You have to say one thing for Mitt Romney: this guy really wants to be President. He might not even make a bad President. My guess is that he would be okay. Certainly better than George W. Bush. According to a Boston Globe article, Romney is trying to rebrand himself as a compassionate conservative, someone who actually care about the fate of the poor and middle class, and about income inequality. Some of those who know him claim that this is an issue Romney has been “passionate” about since he was a Mormon missionary in France.
But here’s the problem: Romney rebrands himself every time he runs for office, so that in the end, there is no “there” there. In short, he’s revealed himself as a hypocrite far too often. So let’s take a short trip down memory lane. In 1994 and again in 2002, when Romney ran for Senator against Ted Kennedy and lost, and then ran for Governor of Massachusetts against Shannon O’Brien and won, Romney declared himself completely pro-choice. He even derided O’Brien as “unbecoming” in one of their 2002 gubernatorial debates for questioning his pro-choice bona-fides. Massachusetts is, of course, overwhelmingly pro-choice. Then, in 2008 and again in 2012, during his runs for President, Romney declared himself staunchly pro-life. Ted Kennedy was right back in 1994: Mitt Romney isn’t pro-choice or anti-choice, he’s multiple choice.
Second, Romney’s signature achievement as Governor was “Romneycare,” (An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care, Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006). This was the first act in the nation to require the “individual mandate.” It was the principle on which Obamacare was modeled.
Yet when he ran for President in 2012, he threw his own signature achievement under the bus. Because by then Republicans hated the model they had themselves developed, since Obama had used it successfully to secure a universal health initiative for the United States. Romney said that it was a matter of “state’s rights” and that each state should be allowed to decide on its own what kind of health care system it wanted. That’s complete nonsense, of course. It’s like saying each state should have it’s own social security system, instead of the one adopted in the Roosevelt administration for all of us.
Again, Romney might not even make a bad President. But nobody knows what he would do because nobody knows what he actually believes, because he changes his beliefs like the rest of us change our pants. Which, depending on your point of view, is either too often or not often enough.