There was a widely held assumption that once the Republican nominating phase was over, Mitt Romney would, as he’s done several times before, simply shed this skin for another. When his chief strategist promised the candidate would shake the “Etch A Sketch,” it stuck because it reinforced suspicions: as a general-election candidate, we’d see a whole new Mitt (again).You can read all of Benen’s piece here.
But it’s worth pausing to appreciate just how wrong these assumptions were. There are 85 days until Election Day, and Romney is still pandering to the right as if the Iowa caucuses were right around the corner. There’s been no effort to move towards the mainstream at all, and Paul Ryan’s appearance on the GOP ticket is a critical part of this dynamic. ...
It’s a ticket of, by, and for the right, not even trying to appeal to moderates or Democrats who might be open to outreach. Romney’s entire 2012 strategy, it appears, is mobilizing the far-right base and then hoping for the best.
READ MORE: “Democrat Super-PAC Says Ryan Pick Connects Romney to Unpopular Policies,” by Alexandra Jaffe (The Hill); “Romney Owns the Ryan Plan,” by Alex Seitz-Wald (Salon); “The Ryan Budget in Dollars and Cents,” by Ed Kilgore (Washington Monthly); “President Ryan--the Truth Behind Mitt’s Flub,” by Steve Kornacki (Salon); “Still Think Chris Christie Was the Smarter Choice,” by Richard K. Barry (The Reaction); “Paul Ryan Already Polling Badly,” by Kevin Drum (Mother Jones); “Paul Ryan Is Not a Game Changer,” by Michael Lind (Salon).