Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Whiplash

I spoke yesterday of the whiplash, well there is no better example than this,
Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register that he has no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion
Following the red meat wallow of the political conventions, traditionally candidates have slowly edged towards the middle. After the Republican convention, Romney continued to whip the base into a frenzy and the wise people inside the D.C. bubble scratched their collective pointy heads; how can he not do what we expect him to do?

Well, here it is, but not exactly how the pointy heads envisioned. From a debate performance filled with policy positions that would have most Tea Partiers screaming to this latest modification of his abortion position (although a staffer walked it back almost immediately), it is apparent Romney is not going to walk to the middle, he's going to turn left and scream towards the middle.

We don't normally see this type of abrupt grasping and anything new leads to questions. The two important in my mind.

-Will the Republican base, which was castigating Romney on these very issues just six months ago (arguably three months ago!), continue to succumb to the euphoria of the post-debate high and give him a pass?

James quick answer: Yes. Republicans fall in line. He's winning the beauty contest and at this point in the game that matters more than single policy issues - including abortion.

-Can the Obama campaign take advantage of the "new Mitt"?

James quick answer: Maybe. Navigating to the middle is usually a high wire act for a challenger. Romney's bull rush has momentarily befuddled the President's campaign, but there is opportunity to point out opportunism.

27 days to go. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting piece on today gives telling examples from Romney's carefully worded, loop-holed position statements which, without alteration, justified contradictory stances and behavior on abortion before, during, and after his being governor.

--a reluctant Romney supporter