Timothy Noah

Etch-A-Sketch Watch

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With Rick Santorum now out of the race, and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul no longer posing much of a threat to Mitt Romney, Romney's general-election campaign now begins. I don't think Romney will move very far to the center, because a.) He knows people already think his spine is made of rubber; and b.) He's fearful of inspiring a noisy revolt from the Republican base. For the same two reasons, I don't think Romney would move very far to the center as president, either. George W. Bush governed Texas as a moderate, campaigned in 2000 as a conservative, and then governed as a conservative. I believe Romney would follow the same pattern.

Even so, I could be wrong, and anyway, Romney's bound to make at least some feints toward the center. I therefore inaugurate the Etch-A-Sketch Watch. Readers are asked to alert this blog to any and all early signs of leftward shifts. Please e-mail links to timothynoah@tnr.com, and mark the subject line, "Etch Watch."

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