I’m surprised. Granted, it won’t sell remotely as well as Palin’s book did, but for a guy who sometimes seems lost in the shuffle of outsized conservative personalities, it’s a nice prize.

Romney’s book tour has, so far, attracted pretty large crowds, serving — along with the book sales — to reassure his supporters that, though he may not draw Sarah Palin style hordes, he’s a figure of genuine popular interest. He reportedly attracted more than 1,000 people to a book signing in Naples, Fla. last night.

That’s the good news for Romney fans. The bad news is that Mitt 2.0 is starting to sound like Mitt 1.0 again, which is also surprising since he appeared to have learned his lesson lately by not flip-flopping on RomneyCare in interviews. Click the image below to watch the clip from this morning’s Imus of Mitt claiming he’s never really called himself pro-choice. Hmmmm:

There are lots of examples of Romney calling himself either “pro-choice” or “effectively pro-choice,” but the simplest example came from his exchange with Sen. Sam Brownback at the 2007 GOP Iowa straw poll debate.

ROMNEY: Look, I was pro-choice. I am pro-life. You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I changed my position. And I get tired of people that are holier-than-thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have…

Romney’s problem has never really been that he changed his mind. It has been the fact that he can’t resist insulting people’s intelligence about his past record when discussing his current position.

I honestly think the perception of opportunism is a bigger liability to him than RomneyCare, which will, one way or another, be off most people’s radar screens come late 2011. And the worst part is that his record on this subject is so well known to conservatives that there’s no point in being weaselly anymore; just own up to your prior record, say you’ve changed your mind, and let it lie. Fudging the facts only gives people an excuse to make it an issue again.

I’ve always liked him personally, but between stuff like this and “true conservatives” hammering him for endorsing McCain, I get the feeling that he’s being set up as the Charlie Crist of the Republican presidential primary. Although if that leads him to accuse Huckabee of waxing his back, it’ll all be worth it.

pc