Here’s an interesting wrinkle unfolding in the presidential race. Today Romney told the Des Moines Register that whatever his personal views he has no legislative agenda aimed at limiting abortion rights. Needless to say this is the kind of comment that could have ended his campaign in its tracks last Fall. And it’s the kind of thing that you’d imagine might cause him real turbulence on his right flank even now.
But maybe not.
The Romney campaign is figuring that conservatives are so pumped by his Lazarus-like rise from the dead and beating down of Barack Obama that they’ll basically cut him whatever slack he needs or wants.
Expressions of strength and power are galvanizing. We should also remembering how the fantasy of the general election debate Obama beat down was a constantly harped on theme during the Republican primaries. Not so much who could win but who could deliver the sort of cathartic crushing blow that would finally expose the presidential phony Obama for good.
You may not see what happened quite that way. But for people hungering for that moment, that’s sure what it looked like. I’ll be curious to see how this new abortion flip plays out. But that may turn out to be the greatest impact of the debate. Romney bought himself lots of running room to cut as far to the center as he wants.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.