The Long Run and What It Takes

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

Joe Klein and I have a long-running debate. He says we'd all be better off if politicians fired their pollsters and spoke from the heart. I argue that they don't necessarily have anything that they truly believe, and furthermore, we're a representative democracy, so why shouldn't politicians conform to what voters want?

I know I'm not going to win this argument (Joe is very stubborn), but I'm not sure there's a single right answer. Joe's careful, thoughtful cover story on Mitt Romney reveals a politician who both has core beliefs and also has molded himself to the electorate. In many ways,...

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