Poor Mitt. I dig this new spot — it’s goofy and different, and when it comes to campaign ads, like Bill Murray said in Groundhog Day, anything different is good — but it’s bound to be overshadowed by J-Mac’s 12-minute epic about his stay in the Hanoi Hilton. Mitt’s ad actually works in McCain’s favor when the two are juxtaposed: it shows Romney doing something that McCain no longer can because of his sacrifice, a contrast St. John’s camp has been quick to play up this morning.

I wonder if he always planned to roll this out or if he’s been forced to play his biggest card now because his campaign’s in trouble and he desperately needs to boost his image among Republicans. This’ll do it, the stomach-churning bit of narration early on about his famed maverickness notwithstanding. It was smart of him to feature his mother so prominently, too — she’s in her 90s but looks and acts 15 years younger, which should help him with the worries about his age.

Can a purebred amnesty shill also be an unqualified American hero? Sure can. Does that mean he’s going to be nominated? All signs point to no.