By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Mitt Romney, thinking about a third run for president?

Conservatives aren’t buying it, and liberals are drooling at the prospect of running yet again against a gaffe-prone, filthy rich venture capitalist.

To me, when both the right and the left are dismissive of someone, they warrant a closer look, given the wretched track record of the right and the left in running our government lately.

So let’s assess the pros and cons of Mitt Romney, before conventional wisdom banishes him permanently to the hall of has-beens.

The cons may be fresher in your memory. He earned his reputation for political expedience by running for governor of Massachusetts as a pro-choice moderate, then morphing into a social conservative as he geared up for the Republican primaries. His efforts at projecting personality have often been painfully awkward.

And he inflicted Jonathan Gruber on an unsuspecting nation.

But Romney is also a person of strong character, faithful husband, loving father and grandfather, a charitable person with an undeniable commitment to public service.

If it was me, and I had the choice, I’d prefer a beach in the Caribbean over Des Moines in January.

And when you look back over the infamous gaffes, they pale in comparison to some of the positions Romney took that look good in hindsight, most notably identifying Russia as a military threat.

Mitt Romney for president, again? Maybe not.

But the rush to ridicule the idea may say more about us than him.

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

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Jon Keller

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