Today may be the day that the national media will be seen to turn their attention to Mitt Romney. David Broder wrote a WaPo article about Romney’s “mixed record”. And the Boston Globe, no friend of Romney, started to document what they call his “dance to the right”.
Let’s start with the Broder article. First, Broder does not challenge Romney’s credentials as a conservative, although we will see that the Globe does:
But Romney is a staunch conservative who finds himself running against all that his state symbolizes to national Republican voters — he opposes single-sex marriage, stem cell research and abortion. That may help him with GOP conservatives who hold sway in the party’s primaries.
However, Broder does argue that he left a shattered MA Republican Party:
His efforts to challenge the Democrats and promote Republican candidates for the legislature failed. His partner in the statehouse, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, lost a bid to succeed him. And Romney is leaving office with the state GOP weaker than when he arrived.
Indeed, with Kerry Healey losing, Massachusetts will have its first Democrat governor since Mike Dukakis (with John Kerry as Lt. Gov.).
The Globe story more directly attacks what they perceive to be flip-flops:
When he ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, Romney wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Club, pledging that as “we seek to establish full equality for American gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.”
While running for governor in 2002, Romney and his running mate, Kerry Healey, distributed pink fliers at a Gay Pride parade, declaring “Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend.”
As governor, he appointed openly gay and lesbian people to high-profile administration positions. He doubled the budget line item for the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, until he tried to disband it last May — more political theater for the Republican right.
In addition to being pro-choice in 1994 and 2002 before he was pro-life (today). This will be interesting to watch.