Ann Coulter is provocative and offensive and wonderful at self-promotion. And if it weren't for all those attributes, she could very well claim a fourth: an effective surrogate for Mitt Romney.
The conservative best-selling author gave her usual speech at CPAC on Friday. Instead of calling John Edwards a "faggot" (like she did years ago), she declared that Bill Clinton saved the Constitution by repeatedly ejaculating on White House interns. It was a stupid laugh line really not worth repeating, save to point out how likely it is to overshadow the impassioned plea she made earlier in the speech to get the crowd to drop its revulsion of Romney.
"You know how [Democrats] are going to run against our candidate, because it is the only way that they run against any Republican: Call them dumb or stupid. And there is one presidential candidate we have right now who frustrates both of those. That is Mitt Romney," said Coulter. "You can't call him dumb. You can't call him crazy. You can call him square, and that seems to be what a lot of right-wingers don't like about him."
"You ask them, 'What is it?'" she went on. "'Well, he's kind of a Ken doll, sort of stiff.' I think we have had enough of hip. Hip has nearly wrecked the country. Let's try square for a while."
The crowd cheered wildly. This was a broad case for backing the former Massachusetts Governor. But even when the questions turned to the specifics, Coulter seemed well equipped to make the pro-Romney case.
How can he be entrusted to repeal President Obama's health care law when the one he passed in Massachusetts was so similar, someone asked.
"He has been clear and forceful on that from the beginning" that he wants full repeal, Coulter said. "If you can't believe that, you might as well speculate: What if Obama starts reading Milton Friedman and becomes a free marketer? Yeah, I guess it could happen."
Romney, she went on, had the "strongest position on illegal immigration," which she called the second-most important issue. From there, she pivoted to all the failed Tea Party candidates whom the party ran in Senate races in 2010. Newt Gingrich, she argued, was not more conservative than Romney. Moreover, it really wasn't the right election to mess around.
"This is the future of the country," said Coulter. "This is no time to be, 'Oh, try this.'"
These are effective points, delivered by someone who is truly part of the conservative movement. Moments later, however, Coulter began making lewd Clinton jokes that sounded like the ones told 15 years ago.