The Irrelevance of the "Real" Romney

More

Sam Boyd makes an important point -- just because he was a moderate technocrat before he became a true-blue rightwinger doesn't mean the moderate Mitt is the "real" Mitt. Part of the appeal of his candidacy to conservatives is the plausible notion that he was faking it as a moderate in order to succeed in Massachusetts.

Even more important, it's crucial to recognize that the question of his "real" views has a pretty limited relevance. I'd still prefer him as president to crazy Rudy, and the Moderate Technocrat Era at least gives us reason to think New Model Romney might retain the technocratic competence, but it's not as if once in office Romney is going to blossom into a kind of politician totally different from the one he's currently campaigning as. We're learning about his willingness to adopt whichever views are most politically expedient. And doing something like going back on the reckless "no taxes" pledge he's made on the campaign trail would probably be pretty costly. Obviously, flipping back around on abortion or gay rights would look absurd and there'd be no reason to do it. The Mitt we're gonna get if he wins is substantially the one we're looking at during this campaign season.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In