POLITICS
04/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The New Mitt Romney: De-Emphasizing Abortion, Gay Marriage, Tea Party

Scott Brown's unexpected victory in last month's special US Senate election captured the attention of the country -- and particularly of core Republican voters, who huddled eagerly before their TV screens to watch their hero du jour give his acceptance speech. But even in the midst of his moment in the sun, Brown made sure to thank the other handsome, well-coifed man on the stage, Mitt Romney -- who, as it happens, would very much like the votes of that national Republican audience in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

Granted, it's very early in the 2012 presidential cycle, and if you ask the Romney camp, they'll profess him to be focused exclusively on helping GOP candidates this November. But make no mistake: Romney is in the process of re-launching himself for 2012.

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