Which Wing of the Republican Party?
Over the weekend, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney firmly affixed a rhetorical bull’s-eye to his candidacy, by claiming to represent, “the Republican wing of the Republican party.” While some Republican voters may accept Romney’s explanation that his experience in office has transformed him into a more conservative politician, they may find his claim to represent the soul of the party (and the legacy of Ronald Reagan) a bit more problematic.
Of more immediate concern for his campaign, however, is that Romney’s remarks created a timely opportunity for John McCain to raise, once again, charges of ideological inauthenticity against him.
I am not sure why Romney thought it would make good political sense to draw an explicit parallel to Howard Dean’s famous 2004 mantra about his similar place in Democratic politics (borrowed from the late Senator Paul Wellstone), but his campaign no doubt understands that candidate discipline on the stump is essential to any successful presidential bid.
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