By Hilary Rosen
Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, is running for president. According to his friends, he has been planning this his whole adult life. Then why is he such a dichotomy on so many issues? Why, if he was always planning on running for president, would he zig zag back and forth so publicly as he tries to figure out who he is?
Current conventional wisdom suggests that he will be the conservatives darling. That they have lost potential candidates in former Sen. George Allen and Rick Santorum who both were considering a run for he presidency and that current Sen. Sam Brownback is just not appealing enough to be taken seriously. But if he is the conservative’s candidate, how do they reconcile his past support on issues such as gay and lesbian rights? When Romney was running against Sen. Ted Kennedy, he promised the gay Log Cabin Republicans of Massachusetts to be even better on gay rights than Kennedy – a tough feat! It seems unlike the direction most people take as they become more enlightened, he has evolved into his bigotry. And yet, his prejudice on one score conflicts with his experience on others.
It’s been said that Romney is concerned that though he is a religious conservative, that some Americans won’t support him because he is a Mormon. And there is a tradition of prejudice in some evangelical circles against Mormons. That Romney, who is pinning his presidential hopes on his ability to promote divisions among Americans by politicizing personal issues such as abortion or gay and lesbian families, is entitled to cry foul is ironic. I predict he won’t succeed. That, by the very nature of his race, his wealth, and his patriarchal views, no one will see him as a member of a discriminated class.
Nonetheless, there is something joyous as the presidential elections season begins to see the field becoming more diverse. A Mormon, a woman and an African-American all in the top tier. This presidential race gets better every day.