How 2012 is different for Mitt: His opponents don’t hate him

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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In many ways, Mitt Romney’s second run for president is vastly different than his first run.

In 2008, for example, Romney’s primary opponents, including John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Sam Brownback (who recently endorsed Rick Perry) — seemed to disdain him. It was visceral.

Romney was viewed as a poseur and a political parvenu who hadn’t paid his dues. His opponents, after all, had worked these fields for many years, while Romney was viewed as a slick flip-flopper who arrived on the scene — with his big money and his perfect hair — to try to steal what was rightly theirs.

This time around, of course, things are different. Romney has already garnered the endorsements of two of his former 2012 primary foes, Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Thad McCotter. And though he has threatened to go after Romney in tonight’s debate, Herman Cain’s relationship with Romney has, thus far, been so cordial that TheDC’s Alex Pappas even wondered if the had a “bromance.

And now comes word that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — who flirted with running for president — will endorse him.

The fact that Romney’s opponents seem to actually like him this time around may not be the most important change from 2008 — but it is an obvious change. And I think it might be telling…

Matt K. Lewis