That’s a question many conservatives — including Mitt Romney supporters — have likely asked themselves. Unfortunately, even when Romney has tried to answer this question directly, he’s often lacking in passion and authenticity. Here are some of his explanations, in his own words:

“I am running for President because I have the experience and the vision to lead us in a different direction.” – Romney to the NRA, April 2012.

“I am running for President because I have spent my life in the private sector.” – Romney in campaign ad, June 2011

“I am running for President because I have what it takes to turn America around.” – Romney in March 2012 fundraising letter

All are satisfactory, boilerplate, instantly forgettable answers. But where is Romney’s vision? What’s his driving motivation? In his NAACP speech this morning, he actually came close to an explanation that sounded, well, like an actual explanation as opposed to a throwaway campaign line:

“I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the President has set has not done that – and will not do that. My course will.”

That message implies that Romney is embracing his wealth, embracing his business experience, embracing his success — everything that Democrats are trying to tear him down for. Not only is Romney proud of these things, but he also wants them to spread. He’s successful and he wants others to be successful too. He wants to help lift people out of poverty and help those who need assistance, and he’ll do it with conservative economic policies as opposed to government programs that keep poor people poor.

He still has the challenge of communicating to Americans exactly why Obama’s policies have failed and why his own policies would succeed. But this is a clearer and more authentic vision than he’s given in the past, and it’s one he can continue to build on.

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