For months, Mitt Romney had to prove to Republican voters he was Republican-y enough to beat some long-time GOP members with much stronger conservative credentials.
Moderates like Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman were largely ignored by the GOP voters in the primaries in favor of bombastic voices like Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.
It was at that point, Romney touted his admonishment of the left for wanting to create revenue through taxes to go along with spending cuts. His anti-gay marriage and pro-life stances were hardened and the “war on women” was in full throat according to the left.
But then something happened.
Romney won. The man with the most moderate credentials won the GOP primary.
The writing was on the wall that Romney would return to his roots as a centrist because he was having no problems getting votes in conservative strongholds. Not being “conservative enough” was never going to be a problem in Texas.
But not being moderate enough was going to hurt him in states like Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio, at least on certain issues.
And let’s also be clear, “moderate” as it is defined in the modern political arena, really just means not ideologically dogmatic.
Mitt Romney showed up at the debates as a pragmatist. The free market works, so let’s embrace it, but we do need certain regulations to protect consumers. That’s not partisan demagoguery, it’s good policy.
And Romney’s centrist approach has lead to a new-found lead, a rising approval rating among women and independent voters, and has forced our soon-to-be-former president to look petty and small.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, President Obama’s specious attacks only work to point out how completely devoid of substance the Obama campaign is when it comes to solutions for dealing with our debt.
Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise any of us that the president wants to put more millionaires on corporate welfare.
This week, Romney even took his approach one step further to explain in an interview that he had no plans to advance a pro-life agenda in his first term.
His campaign subsequently walked that comment back, but the campaign has to say that.
I told a progressive friend of mine several months ago that if people got to see the real Mitt Romney (who, ironically, the left has been facetiously demanding to see for months) people would really like him.
No, conservatives won’t be too fond of him, but he’s damn sure better than Obama and conservatives know by now the urgency with which Obama must be replaced.
Mitt Romney is and always has been a centrist, much like John McCain in 2008. The major difference in the campaign is that McCain was never able to get back to his bipartisan roots under the specter of George W. Bush. Obama could tie McCain to Bush, but his attempts to do the same with Romney have mostly failed.
It’s the president whose record is now up for referendum and once Romney laid it on the table at the debates, people finally began to understand the idea of “Are you better off now?”
The president couldn’t defend his plans, couldn’t attack Romney’s plans and looked utterly helpless.
Obama has tried to paint himself as a centrist, a moderate, despite bringing the most liberal ideological dogma in American history into the White House.
President Obama is now accusing Mitt Romney of “hiding” his conservatism – rather than just come out and say “He’s lying,” which is what many lefty pundits want the president to do.
But Mitt Romney has outmaneuvered Obama and perhaps outsmarted all of us who wondered if he had the right stripes to make it out of the GOP primary, or the proper attitude to take down Obama.
As Romney insists, however, the entrepreneurial spirit in America is the best in the world. Mitt Romney had a plan, even if we didn’t all see it.
As of right now, that plan is working.