Monday, August 01, 2005

Pataki and Romney Are Feelin the Heartland

A week after Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) vowed to veto a bill passed by the Massachussets legislature that allowed women access to the morning-after pill without prescriptions, Governor George Pataki (R-NY) has promised to do the same to similar legislation passed in the New York legislature (via Tim Saler).

Both of these vetoes show a serious inclination to gain support among the Republican base, which is certainly not in New York or Massachussets. While Romney openly cited the abortion issue when he called the pill a "type of abortion", Pataki described his decision in more moderate language, saying that he did not support the bill because of the access to the pill it grants to minors.

Nevertheless, both men are going against the sentiments of their states, as well as their past opinions on the issues of contraception, and apparently, abortion. While Romney's opinion about abortion has apparently evolved, his veto is token, as the bill passed the legislature with overwhelming support that will certainly override his veto. However, the New York legislature does not provide the same types of majorities for the pill, and hence, New York women will have to get prescriptions for the it.

As intelligent as these men are, they are also delusional. No matter how many stances they change, they will never be conservative enough to win the support of the heartland base, but unlike John McCain, their states will not welcome them back with open arms. Pataki was getting crushed in the polls by Elliot Spitzer before he decided not to run again and Romney's support is flailing too, according to Hedgehog Report.

Tim Saler gives good commentary on the issue. He writes that Pataki will have to change more than a vote to get serious consideration with the GOP. However, he says, Pataki could become a VP candidate if he moderated his social positions. Perhaps..there's no harm in a New Yorker on the Republican ticket. Perhaps the party will get greedy and try and win the Empire State, to no avail. After this past election, New York won't vote Republican until Strom Thurmand's Dixiecrats return.


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