Romney’s trail of betrayals and double-crosses stretches yet further; will it eventually follow Sherman’s march to the sea?

“CHARLESTON, S.C. – Like every great sales pitch, Mitt Romney’s case for Mitt Romney is low on the hard sell,” writes David Segal in a Wapo transmission titled Romney’s gyrations mystify observers.

At the Sheraton Hotel one recent morning, the boasting is handled by a former governor of South Carolina, who opens this “Ask Mitt Anything” session with a precis of the candidate’s career. This includes academic achievements (Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School “in four years!”) and election as governor of Massachusetts in 2002, which is described in a tone befitting a miracle …

… It’s smooth, folksy and winningly sincere. But it doesn’t sound much like the man who won that vote in Massachusetts. That Romney positioned himself as a moderate: in favor of abortion rights, courting gay voters and crusading on environmental matters.

He now says his pro-choice leanings were a mistake. He has become one of the country’s highest-profile opponents of gay marriage, and he warns against taking Al Gore’s side regarding action on global warming.

Which has prompted more than a few people to ask: Who is this guy?

The search for an Overarching Theory of Mitt has been a preoccupation in Massachusetts. Fans say he simply evolved; detractors call him a flip-flopper. But talk to those who’ve watched him longest, and some who were personally wooed during his run for governor, and you’ll hear something else. The man is a born salesman, they say, and he has taken the modus operandi of selling to a whole different level in the world of politics.

What earned him the job in Massachusetts is an idea that he doesn’t mention much any longer. Back in 2002, he emphasized one promise, time and again: He would be the state’s No. 1 salesman.

At that time, Romney deflected many of the social-conservative issues that he now embraces, and he charmed a handful of left-leaning interest groups who might otherwise have been enemies. A few of them say they wound up with the political version of buyer’s remorse. Romney made enemies with abortion-rights advocates, gay Republicans and environmentalists after gaining their trust during his campaign.

“We felt completely played,” recalled Melissa Kogut, former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “We just couldn’t believe it, given what he’d said to our faces”more

We wonder if it is any consolation to Romney’s former friends and associates—those who got played in Romney’s former incarnation—that he’s now busily playing us, i.e. those who stand to the right of center.

Willard Milton Romney has but one loyalty: Willard Milton Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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