October 24, 2012

WERE THEY NOT LISTENING TO THE ETCH-A-SKETCH STUFF?:

Romney's Audacious Centrist Evolution Leaves Old Positions in the Dust (Howard Kurtz, Oct 24, 2012, Daily Beast)

Some in the pundit class may object, but here's the thing: Romney's strategy seems to be working. And he appears more comfortable in this back-to-the-future role.

Romney's advisers insist he hasn't changed, that some of the earlier nuances in his policies were simply overlooked. But it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the image Romney is projecting changed rather abruptly, starting with that first debate in Denver.

Only journalists and other political junkies have been obsessively following the campaign since the early days of 2011. Many Americans are like casual baseball fans who only start paying attention at World Series time. They don't know, and maybe don't much care, what Romney said during the regular season.

So if Romney has been "all over the map" on foreign policy, as Obama repeatedly charged in their final debate, that may not matter. Swing voters want to be assured that he won't start a crazy war, and Romney, with his deliberately passive performance, certainly conveyed that message. Never mind that in the past he's said he wouldn't yank U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014 without the consent of military leaders; he now says he's pulling out, period.

All candidates gravitate to the center in a general election; you don't hear Obama talking much about gay marriage these days. But Romney's abrupt evolution has been so audacious that it must be a feat of mental gymnastics to keep in his head all the past statements and current iterations.

Posted by at October 24, 2012 5:24 AM
  

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