LATimes Romney Hit May Backfire
It's an inventive piece. The reporter talked to the leaders of pro-abortion, pro-gay and greenie groups about the promises Romney made to them when running against Ted Kennedy for Senator, and later for governor. They all say Romney promised to be more on their side then the Dems, "a different kind of Republican."
The piece is designed to portray Romney as a politician who will say anything for a vote, and as such it normally wouldn't mean much, because that's hardly a "man bites dog" story. They're obviously hoping to paint Romney with the same brush that was so harmful to Kerry's candidacy.
But there will be a backlash, too: If the advocates of liberal positions are mad at Romney it means (1) they're attacking a GOP candidate which is business as usual and (2) his change to new positions is more likely to be genuine than political.
Will we GOP-ers also feel the conversions are genuine? On abortion, Romney's stated reason for the change -- that research on the embryonic stem cell issue gave him a better understanding of the nature of life immediately after conception -- makes sense. You'd think he might have had that information earlier, but it's entirely likely he didn't.
On the gay rights issue, the LAT quotes a Log Cabin Republican on a Romney promise to support civil unions:
"He said, 'Call it whatever you want. Just don't use the M-word,' " recalled businessman Richard Babson.In that position, he is not out of touch with much of the GOP mainstream. He won't get James Dobson's primary vote with that position, but he'd probably pick Dobson up in the General.
On the environmental issue, the article quotes without confirmation some firey stump rhetoric, then notes that Romney supported a less-strict package of regs. Thin gruel, which explains why LAT put it last.
The LAT may have succeeded in making hard-core abortion and gay rights radicals and serious global warming fretters abandon Romney ... but they never embraced him, probably even in Massachusetts. With the exception of the Log Cabin Republicans, the LAT article finds no disenchanted radical who actually voted for the man.
Which might also help explain his conversions.