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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Two Notable Flip-Flops

Politicians change their minds about things all the time, for good and bad reasons. But just this last week we’ve witnessed a couple of the most amazing 180 degree turns in recent memory, from two guys who want to become president.
In terms of political impact, the biggie was probably Mitt Romney’s latest effort to deal with the albatross of his Massachusetts health reform plan, with its undeniable organic connection to ObamaCare. Now he’s become the maximum supporter of total state control of health care policy, saying he’d grant 50 state waivers to the Affordable Care Act the day he took office.
Trouble is, as Greg Sargent pointed out yesterday, Romney’s on record touting his health reform plan, and specifically the individual mandate that’s made it toxic to conservatives, as a model for national health care reform. Apparently not so much now.
The irony here is that Romney is flopping around like a fish in a net to avoid the one really big flip-flop that’s probably the only thing that could ultimately save his presidential candidacy: a flat-out, I-was-wrong repudiation of the Massachusetts health plan.
Meanwhile, in a more blatant action, Newt Gingrich went almost overnight from screaming at Obama for failing to intervene in Libya on humanitarian grounds to screaming at Obama for taking his advice. Slate‘s Dave Weigel, a conservative-watcher who is not at all naive, called the reversal “breathtaking.” Well, that’s one word for it.

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