There are two important new videos of Mitt Romney making the rounds, and I think they’re best dealt with as a study in contrasts.

Here’s video of Romney in 2002, uncovered by Alex Kaczynski, showing him running for Governor of Massachusetts, explaining that he’s not a “partisan Republican” and that his “views are progressive”:

And here’s Romney yesterday, in a remarkable exchange with a gay veteran, repeating the Republican/conservative line on gay marriage with almost robotic precision. Romney tells him why he thinks the partners of gay soldiers who risk their lives for this country should not be entitled to any federal spousal benefits, not even burial benefits:

What’s remarkable about the two videos is that in each one, Romney expresses his views with an equivalent display of absolute conviction.


UPDATE: On the substance of gay marriage, in 2002 Romney did say he viewed marriage as being between a man and a woman. But according to a New York Times article, at the time he promised gay Republicans that he would not fight hard against a Massachuetts measure to legalize gay marriage, vowing to keep his head down. He took care to assure them that there was little difference between him and people who were more liberal on the issue. So this shift in tone is yet another example of his broader evolution.