If you’re a governor looking at a presidential run, how much can you compromise to look good before it starts looking bad? That may be a question Mitt Romney’s asking himself.
Scott Lehigh in the Boston Globe casts the bill signing ceremony as a carefully crafted presidential campaign photo op that quickly unraveled. Even though he nearly gave away the farm to his Democratic rivals, Romney won’t find them praising his “bipartisanship” when the TV cameras come calling. (This is what happens when Republicans compromise their principles — different from a little political horse trading — Democrats, sensing weakness, will show no gratitude but instead ask for more.)
For more on those conservative principles, don’t miss David Hogberg elsewhere on the site today. He details just how damaging Romney’s health care plan is. And he raises a very important question: does Romney’s presidential posturing here hurt his chances for 2008? I think it has to. Most informed conservatives are fed up with big government conservatism (a la President Bush, Congress, and the prescription drug benefit). Here comes another “pragmatist” who does something essentially liberal and slaps a conservative “personal responsibility” label on it.