"No one knows who the real Mitt Romney is," said Frank Rich on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight, echoing a popular refrain in the 2012 election cycle.
A closer look at Romney's fundraising stars, however, might give some undecided voters a better idea. On the same day that famed moderate Republican Colin Powell endorsed Obama for a second term, the Romney campaign held a Texas fundraiser featuring the all-star ultra-conservative team of Dick Cheney and Glenn Beck. Lest anyone think party officials or the candidates themselves are distancing themselves from the event, RNC Chair Reince Preibus and Mitt Romney's son Josh will be present. Paul Ryan will beam in via video (he was originally scheduled to attend, but his schedule now puts him in a battleground state).
Rich, a columnist at-large for New York Magazine, said he thinks bringing Beck out "is a pathetic effort on the Romney campaign to get out the crude part of the base." The controversial media figure has been out of the political limelight for the most part since he was "transitioned off of his daily program" on Fox News in mid-2011.
Maddow pointed out that Powell's endorsement of Obama was the one she had been waiting for, as his moderate views carry a fair amount of "political heft" for independents.
"Look, this guy knows neocons," said Rich, drawing a contrast between Powell's support for Obama and Cheney's for Romney. "They're the ones who fed him lies about Saddam's WMDs that he then had to sell to the United Nations ... so he speaks with real passion about it."