Ricketts Fallout

Dave Weigel offers an insight on the Ricketts/Wright affair from the perspective I’m most interested in: Romney’s relationship with the toxic elements of the Right:

It’s all a little awkward. Up to now the Romney campaign — aided by a thick-as-thieves relationship with the Drudge Report — has been quick to jump on scandals and stories that the base wanted it to use. It built then rode an outrage rollercoaster out of Hilary Rosen’s CNN riff on motherhood; afterwards, the campaign used the Rosen story to prove to conservative bloggers that it “got it.” The subtext: McCain didn’t get it. Guys, we know. We’re not going to let Obama off easy, like McCain did.

And then came the Ricketts Plan and the idea of Jeremiah Wright campaign ads. It’s the first general election instance of the Romney campaign ducking a story that the base wanted it to use. Last night, on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity was barely consolable.

“I think for Governor Romney to take it off the table — he doesn’t have to talk about it,” Hannity whimpered. “But to repudiate people that do…”

Weigel goes on to note that Hannity is just plain psychotic on the Wright “issue,” and in fact, it was on Hannity’s show that Romney made his most recent remarks on the Rev (you know, the ones he had trouble remembering yesterday).

If Dave’s right, however, the Romney campaign will soon find some way to let “the base” know it still gets it, even if it chose not to go over the brink into the racial precincts of The Crazy over Jeremiah Wright.

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.