But here’s a question. Why assume that the old moderate positions were the real ones and the new conservative ones are fake? Because he took the others first? So what? He simply said what he needed to say to win then, and he’s saying what he thinks he needs to say to win now. And here and there, we learn new things about those bygone days. Over the weekend, the Times reported that Romney and Bibi Netanyahu have been close buddies, almost soulmates, for 35 years. I don’t think he paraded that one around much while running against Ted Kennedy. So maybe he was lying then.

I always ask people this question: There was talk, after the Salt Lake Olympics from which he emerged a local hero, that he might run for office in Utah. He decided against it because he had lived in Massachusetts for a quarter-century and saw a clearer path there. So suppose he had run in Utah. Think he’d have been proabortion rights there, or passed a big health-care law? Obviously not. He’d have been whatever he had to be.

And this is my theory of Romney: He’s not conservative, but he’s not moderate either. Why people assume he must be one or the other is another puzzle, because there is a third choice, which is the correct one: none of the above. He’s everything, he’s nothing; he’s whatever he needs to be.