Ramesh has a great post pointing out that Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Bill Frist, and Fred Thompson all ran originally as pro-choice candidates. At first, I thought it was interesting that Mr. Thompson ran as a pro-choice candidate in 1994 and 1996. However, Ramesh’s more exhaustive list makes our point even more forcefully. People change, and Republicans accept the change when it’s in the right direction. Especially when the candidate has a list of pro-life votes and actions under his belt, as do both Gov. Romney and Fred Thompson.
However, no matter how poor Tennessee’s record is on voting pro-choicers into office, you still gotta love the Volunteer State, if for no other reason than this.
UPDATE: A reader points out:
Mr. Ponnuru didn’t say that all of those guys *ran* as moderate pro-choicers. He just said that they were all pro-choice at one point. It could be that they had all become pro-life by the time they ran, except Mr. Thompson. Or not, but Mr. Ponnuru doesn’t say.
Fair point, one that I plan on investigating further. Mr. Ponnuru also didn’t say whether or not he’d ever worn a mullet. Infer what you must.
CHARLES adds: Actually, Ponnuru did say that all those guys ran as pro-choicers the first time they ran for office, unless there is another definition of “the start of his political career” than running for office. I guess that our reader is pointing out that these guys’ first run for office was not necessarily a Senate run (see Corker).
It seems to me that much of the confusion here stems from the fact that Nancy was making general comments about Tennessee Republicans, whereas Ponnuru was talking about Tennessee Republican candidates.