Phil, I start with the premise that the press and inside Beltway types care more about position changes than regular voters. Voters are less exacting and more forgiving in seeing a change on a few items. (That’s why I think the sanctuary city issue was lost on 99% of the public.) But the key word is “few,” or in the case of John Kerry, something really big( Iraq) that a candidate still couldn’t express clearly. Romney’s challenge is to prevent voters from concluding there is an overall pattern of shifting/evolving/flipping. Thompson has a different problem. If you are going to accuse others of changing their stripes, you better not have changed yours. That’s why all the bits of helpful news flying from other camps about McCain Feingold (hereinafter McCain Feingold Thompson I’m sure) and more moderate positions Thompson took in the Senate. Rudy and McCain have other issues, significant ones, but given their persona formed over a long time neither is going to be perceived I think as a flip flopper despite a few shifts (e.g. McCain on Bush tax cuts or Rudy on guns). Doesn’t mean they get a free pass, just that flip flopping is likely not high on their list of worries.
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