One Man's Pander

"Romney in Iowa," writes Andrew, "An impressive showing. The Republichameleon is not to be underestimated."

Personally, I've been sort of re-evaluating the significance of Romney's flip-floppery in light of John Edwards' campaign. In his case, liberals are primed to believe that Edwards is sincere in his new, more liberal persona, since we tend to think that the New Edwards' stands are correct on the merits, so why shouldn't he find them convincing? Becoming pro-life looks like a pander to me, but to people who find the pro-life view plausible, the view that Romney converted to it is also going to seem more convincing.

And, of course, on a lot of issues it doesn't really matter what politicians "really" think. If Romney wins the White House with a pro-life political persona, then there's every reason to think he'll stay committed to that persona even if he has no real convictions about the issues. It's not, after all, as if there's some even higher office beyond the presidency that one can expect him to reach for.

Photo by Flickr user Seth used under a Creative Commons license.