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Late Night: For Romney, Things Go From Bad to Weird(er)

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I guess the bright spot for Mitt Romney at this point, as complaints from fellow Republicans about his increasingly wobbly presidential run pile up, is that he can adopt the joking slogan many parts of the U.S. have regarding their weather: “Hey, if you don’t like our campaign’s strategic focus, just wait a few minutes — it’ll change!”

Last week, Team Mitt floated any number of putative new directions they would take to counteract President Obama’s post-convention bounce in the polls (More policy specifics!  More culture war!  More mustard, pickle and relish!).  This week, they seemingly ditched all of them in favor of — believe it or not — excessive makeup and a brand-new theme they invented on the spot just yesterday:

An hour after President Obama said he couldn’t “change Washington from the inside” at a forum hosted by Univision in Miami, Mitt Romney took to the stage at an outdoor rally here Thursday afternoon and accused the president of “surrender” — an attack, his aides say, that will become a major part of his campaign’s message in coming days.

“The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again,” Romney said. “He said he can’t change Washington from inside. He can only change it from outside. Well, we’re gonna give him that chance in November; he’s going outside.”

As the crowd cheered, Romney added, “I can change Washington, I will change Washington, we’ll get the job done from the inside!

I suppose it takes a candidate of Mitt’s unique political acumen to think running as an effective Washington, D.C. insider will be a winning come-from-behind campaign strategy… and to overlook that the kind of change the blindingly unpopular House GOP would help him deliver is exactly what voters don’t want.

But then, you have to realize that this is a campaign that organized their entire nominating convention around an inside joke.  (And you wonder why they don’t understand how they failed to pick up any support from undecided voters in the polls.)

Perhaps figuring out belatedly that this umpteenth new direction wasn’t such a hot idea after all, Mitt & Co. decided today the best thing to do was change the subject yet again, this time to — hey, why not? — Romney’s mysterious tax returns, which just ensures that we’ll be hearing more about this subject next week.

Of course, if you look at Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign as one long, rambling, grotesque joke, then his tax returns make perfect sense as the punchline.

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (