I must confess in 2012 — almost from the beginning — I felt inclined to vote for Mitt Romney for president of the United States. His intellect, extraordinary business record, and honorable career in public service convinced me that he was uniquely qualified to serve faithfully in that office. But there was something else: As a moderate hailing from a deeply blue state, I thought he could appeal to centrist Republicans and right-leaning Independents nationwide — perhaps enough of them to give him a decided edge on Election Day.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

And yet to say that Governor Romney didn’t work hard, campaign vigorously, and run a serious campaign would be untrue. He certainly did. And, if he had been elected, I still think he would have been a superb chief executive. But his devastating and somewhat unexpected loss has forced me to fundamentally reconsider and re-examine what kind of candidate to support in future presidential election cycles. And so, after months of soul-searching, here are three essential qualities I believe the next Republican presidential nominee must possess:

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