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)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The U.S. is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In