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Romney and Obama: The Same Guy?

When it comes to their records and personal traits, the similarities are undeniable.

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After three years of GOP railing against the perils of a bloated "nanny state" and the loud gnashing of Tea Partiers' teeth as they looked to "take the country back" from a "socialist" president of questionable American birth, the Republican Party, in the wake of the New Hampshire primaries, now stands on the cusp of selecting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- the candidate most like President Barack Obama -- as its nominee in 2012.

Meet your new boss, Republicans. He's a lot like the old one.

As I wrote a couple of years ago, it's not just that Obama and Romney are Harvard lawyers who're "both millionaires and devoted family men." It's that they've got the same look, feel and vibe. They've got the same salt-and-pepper hair that comes straight from central casting, and they're both tall and trim -- when they face off to debate on Oct. 3 in Denver, if they accidentally grab each other's suit jackets, they'll probably find out that they're both an enviable 42 long.

They're minorities -- one ethnic and one religious. Romney did his Mormon mission as a student; and after college, Obama was a community organizer -- sort of the rough equivalent for a young African American with political ambitions.

Not convinced?

Obama has lost one race -- to congressman and former Black Panther Bobby Rush. Romney lost one to the legendary Sen. Ted Kennedy. Neither man served in the military, but they both married elegant women who are more popular than either of their husbands.

They're technocrats who prefer policy details to the grind of retail politics. Obama's got his uptight pressroom "I don't like your question" grimace, and Romney's got his "It's still my time" debate whine.

But what really makes them similar is each man's record. It's true that Obama is pro-choice and Romney isn't. And Romney says he'll repeal Dodd-Frank -- the financial-sector regulation that Obama signed. But on the big-ticket items of Obama's presidency, it's harder than you'd think to find issues on which Romney would have gone a different way.


Obama is the only person to vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program as a senator and then oversee it as president. Romney's stance? In 2010 he told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that bailing out the banks "was the right thing to do" because it was "an investment made to try and keep a collapse of our entire financial system from occurring."