New York Times columnist Frank Rich says Romney "is trying to sell himself as a leader," but he "is actually a follower and a panderer, as confirmed by his flip-flops on nearly every issue."
But Rich is in a swoon over Huckabee. I haven't seen Rich this excited since they announced "Hairspray" was coming to Broadway.
Rich has continued to hyperventilate over "populist" charmer Huckabee even after it came to light that Huckabee had called homosexuality an "abomination." Normally, any aspersions on sodomy or any favorable mentions of Christianity would lead to at least a dozen hysterical columns by Frank Rich.
Rich treated Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" as if it were a Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda film. (On a whim, I checked to see if Rich had actually compared Gibson to Riefenstahl in one of his many "Passion" reviews and yes, of course he had.)
Curiously, however, Huckabee's Christianity doesn't bother Rich. In column after column, Rich hails Huckabee as the only legitimate leader of the Republican Party. This is like a girl in high school who hates you telling you your hair looks great.
Liberals claim to be enraged at Romney for being a "flip-flopper." I've looked and looked, and the only issue I can find that Romney has "flipped" on is abortion. When running for office in Massachusetts -- or, for short, "the Soviet Union" -- Romney said that Massachusetts was a pro-choice state and that he would not seek to change laws on abortion.
Romney's first race was against Sen. Teddy Kennedy -- whom he came closer to beating than any Republican ever had. If Romney needed to quote "The Communist Manifesto" to take out that corpulent drunk, all men of good will would owe him a debt of gratitude.
Even when Romney was claiming to support Roe v. Wade, he won the endorsement of Massachusetts Citizens for Life -- a group I trust more than the editorial board of The New York Times. Romney's Democratic opponents always won the endorsements of the very same pro-choice groups now attacking him as a "flip-flopper."
After his term as governor, NARAL Pro-Choice America assailed Romney, saying: "(A)s governor he initially expressed pro-choice beliefs but had a generally anti-choice record. His position on choice has changed. His position is now anti-choice."
Pro-abortion groups like the Republican Majority for Choice -- the evil doppelganger to my own group, Democratic Majority for Life -- are now running videos attacking Romney for "flip-flopping" on abortion.
Of all the Republican candidates for president, Romney and Rudy Giuliani are the only ones who had to be elected in pro-choice districts. Romney governed as a pro-lifer and has been viciously attacked by pro-abortion groups.
By contrast, Giuliani cleverly avoids the heinous "flip-flopper" label by continuing to embrace baby-killing. (Rudy flip-flops only on trivial matters like illegal immigration and his own marital vows.)
And, of course, Romney is a Mormon. Even a loser Mormon like Sen. Harry Reid claims to be pro-life. So having a candidate with a wacky religion isn't all bad.
At worst, Romney will turn out to be a moderate Republican -- a high-IQ, articulate, moral, wildly successful, moderate Republican. Of the top five Republican candidates for president, Romney is the only one who hasn't dumped his first wife (as well as the second, in the case of Giuliani) -- except Huckabee. And unlike Huckabee, Romney doesn't have a son who hanged a dog at summer camp. So there won't be any intern issues and there won't be any Billy Carter issues.
It's also possible that Romney will turn out to be a conservative Republican -- at least more conservative than he was as governor of Massachusetts. Whatever problems Romney's Mormonism gives voters, remember: Bill Clinton came in third in heavily Mormon Utah in 1992.