More Relentless Focus on the Economy

It’s been widely observed that having spent his convention seeking to re-establish a strict campaign focus on the election as a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy, Mitt Romney has proceeded to do a couple of things he just has to do which have the effect of blurring that focus: an endorsement/appearance with Iowa’s Steve King, and another with Pat Robertson, which featured a thundering Mitt riff on the Democrats’ alleged ejection of God from their platform.

But before Mitt can get back to those unemployment numbers, the next big event on the campaign calendar for the GOP ticket is the annual Christian Right festival sponsored by the Family Research Council, the Value Voters Summit, which will be held this weekend in DC. It’s not clear Romney himself will attend, but his wife is on the agenda, as is his running-mate, along with every social-issues-obsessed right-wing pol in Christendom.

Among the incredibly focused economic experts at the VVS will be (in order of scheduled appearance) Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Steve King, Gary Bauer, Ted Cruz, Allen West, Ollie North, Mike Huckabee, Jan Brewer, Ken Cuccinelli, William Boykin and Glenn Beck–plus, of course, FRC’s own ultimate warhorse Tony Perkins.

In the breakout sessions, there are some other big-time crusaders: Rick Scarborough on the “myth” of church-state separation, Frank Gaffney teaching “Radical Islam 101,” and American Family Association research director Ed Vitagliano on the persecution of Christians.

Only Todd Akin is missing, and who knows, he may show up and work the hallways for contributions.

This will be the Cultural Right’s final big national opportunity to remind the Romney campaign and the national media that its priorities are binding on the GOP, and its ground-troops are essential to victory. Should be a fine show.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.