Romney Misdiagnoses His Problem
Romney is getting ready to hammer away at Gingrich for the former speaker’s decades as a Washington insider and for being a bigger flip flopper than even Romney.
It’s true that while Romney changed his track on a whole slate of issues – abortion, gun rights, global warming, etc. – he did so mostly in one season as he shifted from Massachusetts politics to national politics, while Gingrich has driven a winding path through nearly every issue in his years as politician and a consultant.
Romney’s essential argument is that he changed his mind and now will stick with the post-2007 Romney, and points to his willingness to stand by his program of mandatory health insurance in Massachusetts.
But this may not be a contest that Romney wants to win. Being seen as less inconstant and less liberal than Gingrich isn’t exactly the highest prize available on the American right.
Conservative Republicans have alit on the former speaker as a refuge from a tumultuous and disappointing field of other contenders, but they are not following him. Gingrich is not, as he says, leading a movement, he is the political equivalent of the U.S. dollar: it’s not that it’s strong because it’s so good, it’s that the other options are so bad.