You know, I think people would think better of politicians if they actually tried running their own campaigns, instead of hiring consultants to do their thinking for them. (At this point, I suspect Hillary Clinton wishes she'd run her own campaign -- she was very poorly served.)
Yes, I know the strategists advise presidential hopefuls to run to their bases -- liberals for Democrats, conservatives for Republicans -- during the primaries, and then move to the center for the general election. It's a sensible strategy except for one thing: it leaves the candidate sounding just like a, well... like a politician -- a self-serving, pandering hypocrite.
Barack Obama had me gagging recently when he commented on a couple of Supreme Court decisions. Yes, Barack, nobody likes child rapists -- but when you suggested that the Court was wrong to deny states the right to execute them, you were criticizing exactly the sort of Justices you've pledged to appoint. Oh, right, your consultants were afraid the Republican attack machine would portray you as in favor of raping children! Or perhaps you genuinely believe states should have the right to execute people who haven't taken a life, but whose behavior the public finds especially distasteful. Well, just how distasteful does an act have to be? If we give up the "life for a life" standard, a very wide range of behaviors could put a person on death row. Is that what you want?
Then, after you pandered to the "kill anyone I don't like" crowd, you pandered to the "pry my gun from my cold dead fingers" crowd when you appeared to support the Court's rejection of Washington's hand gun ban. Come to think of it, they're really pretty much the same crowd -- and I don't see too many of them voting for you anyway. Hell, their alternative is a macho white war hero!
Face it -- you're not going to convince anybody you're a secret conservative. You're just starting to look less and less like an "agent of change," and more and more like the same old empty suit.