Vote For the Fraud. It’s Important.

Sometimes a candidate receives an endorsement that’s not exactly worth the collateral damage. That may be the case with infotainment celebrity Piers Morgan, whose assessment of Mitt’s Romney’s candidacy at the Daily Mail today had one of the more interesting headlines of Campaign /12: “He’s one of the least principled politicians I’ve met. But I believe Mitt Romney might just save America.”

If you actually read Morgan’s column, he spends a lot more time on the first proposition than the second. In fact, he never says anything about Romney “saving America,” but instead offers the usual lame combo platter of asserting that Obama’s failed on the economy, and Mitt did a real good job running the Salt Lake City Olympics. I know if I’m hiring someone to do the most important job in the whole world, a resume line from more than a decade ago is the first thing I’d look at, too.

In any event, the only precinct of the wingnutosphere that’s gone to the trouble of drawing attention to Morgan’s “endorsement” is, where it was spun as a sorta-lefty (sic!) public figure succumbing to the irresistible logic of the GOP candidacy.

But if you think about it for a moment, Morgan is only offering a slightly exaggerated version of what is becoming the classic Beltway Centrist case for Mitt: the guy you’ve watched slavishly pandering to the conservative movement for the last five years (since his first presidential run began) is a complete fraud, a tower of mendacity so high that it peeks through the clouds. And that’s why he’d be a great president!

Some of you may remember the epic Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana in 1991, often referred to as the “race from Hell.” Some Edwards backers, wanting to stress the enduring damage to the state’s reputation that would ensue from a Duke victory, distributed a bumper sticker that read: “Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.” Some of Mitt Romney’s more prominent fans, including Piers Morgan, might want to offer their own variation today.

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.