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Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) introduces U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice-presidential running mate during a campaign event at the retired battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, August 11, 2012.  REUTERS/Jason
Picking Paul Ryan didn't convince Mitt Romney's captors that he was nutty enough for them. Maybe this will?
Mitt Romney's top campaign aide this weekend:
The subject has been the economy, is the economy, and will be the economy. Mitt Romney doesn't want to change the subject, he wants to change the economy and that's what he's going to do as president.
Mitt Romney appearing with Pat Robertson this weekend:
With the Evangelical leader perched in a chair behind him, Romney unveiled a new version of his stump speech, reworked to include a riff on the pledge of allegiance — which he spontaneously led the crowd in reciting — as well as a fresh applause line.

"The pledge says 'under God,'" Romney declared to a hangar full of flag-waving partisans in rural southern Virginia. "I will not take God out of the name of our platform, I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart!"

Well that's a great strategy for staying focused on the economy. Rework your stump speech to make sure every soul in America knows you're fully committed to keeping the word "In God We Trust" on pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. And not only that, do it while standing next to a right-wing religious zealot like Pat Robertson. Plus do it on the heels of campaigning with right-wing religious zealot like Iowa Rep. Steve King.

It's pretty obvious what's going on here: Romney is worried that he's losing what should be his base. What we're seeing the reverse of the Sistah Souljah campaign: instead of trying to convince regular Americans that he's not aligned with the right-wing base of the GOP, Romney is trying to convince the right-wing base of the GOP that he's aligned with them.

This isn't just a reflection of Romney's inadequacies as a campaign strategist and tactician, it also reflects the extremism of his political base. He's not just trying to give them another reason to oppose President Obama, he's trying to convince them that he's one of them. Take what Steve King said about Romney on Friday:

"Don't doubt this man's faith," King said. "Don't doubt his conviction. Do not doubt his patriotism or his faith, and his love for Jesus Christ, our Savior."
That King needed to say that is an implicit recognition that there are parts of Romney's base that do doubt his patriotism and his faith and serves as a vivid illustration of the fact that some of Romney's biggest problems have nothing whatsoever to do with Democrats or President Obama. He is being held hostage by his own political party. Forget Etch A Sketches—Mitt Romney can't even untie the knot binding him to the extreme right.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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