Circumstances Can Change

Failed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney told Hugh Hewitt Tuesday that he is “not running” for president in 2016, but that “circumstances can change.” He intentionally used those three words because it is the theme of his entire political career. This can mean only one thing:

Mitt Romney wants to run again.


“I had the chance of running. I didn’t win. Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running. And you know, circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there.” –Mitt Romney to Hugh Hewitt H/T mediate.com

In 1992, when voting for President, he voted for liberal Democrat Paul Tsongas when he could have voted for Ronald Reagan’s vice president. In 1994 an opportunity came along to run for Senate in the party of Reagan. Circumstances can change.

When running for Senate in liberal Massachusetts, Romney supported Roe v. Wade and legal abortion on demand. Later, when running for President, he thought Roe v. Wade had “gone too far.” Circumstances can change.

Romney was against Obamacare until he was its “grandfather.” Circumstances can change.

On immigration, Romney was for self-deportation during the primary election season. During the general election season, Romney was against deportation. Circumstances can change.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Romney’s choice of words is clever for two reasons. First, in a phrase of only three words, he hides who is doing the changing in his passively voiced slogan. You might guess who alone among politicians can pull off the number and extent of changing circumstances associated with Mitt Romney. Hint: it is the man whose name I just stated.

Second, he lies with a truth. While it is true that circumstances change, the issues on which he has changed like a political karma chameleon are on issues that hardly lend themselves to change: life, health, and other fundamental principles. In other words, Romney is the variable, and the circumstances are the constant.

We lost in 2008 with a mushy moderate. We lost in 2012 with a chameleon. Fortunately, as Romney said, circumstances can change.

But not if our candidate doesn’t.

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