The big quote is here:
No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage.The claims of flip-flopping never really resonated - not when there is a much more plausible alternative theory to explain his shift: He got mugged. Not once, but twice.
After one such event, re-thinking would be in order. With two such muggings, the shift is not only explainable, but the presumption should be that it is genuine.
Regrettably, he is not likely to win Iowa - largely due to Mike Huckabee playing the religion card. Now, I can hear the complaints from bloggers like Joshua Trevino - who feel that the real issue is how "untrustworthy" Romney is. I beg to differ, and cite the alternative explanation I have outlined above.
I will also add one other counterpoint: By the standards that Trevino has set, Ronald Wilson Reagan's track record as governor of California would have utterly disqualified him to be the Republican nominee - because he would have been far less trustworthy based onhis track record. Reagan signed legislation that liberalized California's abortion laws. Mitt Romney's track record is far more pro-life than Reagan's was - and he fought his battles in a much more hostile political environment.
Furthermore, I will add this to the discussion: When you take religion out of the picture, Mitt Romney's track record and resume far surpasses that of Mike Huckabee. To witness his conduct during the gay marriage battle was to see a consummate statesman standing up against an imperial judiciary and a legislature that abdicated its responsibility to stand up for the people it represented. It was notable not just for what Romney did (making the case very eloquently and effectively), but for what he did not do (the demonization of opponents on this issue was conspicuously absent).
And yet, Huckabee is ahead in Iowa by a wide margin. His supporters and his ads have played up the theme that he is a "Christian leader" lately as well (again, see Article6blog.com, which has covered this issue). Coincidence? Happenstance? I doubt it. In essence, the candidate with the superior resume will not be hired by Republican primary voters, and his religion appears to be a major reason, if not the major reason.
Rudy Giuliani's resume/track record is perhaps the only one that really rivals Romney's. It tops Romney's in one critical area for the President of the United States: Crisis management. He also has matched Romney in a number of other areas, and he has also, unlike John McCain, gone to great lengths at times to emphasize the common ground he holds with conservatives, rather than seeking to stick his thumb in their eye. His private life has been a mess, but unlike Bill Clinton, there seems to have been no effort to deny or minimize it on Rudy's part.
Either Romney or Giuliani would make a fine President - and I have sent both of them small donations (what I can afford). Hopefully, one of them will emerge victorious for the nomination, and will select the other as their running mate. It would be the strongest ticket the GOP could put together.