Romney Death Watch

by Jonathan Chait | May 4, 2011

The chairman of Mitt Romney's New Hampshire campaign in 2008 is jumping ship:

The New Hampshire Republican who oversaw Romney's 2008 campaign in the Granite State says he's no longer sure what Romney stands for. ...
In early March, the former Massachusetts governor gave a major speech at a Lincoln Day dinner in New Hampshire. His performance was later dubbed"Romney 3.0." The first version, or Romney 1.0, was the candidate who successfully ran for governor in 2002 as a social moderate who touted his business acumen. Then, in the 2008 presidential race, Romney moved to the right, especially on hot-button social issues like abortion and stem cell research. That was Romney 2.0. And finally there's Romney 3.0, the latest iteration, a business-centric candidate willing to lose the necktie and hang out at NASCAR races.
It's this ever-changing persona that soured Keough on Romney. "I don't think the voters are looking for somebody who's going to be recasting himself," he says. "They want somebody who's been true to a certain set of political ideals for a while."

If you look closely at Keoough's rationale, it's absurd. he claims he wants someone attached to "a certain set of political ideals," but the only evidence he supplies of Romney changing those compared to 2008 is that he's talking more about the economy and appearing more frequently sans necktie. (Oh, right, and going to a Nascar race -- did he not do that last time? Is this really a change of ideology?)

The reality is that Romney is the same candidate as he was in 2008. It's the GOP that's changed. In 2008, a health care policy of subsidies, a regulated market and a mandate to prevent freeloading was considered a reasonable, even admirable, policy for a Republican to hold. Now it's the Death Of Freedom. Romney has gone from being a conservative in good standing to a left-wing deviant without changing his position at all.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/87863/romney-death-watch