BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins reports that Mitt Romney's new plays to the party base are, indeed, calculated.
Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign's top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they'll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them. The earliest, ambiguous signal of this turn toward the party's right was the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate, a top Romney aide said.
"This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote," the aide said, explaining the pick.
Here's the odd thing -- wasn't the chance to vote against Barack Obama the only prodding the base needed?
In the original calculus, Romney didn't need to fire up the base because it was already fired up to vote against Obama, and he could run a campaign focused purely on the center.
It's not immediately clear what's changed the past four months