There’s nothing necessarily unseemly about this — it’s an event for Mitt’s PAC, not for his campaign — but the grassroots remembers well Maverick’s conspicuous omission of a certain someone when naming exciting young Republicans on Leno’s show.

Smells like … betrayal.

Sen. John McCain is co-hosting a fundraiser for his former 2008 Republican primary rival Mitt Romney next Wednesday in Phoenix…

The fundraiser will benefit Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, and features a $3,000 per person VIP reception along with a $300 per person luncheon.

The politic thing to do would have been to hold off on fundraisers for anyone else until he’s done one for Sarah PAC. Although that, of course, presumes that Sarah PAC wants him for a fundraiser, which it may not. Given the base’s contempt for McCain and the ‘Cuda’s emerging positioning as a libertarian populist in 2012, the Maverick brand may be something she’s trying to edge away from. The question is, what’s Mitt thinking here? Every time PPP does one of its Obama vs. X polls, Romney unfailingly lags behind Palin and Huckabee among Republicans. Hooking up with McCain will do nothing to change that and may well exacerbate it. I guess he’s committed to being the centrist next time out. Exit question: Where does that leave Huck? Social-con heaven?