A Mother Jones hack thinks that Romney’s pickup of the Trump endorsement really was a big win for Mitt. And, I have to say, in many instances, even though this liberal comes from the loony land of Salon.com and Mother Jones magazine, he makes some good points.

Michael Scherer, TIME Magazine’s White House correspondent and past writer for Mother Jones and Salon.com, penned a piece analyzing the Trumpeting Romney got on Thursday and explained why he thought that it was all a win win for the Mittster. Chiefly, Scherer noted that the liberal guffawing about the endorsement “missed the bigger dynamic.” He’s right in many ways (though I can’t say it’s ever a surprise when the left doesn’t “get” something!)

Scherer says that Mitt “scored a hat trick” on Thursday by taking out of play a potential critic, depriving his opponents of the stage for the day, and proved that his style of campaigning was the right tact to take. I find these points to be very well formulated. Naturally, he goes one left-wing sentiment too far saying this…

And he saw his strategy of staying above the political circus vindicated: In the end, it did not take any clowning around on the candidate’s part to win over the Republican party’s great jester.

This is just left-wing nonsense and really doesn’t belong in a purportedly serious commentary.

Still, Romney didn’t really stay above “the circus.” He was fully in it with his back door, dirty campaigning via his super PACs. Further, Donald Trump is not the GOP’s “party jester.” No one is under any illusions that Donald Trump is a party regular — after all he’s registered as an independent, not a Republican. He did say a lot of things that people appreciated but even when he was toying with running for the GOP nomination last year, no one really considered Donald Trump a party guy.

Scherer also makes the mistake to assume that trump’s post endorsement interviews where he praised Mitt’s tough talk on China was at all about Mitt. It was — as is everything Trump — all about Trump. The Donald has been railing about China for over two years.

In his biased, un-journalistic, and indelicate way, Scherer was right about Romney’s strategy, too.

It was only last year that Trump dominated Republican primary coverage, Sarah Palin’s bus trips to nowhere were breaking news, and Herman Cain ruled the Republican polls. The circus dominated, and Romney stayed on the sidelines, uninterested in competing for attention, confident that his time would come. Trump’s endorsement, delivered soberly without pomp or soaring rhetoric, was a clear sign that Romney had been right all along. With time, he found a way to tame the circus.

This isn’t exactly news, though. In fact, Mitt is still doing this. He pretty much refuses to go on anyone’s radio show expect that of Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, both of whom fawn over him. Mitt knows neither will ask a tough question of him, certainly. Otherwise Mitt has avoided all conservatives, not just “the circus” characters of Scherer’s mind. The reason is that Mitt does disdain conservatism and he knows if he ever goes before any principled conservative media figures they’ll make him confront certain realities that have limited him to support by less than 50% of the base.

Romney’s game plan is to avoid the base of the party as much as possible and try to appeal to moderates and disaffected Democrats. This is why he has people telling leftists that he won’t really repeal Obamacare and why he has stubbornly clung to the false claim that Romneycare is a great deal for Massachusetts.

Mitt is taking conservatives for granted, of course. He feels all he has to do is sit on his mountain of money, wait out the field, and push his surrogates and super PACs to do all his dirty work. But there is a major flaw in this tactic. It’s the same one MCain tried only four years ago and it failed McCain miserably. It will likely fail Romney, too.