The White House made it very clear what the Republican prayer was for 2008. If the Democrats would leave Denver and the convention with Hillary Clinton as the nominee, the GOP would be happy. It seems as though with negatives already at 40%, Hillary would be easier to beat than any other Democrat. Whether or not that's true, it seems as though the answered prayer for Democrats would be for the GOP to nominate businessman and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
The Democrats would probably love a Giuliani-Romney ticket because of the fact that it would fracture the party because of a threatened bolt of the "Religious Right". But I digress. Why is it that Democrats would love Romney at the top of the GOP ticket next fall? It seems as though the campaign against the Kennedy-esque looking candidate would be made without bringing in the Mormon issue that so many Republicans are struggling with. The reason is better than Kerry's position change on Iraq in '04. Romney has flip-flopped on every major issue and you don't have to go back far to prove it.
Take abortion: In 2002, when Romney ran for Governor, he said in a National Abortion Rights Action League questionnaire, "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose." During a debate with Ted Kennedy in 1994 Romney declared "I believe abortion should be made safe and legal … I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it." However, in an op-ed in the Boston Globe on July 26, 2005, he declared: "I am pro-life. I believe abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape and to save the life of the mother." Flip-flop.
Gay Rights seems to be a hot issue for the Republicans to address and Romney doesn't let us down here. During his governor's race, his campaign handed out flyers at the Gay Pride celebration stating "Mitt and Kerry (his Lt. Gov. running mate) Wish You a Great Pride Weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference." Before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Romney denounced the "pro-family" groups effort to enact a Marriage Protection Amendment as "too extreme." In answer to a question about supporting a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages, Romney told Joe Scarborough of MSNBC "Boy, I sure do." Flip-flop.
What about the minimum wage issue? From his campaign's website in 2002, he declared "the minimum wage is important to our economy and Mitt Romney supports minimum wage increase, at least in line with inflation." But in his last year as governor he rejected the Legislature's plan to raise the minimum wage, angering advocates that accused him of abandoning the pledge made during the campaign. Flip-flop.
Lowering taxes are always a good issue for Republicans to run on, right? The Club for Growth's research showed that Romney "imposed a slew of fee hikes and tax ‘loophole' closures", the largest being a $259 million worth in FY2004. Romney also received the praise of Congressman Barney Frank when he announced opposition to President Bush's 2003 tax cuts. And even though he refused to sign a "no new taxes" pledge during his campaign for governor, during his Presdiential campaign kick-off earlier this year, he claimed he did sign the pledge. Flip-flop.
Romney is also no friend of the NRA because of stands on gun control. In his US Senate race in 1994, he opposed the NRA two pet projects when he came out a supported a ban on assault weapons and supported the Brady Bill. Earlier this year, he bragged about being a hunter and said "I'm proud to be among the many decent, law abiding men and women who safely use firearms." Flip-flop.
On Education, Romney has gone from calling for the abolishment of the Department of Education in 1994 to supporting the president's No Child Left Behind Act. Flip-flop.
On a non-campaign issue that would work the "Religious Right" into a tizzy, he told FOX news that his favorite book was L. Ron Hubbard's (from Scientology fame) "Battlefield Earth". Of course, his page on MySpace says that his favorite book is "Huckleberry Finn". Earlier this year, he claimed his favorite book was the Bible.
There are many other examples but I could see an entire ad campaign made on the times when Romney has changed his mind if the Republicans have him on the ticket. Maybe what it all proves is that the Romney we see now in campaign ads and the campaign trail is just the new and remade candidate for 2008. Maybe opponents could show up at campaign appearances wearing flip-flops to prove a point.
Maybe we could say, what you see is what we think you want and therefore, what we want you to see. What this country doesn't need is a president that sticks his finger in the wind to determine the mood of the times and jump on the bandwagon.