Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Log Cabin Ad: Romney's Real Record

The gay Republican group, Log Cabin Republicans, uses sarcasm in a new ad in New Hampshire, intent on bringing down Mitt Romney. It goes after him as a flip flopper, who has been disingenuous about abortion, guns (gasp!) Ronald Reagan.

There's an obvious question here:
Why are the Loggers (that's what I call them) going after Romney?
Maybe because he distanced himself so quickly from his old buddy Larry "Slide your palm along the bottom of the stall" Craig. Or maybe they didn't like his anti-gay rhetoric in the lead-up to gay marriage in Massachusetts. Or maybe it has more to do with the Republican part of their identity than the Log Cabin part.

Whichever, it's bad news for Mitt. As President Bush's inside man, Dan Bartlet, said during a speech yesterday, a narrative is building against Romney as a flip flopper, and once it starts it's very tough to overcome. (Ask Al Gore or John Kerry about that.)

Bartlet said he thought the bigger issue was the candidate's Mormonism, which people don't like in the South, and that flip flopping is kind of a red herring for why they won't support Romney. Bartlet pointed out that Romney's team made the miscalculation that the Republican field would be more conservative than it's proven to be, and he adjusted his positions accordingly.

Rudy Giuliani has moved slightly to the right, but in a more nuanced way. Whereas Rudy vowed to appoint "constructionist" judges (who tend to be conservative on social issues), he hasn't completely ceded his stances as mayor of New York. Rudy has kept the faith that people can put up with his liberal views because they also represent perhaps his greatest asset: electability. Meanwhile, Romney described his change of heart on abortion and stem cells as almost a religious conversion.

So even if Barlet is right, and right now flip-flopping is code for "Mormon," a few more ads like this, and rest assured they'll come, and the building narrative might turn deafening.

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