In going down the list of Republican candidates, I’m taking a “process of elimination” approach instead of automatically picking a favorite going in and forcing myself to stick by them all the way through the cycle.

I’m always afraid that if I commit to a “favorite” too early on the long road to election day, it may ultimately end in disappointment – like meeting somebody you really like and then discovering something awful about them just as you’re boarding a ship for a week-long cruise.

Let’s face it, whoever gets the Republican nomination will more than likely be running against Hillary Clinton. Due to years and years of bearing frightening witness to the Clintons’ modus operandi, I view Hillary’s recent dip in the polls as nothing more than deliberate attempts to appear fallible.

In any case, Obama may ultimately fail just as soon as everyone finds out to secure the coveted endorsement designed to reel in every Oprahbot in the country, he had to agree to a yearly National Jammy Party and make Maya Angelou the Secretary of Defense.

To best counter the most likely GOP opponent, Hillary Clinton, the Republican candidate I’ve been pondering lately is Mitt Romney. In spite of everything Romney has said recently, much of which I agree with, there’s a negative that I just can’t get out of my mind.

The trouble with Mitt has nothing to do with his being a Mormon, which seems to be a sticking point, mostly for the press. What religion a candidate belongs to, and whether or not that religion is as mainstream as others, isn’t as important to me as it may be for some. In other words, I’ll take a Branch Davidian who’s a supply-sider over a Catholic who’s a Socialist each and every time.

The trouble with Mitt has nothing to do with the fact that he looks a little too much like a movie president, with smoothness that reminds one of a northeastern Bill Clinton minus the wildly flickering needle on the BS meter and chronic trouser tent.

The trouble with Mitt has nothing to do with Giuliani’s accusation that Romney had illegals working in his yard. Romney claimed it wasn’t his fault, but rather that of the landscaping company he hired. The fact that Mitt will claim to be the best equipped to secure the borders when he couldn’t keep illegals out of his own hedges could be an issue for future discussion, but still, that’s not my immediate concern.

In choosing a Republican candidate to support, one of the main traits I look for is consistency, and not just last week – but over the past decade or more. And if there’s a wrinkle in that consistency, there had better be a good reason.

With that said, here’s the trouble I have with Mitt:

Whenever I see Romney, I can’t help but recall a debate he had with Ted Kennedy in the 1994 senate race. Granted, running against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts is like trying to sell soap at Woodstock, but in that debate, Mitt Romney tried to out-Kennedy even Ted Kennedy. When presented with the original and a knock-off, both at the same price, people will choose the genuine article every time, as Massachusetts voters did in ’94.

For example, in the Kennedy debate, Romney described himself – in answers that seem so canned they could have been easily mistaken for peaches – as pro-choice forever and always. Romney was on the board of the Boy Scouts of America, but for gay marriage, and he wished that the Scouts would lift their ban on gays. Now he appears to hold positions opposite those.

In the Kennedy debate, Romney widely separated himself from Ronald Reagan, and now he (and frankly many other candidates) seemingly spend every evening hunched over a Ouija board trying to figure out a way to channel the Gipper into every speech.

When the debates become more general in nature and the candidates focus on wooing more than just the base, should Mitt show any signs of adopting the liberal position instead of clarifying a conservative view, as he did in the Kennedy debate, I’m outta there.

Changing your position due to principle is perfectly acceptable, but changing it for politics is unforgivable – and terribly common. Which is Mitt? At this point I still can’t decide.

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