I watch Romney and being a baseball fan I’m reminded of Michael Young: all-star, solid defender at 2nd, short-stop and 3rd base (albeit without great range). He is most comfortable on the left side of the infield. But in the World Series, he had to play first base. The right side of the infield. He tried his best but the perspective was a little different– The positioning was a little different. He just wasn’t comfortable defending this new position.
This is how Romney appears to me. He may be solid. Just. Not. Comfortable.
This is understandable. As governor, he:
Raised fees for driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, and gun licenses
Romney was at the forefront of a movement to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state
—- Despite not having campaigned on the idea of universal health insurance
In particular, Romney successfully pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level
In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from an “unequivocal” pro-choice position expressed during his 2002 campaign to a pro-life one where he opposed Roe v. Wade
Maybe his views changed on these issues or maybe he changed to help his chances in Republican primaries. Either way, it does not matter.
I prefer governors in presidential primaries. Not only have they gained executive experience, but most importantly, state-wide campaigns force governors to defend their actions and views to the electorate. Romney has not faced this challenge. His big government views were appreciated in Massachusetts so he never had to defend his newly found conservative views.
Some might point to Reagan or Perry as people used to hold opposing views. But both changed their views BEFORE they were elected to governorships. They had to defend their views against the liberal onslaught.
While Romney has served as governor, he is not the same person he was then. He only defended views that he no longer holds. He never had to defend his record as governor up for re-election. Nor defend his conservative ideas against liberal opposition. Maybe this is why his responses seem so “forced”–even “wooden”.
Romney’s views are so new, he has not developed a strong sense of how to defend them. He, like Michael Young, is out of position and it shows. I do not trust him to be able to properly defend conservative ideals. Worse. I’m not sure he really holds conservative views. Will he betray us like he did so many people in Massachusetts when he pushed RomneyCare even though he never campaigned on the issue?