Endnote: As the Romney-as-flip-flopper frame continues to intrigue the press, recall that Obama changed his mind, too. Early in his White House quest, he favored a requirement to cover only children and later moved to a full-blown requirement to catch everyone after his rivals supported it, and political forces pushed him to agree to it—the same political forces that pushed Romney to accept the mandate in 2006. And now conservatives in the GOP and the political and business interests they represent are pushing Romney away from the plan he once called a “Republican way of reforming the market.” That’s the real mandate story, and it’s far, far away from the opp artist gotcha spin du jour.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.