You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Editorials

Editorial | lessons from the election

Obama should use Romney as a special economic adviser

Romney as an Obama advisor would mark real bipartisanship that both men held out as an ideal during the campaign.

Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Romney as an Obama advisor would mark real bipartisanship that both men held out as an ideal during the campaign.

Continue reading below

After a year and a half of campaigning, Mitt Romney will need some time to decompress from his presidential loss. Like fellow Bay Staters Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, Romney will be haunted by various might-have-beens and what-ifs. When he hears the word Sandy, he won’t think of Little Orphan Annie’s dog.

Romney’s presidential ambitions drew him apart from the Bay State, which he led ably as governor. The conservative stances he took in order to win the Republican presidential nomination doomed him with Massachusetts voters. But it’s worth remembering that when he found his voice after the first debate, he offered a moderate, bipartisan, patriotic vision. It felt sincere and reflective of his commitment to public service.

In victory, President Obama suggested he would like to find a role for Romney in public life, making real the bipartisanship that both men held out as an ideal during the campaign. Romney should go for it. If a formal role felt too confining, he could be an adviser on an issue of mutual concern, such as reforming the corporate income tax. Mitt Romney is a talented and civic-minded figure; there’s no need for him to withdraw simply because he lost the presidency.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week