Although Mitt Romney truly became a national figure when he helmed the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, the country didn't really start paying a whole lot of attention to his political views until he declared his candidacy to become the Republican nominee for president back in 2007.
The first reviews weren't very positive. Here was a man running on a platform where he had switched his views on so many major policies — abortion, health care, climate change, gay rights, and gun control for starters — that he was immediately suspect, particularly with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, always ascendant in primary elections.
In the 2011-2012 election cycle, Mitt came back even stronger as a "severe" conservative, yet still had to overcompensate to appease Tea Party members and others who were suspect of his record as a moderate. But was he truly a moderate, or was that simply a role he played when he had to when he was leading Massachusetts as governor?
I ask that question because of the reaction among Romney's fellow Republicans in the past two days —
after his comments to a group of financial donors on a conference call on Wednesday that he lost the election because President Obama gave out "gifts" to his constituents, like college students, Latinos and blacks. Following his leaked comments in Boca Raton that 47 percent of the country who were on government assistance were not his voters and thus he wouldn't compete for their votes, do we really have to continue believing the myth that Mitt was always a moderate who tragically couldn't become his true self until after the first debate?
Maybe that debate and the last part of his campaign was truly the performance. It is interesting to see Republicans who, unlike Mitt, will have to go before their voters in two or four years, running away from his remarks.
Let's be honest: Barack Obama was ripe to be defeated. But Mitt Romney's own problems as a candidate prevented that from happening. Maybe he ought to talk about that the next time he speaks in confidence to his donors or anybody else who cares.
In other news - BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Hillsborough County Democrats had a very good election, especially after they reached the lower depths in 2010. Party Chair Chris Mitchell says he'll run again to lead the party in 2014.
And while more and more states vote for medicinal marijuana, activists in Florida are going in a more unconventional direction to try to allow those who can medically benefit from consuming cannabis.