Mitt Romney's is a 'Zelig' Candidacy, Argues David Wise (F82)

The Hill

The political career of former Governor Mitt Romney brings to mind the 1983 Woody Allen movie “Zelig.”  The main character of that movie was Leonard Zelig, a human chameleon, who took on the look and characteristics of whatever group he happened to be with. During the recent primaries former Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman called Romney a “perfectly lubricated weathervane” given the ease with which he changed positions.  Then there is the sign going around the Internet advising voters to have patience as Romney will agree with their position on the issues eventually. This charge moved from the purely metaphorical given the allegations that Romney applied spray on tan before appearing on a national interview on the Hispanic television network Univision.

As an unsuccessful candidate for Senator in 1994 and then when elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 Romney ran and then governed as a liberal.  Upon entering the race for the Republican nomination for president, however, Romney reversed his position on virtually every major issue. In Massachusetts Romney was pro-choice, pro-gun control, against tax pledges, believed in climate change, was uncommitted on the Bush tax cuts and the Reagan legacy and in favor of healthcare mandates. Over the past two years Governor Romney in repositioning himself not just as a conservative, but to use his own words as a “severe conservative,” disavowed each and every one of these positions to please the Republican base.

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