I like the Old Mitt Romney, the one who governed Massachusetts as a moderate Republican.
The New Mitt Romney – the one running for president of the United States – has become a creature of what must be called the Whack Job Wing of the Republican Party. The link above, taken from the New York Times, points out how Old Mitt used to think a lot about energy conservation. The New Mitt has blown it off as a sop to those who say it’s OK to “drill baby, drill.”
Old Mitt hired true-blue environmentalists to his gubernatorial cabinet. New Mitt seemingly would hire true-blue industrialists to his presidential cabinet.
Old Mitt used to extol the virtues of making cars that drove incredibly long distances on a single tank of gasoline. New Mitt never mentions it.
All this shows how candidates must appeal to their base to win their party’s presidential nomination. Mitt Romney is just the latest example, perhaps just as Barack Obama has sought to curry favor with his base while campaigning for re-election.
But this Old vs. New Mitt should be troublesome to those who want to see Romney elected president. They don’t know who they’ll get if he’s elected. Is it the Old Mitt who once thought reasonably about the need to conserve our nation’s finite energy supply? Or is it the New Mitt who hues to the dictates of the tea party faithful who dislike government spending on programs to develop clean alternate energy sources – solar and wind for example – in addition to drilling for fossil fuels.
As the NY Times article attached to this post notes, Old Mitt produced “Nixon goes to China” moments on occasion. To my ears, New Mitt sounds like a panderer.