On the front page of the New York Times this morning, a long story on Mitt Romney's positions on abortion. In both his unsuccessful 1994 senate race and his successful 2002 gubernatorial race, the Times notes, Romney campaigned as unambiguously pro-choice.
Then? "By 2005, with Mr. Romney eyeing a possible presidential bid, he began to distance himself from his abortion rights platform." In an article that June in National Review, Romney stated "[m]y political philosophy is pro-life."
Which brings us to the sentence that made me wince:
That same article quoted his top strategist at the time, Mike Murphy, as saying Mr. Romney had been "a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."
"Faking it?" As best I can tell, there really is no other way of construing this. Mike was suggesting that Romney intentionally misled the people of Massachusetts.
Behind-the-scenes politics, as Ronald Reagan once remarked, can be "like seeing civilization with its pants down."