You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Romney followed rapid evolution as he aimed toward presidency

Like father, like son. Then, a shift to right

Mitt Romney, a gangly 17-year-old, looked neat and businesslike in his dark suit, white shirt, and narrow tie, with a badge on his lapel, as he took a seat at the 1964 Republican convention. He watched his father, George, representing the party’s moderates, exhort the platform committee to adopt an amendment rejecting “extremists.” The effort failed, Barry Goldwater became the nominee and, as Mitt later recalled it, his father “walked out of the Republican convention.”

This week, 48 years later, Romney is walking into his own nominating convention as the Republican Party gathers in Tampa. But the story line has turned upside down. Mitt Romney isn’t the moderate voice seeking to rein in the extreme forces in the GOP; he has become, as he called himself earlier this year, a “severely conservative” man looking to win the complete trust of the dominant right of his party, the Goldwater wing of his day. It is as if winning requires purging a key element of his father’s political legacy. But an examination of the forces behind Romney’s striking shifts on key issues makes it clear it is much more than that.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of