For years, Mitt Romney had a reputation as a flip-flopper, an opportunist, a politician who would tailor his beliefs to fit whichever group he was trying to please.
Running for office in deep-blue Massachusetts in 1994 and 2002, he pronounced himself strongly pro-choice. Running for the Republican presidential nomination in pro-life Iowa and South Carolina, he became just as strongly pro-life.
As governor of Massachusetts, he produced a universal healthcare program that prefigured Obamacare. Appealing to GOP voters deeply opposed to Obama, Romney renounced his signature accomplishment.
Running for office in Massachusetts, Romney backed away from the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Running in the Republican primaries, he embraced the GOP’s favorite president.
Running for office in Massachusetts, Romney eschewed the label of conservative Republican. “My views are progressive,” he said in 2002, pronouncing himself a “moderate.” Ten years later, running in the GOP primaries, he famously declared himself “severely conservative.”
And so on. Romney could never escape the opportunist label, mostly because it fit.
Until now. As the junior senator from Utah, on Wednesday, Romney voted to convict and remove President Trump from office, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party. To hear some mainstream journalists tell the story, Romney’s years of opportunism just melted away, replaced by a profile in courage.
“A profile in courage,” declared the Washington Post.
“A profile in courage,” declared the Atlantic.
“A profile in courage,” declared CNN.
Romney meticulously prepared the media rollout of his new profile in courage. Before he announced his intention to vote against Trump, he arranged for interviews with the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic, and Fox News — all embargoed until he made his decision public on the Senate floor.
“Romney’s media plan around this is really a wonder to behold,” noted BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith.
One of those pre-interviews was with the New York Times‘s podcast The Daily. Romney conceded the charge of political opportunism in the past. “My guess is that I was influenced in some cases by political benefit,” he said, “and I regret that.”
Read the rest at: Romney the nightmare!