The landslide defeat of Mississippi’s so-called “Personhood” amendment is being hailed nationally as a huge victory for women in the Magnolia State.
But for Gov.-elect Phil Bryant and GOP presidential nomination candidate Mitt Romney, the amendment will remain a reminder of the dangers of pandering.
Confident in the passage of Initiative 26, Bryant proclaimed at a campaign rally in Northern Mississippi that should the amendment fail “Satan” wins. That easily could be taken to mean 58 percent (the percentage of voters who rejected the amendment) of Mississippi voters are in “Satan’s” camp. Those same Satan-influenced ballot splitters helped to deliver Bryant a 61 percent gubernatorial victory.
Romney, whom the New York Times calls one of the nation’s most frequent “shape-shifters,” has spent the days since Tuesday’s Initiative 26 demise disavowing a declaration he made on Mike Huckabee’s Fox News show. On this occasion, he wanted to please his host so badly he shifted to pander mode to proclaim that he “absolutely” would have signed legislation as Massachusetts governor that life begins at “conception.”
Huckabee, you may recall, served as a very vocal supporter of the failed Mississippi measure.
Romney, meanwhile, has shifted yet again now that we have clear proof that hugely conservative Mississippi couldn’t back such radical legislation. Fears it would have endangered the lives of pregnant women and banned the use of birth control pills and IUDs led to the amendment’s rejection. Romney, pro-choice as governor of Massachusetts, now says states need to decide these type of issues – not presidents.
It’s OK, though. As Romney would say, “I’m running for office.”