He must be running in 2012 because he surely can’t believe this will endear him to anyone except independents.

“I also think it’s important for us to nod to the president when he’s right,” Romney said, after chiding the president’s budget. “He will not always be wrong, and he’s done some things I agree with.”

Romney, who spoke at a dinner for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he’s pleased with the president’s plans to “finish the job” in Iraq and Afghanistan — lines that drew applause from the partisan audience. He also applauded the president for standing up to the auto industry.

“I hope he continues to be tough and shows some backbone because that industry is not going to make it unless we have real backbone and get those guys to fundamentally restructure all of their obligations,” he said.

I have no problem with him saluting The One on Iraq, but … he still can’t offer a critical word about Obama canning GM’s CEO? Play to the independents if you must, Mitt, but throw the base a little red meat now and then. Surely Sarahcuda is at least mildly peeved at the thought of the president dictating to America’s business elite. Exit citation, from the Fox News poll I just wrote about: Maybe Mitt knows what he’s doing.