enjoyable. I agree with your comments totally Hey I’m in your area for the month. Nice wind and waves setting up. Enjoy!

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