SO, MITT, HOW'S THAT MOVE TO THE CENTER GOING?
Every mainstream pundit in America told you that Mitt Romney would spend the period after he effectively clinched the GOP nomination moving to the center. Um, we're still waiting. What he's been giving us instead is wingnut porn: Trump earlier in the week, and today a visit to the headquarters of Solyndra -- the solar company whose name works on wingnuts the way telescreen clips of Emmanuel Goldstein work on the residents of Oceania.
And if that isn't enough to get Fox viewers drooling -- which seems to be all Romney wants to do right now -- he compounded the calculated appeal to right-wingers by actually trying to sound as paranoid as Richard Nixon:
Mitt Romney's campaign justified its secrecy in setting up a press conference in front of Solyndra's California headquarters Thursday by warning of a conspiracy by White House officials to potentially sabotage their efforts.
"We knew, if word got out, that Solyndra would do everything in their power, and the Obama administration would do everything in their power, to stop us from having this news conference,"an unnamed adviser told reporters, per CNN.
Reporters raised the question of how this devious plot to derail the event would work, given that the freedom to hold a press conference in public is a fairly basic right.
"Well, he's only the president of the United States," the adviser replied. "I mean, they could work with town officials to deny us access."
Romney alluded to similar concerns in his press conference.
"I think there are people who don't want to see this event occur, don't want to have questions asked about this particular investment," Romney told reporters when asked about the secrecy behind the event, according to the New York Times.
I'd call this black-helicopter talk catnip for right-wingers, but it's more like crack, or bath salts. This stuff makes them crazy.
Who's advising Romney to focus on revving up the base rather than the middle? Karl Rove? Roger Ailes? Is Romney doing this because he thinks he'll win if rich super PAC donors give even more than the gazillion dollars they've pledged to give to buy him the presidency? Does he think they watch Fox News all the time (which may be true), and that they won't back him if he doesn't ride the same hobbyhorses as Fox?
Are they insisting that he go birther? Is that the point of Trump?
Or is Ailes whispering Trump's name in Romney's ear? Trump is still the object of hero-worship at Fox -- there was Sean Hannity last night saying, "You know who I am really happy with? Donald Trump" -- and, a week ago, acclaiming Trump as an "iconoclastic" guy who "lays it on the line." The panelists on The Five lavishing praise on Trump a couple of days ago. ("He's an American icon!” "He connects with the modern man." "He represents ... a new GOP." "He has a blue-collar approach to life.") In just one week earlier this spring, Trump got 34 minutes on Bill O'Reilly's show plus segments on three other Fox shows.
Fox loves Trump. Romney now embraces Trump. A shared strategy? Or is Romney doing as he's told?