The Irrelevance of the "Real" Romney

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.

Presented by

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

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In