Friday, January 19, 2007


(it's interesting that in politics, when an individual thoughtfully considers how life's events affect his everyday decisions and choses to evolve based upon events, he is lambasted for changing his mind. however, should said individual "stay the course" -- akin to POTUS 43 -- and hold strong to his decisions irrespective of the circumstances around him, he is also lambasted for not changing his mind.

with this article from the Boston Globe, it's important to note the conundrums a politicans can find himself in...especially when quotes are selected, dissected, interpreted and juxtaposed without regard to context.)

Romney vs. Romney
By Scot Lehigh | January 19, 2007

LADIES AND gentlemen, welcome to the first virtual debate of the new political season, a mock matchup to help take the true measure of two men locked in ideological conflict.

Our first candidate is Mitt Romney.

Candidate number two? Why, that's Mitt Romney as well.

The first Romney is the man who ran for the US Senate in 1994 and for governor in 2002.

Let's label him Moderate Mitt, or MM for short.

Romney number two is the conservative Romney has become since catching Potomac Fever. We'll call him Romney2008.

A note on the proceedings: While our forum is fanciful, the words in quotation marks are real.

Let's begin.

Where do you stand on abortion?

MM: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it. . . . You will not see me wavering on that."

Romney2008: "I am pro life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate."

Please give us your views on gun control.

MM: I supported the Brady Bill, which instituted a five-day waiting period before you could buy a handgun, and a ban on assault weapons. As I said in 1994, "That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA." But then, "I don't line up with the NRA." As I said in my gubernatorial campaign, "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won't chip away at them."

Romney2008: "I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I'm a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms. In our state . . . there are a series of laws restricting gun ownership in various ways. Over the past four years, I've worked very closely with the Gun Owners' Action League here, which is an affiliate of the NRA, and we've made some changes which I think they feel have been positive steps. And so you are going to see that, I think, hopefully, in other states as well, as they make progress, perhaps further than Massachusetts has."

MM: Ah, excuse me, but isn't that son Josh's gun?

Romney2008: Um, well, yes, but so what? He has several guns out at our vacation place in Utah, and I use them "from time to time."

Would you sign a no-new-taxes pledge?

MM: As I said in 2002, "I'm not intending to . . . sign a document which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the Commonwealth." My spokesman had it right when he called those pledges "government by gimmickry."

Romney2008: Why, I just signed one for Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. As my campaign spokesman explained: "At a time when Democrats in Washington are using code language about their plans to raise taxes and spending, the governor's pledge makes it clear that he opposes those actions."

What political leader do you particularly admire?

MM: "I was very close to my dad, and I look at him as a role model, as a mentor, as a person who I would very much like to be like. He . . . was unique in so many dimensions, I can't possibly be as great as he was, but I aspire to be like he was in many ways." As I also said in 2002, "He did exactly what he thought was right without regard to the political consequences."

Romney2008: "Ronald Reagan is . . . my hero. . . . I believe that our party's ascendancy began with Ronald Reagan's brand of visionary and courageous leadership."

MM: May I interject? "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

Romney2008: Well, you're not running for president.

Alas, we've run out of time. But I hope our forum has revealed something important about the positions, character, and convictions of these two very different politicians.

Scot Lehigh's e-mail address is

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