This is pretty pathetic by any standard, but Helene Cooper is very, very worried that if Obama paints Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper, it will be good news for… Mitt Romney:
The other picture paints him as the weathervane-watcher who was for Roe versus Wade before he was against it; who said he believed that humans contributed to global warming before he said that actually he was not so sure about that; and who said he was glad Mr. Obama was “copying” parts of his Massachusetts health reform before he said he would seek repeal of the federal health-care overhaul.
“Yesterday, Mitt predicted victory. Today, he says 3d would be fine. He can’t even stick to the same position on THAT!” an Obama adviser, David Axelrod, said on Twitter on Tuesday, before the voting began. A Democratic National Committee ad — “Mitt vs. Mitt: The Story of Two Men Trapped in One Body,” has been making the rounds on the internet since it aired back in November.
But there’s a kink in that approach: independent voters might view Mr. Romney’s shifting positions as nothing other than pragmatism. And by highlighting evolving positions by Mr. Romney, political analysts say, the Obama campaign runs the risk of unintentionally promoting the image of Mr. Romney, the former governor of that bastion of liberalism, Massachusetts, as a moderate.
In the general election, that would be the equivalent of the Obama campaign shooting itself in the foot. The very thing that has made Mr. Romney less palatable to the conservatives who populate the Republican primaries and caucuses — his past moderate positions—is the thing that makes him, at the end of the day, more palatable to the independent voters who will show up in the general election.
Shorter Helene Cooper- “Mitt Romney’s greatest weakness may be his greatest strength! Watch out, Obama!”
The only way to describe that analysis is “Halperinesque.”