Captain Jellyspine Reappears

Romney Returns to the Right, Part II

Several times last night, Romney returned to playing to the right-wing base, and it cost him.

I noted in the column I wrote last night that Romney seemed to be playing to the right-wing base again. But as I was writing, I forgot the two biggest pieces of evidence for my case.

First, all that time he spent talking about "self-deportation" on the immigration question. That was playing defense, first and foremost, but maybe he was playing defense there for a reason--to reassure the right that he's not going soft on the illegals. Second and more interesting was that weird jag he went on about Fast & Furious. I bet most of the people in the audience and watching at home were thinking, "What's he talking about? What's Obama got to do with that movie?"

The wingers were popping champagne corks, I'm sure. Man, they love that stuff. I was just on Geraldo's radio show, and a woman called in to speculate that the Benghazi attack was actually perhaps the botched-up product of a US government covert op a la Fast & Furious. But for normal Americans, those were seriously wasted minutes.

It all makes me think his people, or the candidate himself, heard from some of his conservative benefactors over the past two weeks. All very well, Willard, you had to do that in the first debate, we understand; but you better come back home a little in this one. Whatever the case, it'll cost him.