The Great Pretender
The truth, the saying goes, will set you free.
Not so for Massachusetts governor and certain 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In this week's National Review, Michael Murphy (Romney's version of Karl Rove) for once offered veracity to the public. About Mitt, Murphy said, "He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."
As a former resident of the Bay State, I can attest to the truthfulness of Murphy's admission and to the dissembling of his recantation. During the dismal 2002 gubernatorial race (full disclosure - I helped the Reich campaign), Romney insisted he would not alter the abortion laws in choice-friendly Massachusetts. But then as now, Romney's record as a pro-life proponent from his days as Salt Lake Olympics savior in Utah belie his politically expedient moderation.
With the requisite campaign book already available, Romney has launched his 2008 campaign. The feigned outrage on same-sex marriage, the performance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and the indignant (and overridden) veto of the Massachusetts stem cell research bill show a man quickly running back to the right in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, not Boston.
Soon enough, the rest of the country will see the slick veneer, the gleaming smile and charm of a man for whom political opportunism is as second nature as the Book of Mormon. Americans will be reminded of the words of the late Warren Zevon, "I saw [him] drinkin' a pina colada at Trader Vic's. And his hair was perfect."
What we won't see, though, is the real Mitt Romney. Not, that is, unless Michael Murphy accidentally tells the truth again.