...if he ends up in the general-election race, Romney’s campaign will rarely mention the tea party. While throwing occasional red meat to the conservative faithful, he will generally repackage himself as a centrist who knows how to grow the economy and create jobs. Some voters and commentators may even conclude that the “true Romney,” the moderate Romney, is reemerging and that he simply pandered to the right during the primaries.
Don’t count on it. Research shows that presidents strive to carry out the promises they make during campaigns. If Romney defeats Obama, he could take office backed by a Republican-led House and Senate, which would quickly send radical-right bills to his desk. A President Romney would sign them all — the Ryan budget eviscerating Medicare and Medicaid, a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts, harsh immigration crackdowns, the gutting of ObamaCare. Whatever his deep-down beliefs, he would be determined to overcome any lingering conservative skepticism.