Here’s my list of some of the best Post stories that put an analytical eye on Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts; some were written during the 2007-08 presidential campaign, and some are from the past year during his second run for the presidency.

 I’ll do a similar list on The Post stories looking critically at Barack Obama in the next couple of weeks.

--For an excellent character study of Romney, how he thinks about politics, and how he sees himself, see Ann Gerhart’s profile in The Post’s weeklong series of stories in December about the GOP presidential candidates, “The Contenders.”

Romney as governor:

--The late Post political reporter, David Broder, did a 2006 story on Romney’s record as governor that still holds up well.

--How much of a job creator was Romney during his four years as governor? Jia Lynn Yang, a Post financial reporter, in February looked at his record.

--Romney prides himself on consensus building. Philip Rucker, national political reporter, last December examined Romney’s skills in that area while governor.

The evolution of Mitt Romney:

Here’s a good set of stories that trace and try to explain Romney’s move from moderate Republican to more-conservative GOP standard bearer:

--David Segal, now with the New York Times, did this story in October 2007 for the Post Style section on Romney’s ideological turnabout.

--Dan Balz, the Post’s chief political correspondent, and Shailagh Murray, a former Post journalist who went to work for Vice President Joe Biden’s office in 2011, wrote in December 2006 about Romney’s political evolution.

--This 2007 story traces Romney’s changes in his stand on abortion. The writer, Michael D. Shear, formerly with The Post, is with the New York Times and runs its political blog, called “The Caucus.”


Romney also began distancing himself from the health-reform law he got passed in Massachusetts barely a year after he signed it. In this April 13, 2007 story, former Post reporter Perry Bacon Jr., now with theGrio, outlines how the former governor changed his tone on the plan.

Going negative:

If you have any doubts left after this year’s primary battles that Romney can go negative, take a look at these stories from 2007-08 as the candidate started losing to Mike Huckabee and John McCain in the early GOP primaries:

--Romney strategy in peril with Huckabee’s ascent,

--Candidates clash at New Hampshire debate, and

--Romney eyes Huckabee lead.

Shifting messages:

If you’re interested in Romney’s shifting messages in his 2008 presidential campaign (just like during his campaign for governor in 2002) this story will lay it out.

The Post did a good analysis of why Romney lost his first run for the presidency in this February 2008 story by Michael D. Shear, Chris Cillizza and Glenn Kessler.

Romney’s faith:

Finally, I think it’s useful to view or read Romney’s speech on religion, which he delivered Dec. 6, 2007, in an effort to ease concerns that some voters have over his Mormon faith. This is Dan Balz’s story on the speech, and you can find a transcript of the speech here.