Under different circumstances, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney could very well be the best of pals. Take foreign policy: Both Obama and Romney espouse the centrist approach of the diplomatic, academic, and think-tank establishment. On the budget and taxes, Romney and Obama are—again—different mostly at the margins. As for health care, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson put it best: "There are only two people in world history who have signed individual mandates into law. One is the president, [and] the other's the guy running against him."
The real split, writes A. Barton Hinkle, is to be found not so much between the two big-government candidates themselves as in the electorate.