“… The Romney campaign has tried in various ways to combat the flip-flopping charge,” writes John Dickerson in a Slate article titled Romney’s Achilles’ Heel; Can Mitt convince voters he believes anything?

First, Romney has embraced his largest reversal and admitted that he has changed his view on abortion. Better to claim a conversion than look shifty. To court the key GOP voting bloc of social conservatives, Romney has offered his 38-year marriage and vast family as proof that he not only supports family values but lives them. He speaks out against pornography and lectures Republicans on maintaining standards. He denounced his former supporter Sen. Larry Craig. He seems to be hoping that if he plays the role of the most conservative, people won’t question his qualifications for it.

Calculating vacillators are not usually associated with fortitude, so Romney has also made the word strength his running mate. It’s in all his slogans—”Strategy for a Stronger America” and “True Strength for America’s Future.” His ads go completely overboard on the word. Romney’s successful business career and storied turnaround of the Olympics are also deployed as proof that he has conviction and leadership skills inconsistent with the shape-shifting caricature. (Although, as Daniel Gross so cannily pointed out, Romney’s flexibility is completely consistent with his acumen as a CEO.) etc., etc.

Yes, and we would concur with the estimable Jim Rubens on Romney: “Beware Candidates Trying to Purchase a Conservative Label”—NH Republicans “ought to heed the attacks” by other GOPers on Romney “by remembering the the last time a wealthy businessman spent millions of his own money in a campaign to re-define himself as a conservative”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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