Last night while “Moderate Mitt” was campaigning in Ohio his campaign buds were doing his bidding at a high-profile fundraiser in the just-slightly-less-contested battleground state of…Texas. At those fundraisers, along with Romney’s son Josh, were none other than conservative stalwarts Dick Cheney and Glenn Beck. VP candidate Paul Ryan made an appearance via video.
It was announced this morning that Obama’s campaign had crossed the obscene fundraising threshold of $1 billion, with Romney’s campaign lagging shortly behind, so it’s understandable the Romney camp would want to collect the $2 million it’s expected to raise, according to Rachel Maddow.
But, $2 million aside, having Dick Cheney and Glenn Beck doing Romney’s bidding does add to what’s been a complicated web of associations for Romney recently. After Richard Mourdock, the only Senate candidate Romney has appeared in an ad for, set off a firestorm with the comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are what god intended, Romney refused to withdraw his endorsement and the ad. Withdrawing his support would raise unwanted attention because of another association—Paul Ryan has the same exact view that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape.
Then there’s Donald Trump: Mitt has spent plenty of time this year palling around with Trump, featuring Trump at fundraisers and even invoking Trumpian Birtherism when he told a Michigan crowd, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.” Trump finally and officially jumped way over the shark when his “$5 million for your records” bribe was received badly by literally everyone and begged the question, How was Mitt ever in cahoots with this fool?
But last night’s Texas fundraiser takes the bad-association juju to a new level. Dick Cheney masterminded the foreign policy that Mitt just spent an hour and a half in the last debate agreeing was the wrong road to go down in the last decade. And Glenn Beck—perhaps the only right-winger too crazy to be on Fox News.
BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller reports that Moderate Mitt’s strategy for the home stretch is to promote “Big Change.” But his web of associations is aggressively recalling the neo-conservative movement of 2000-2008. Like it or not, he’s giving off the impression he wants to change back.
Also, dude—”Change” has kind of been done as a campaign slogan. Might want to find a fresh one.