Call me crazy, but I can't believe the new rush among the punditry to bury Mitt Romney. The Republican race still looks like anybody's ball game to me. I don't see any one Republican winning Michigan and South Carolina. And even were a candidate to do so, it's far from certain that with the super tuesday February primaries still looming that any final determinations for the major contenders wouldn't wait adjudication until then.
At the same time, it is true that having been in the lead, Romney is suffering the pangs of dashed expectations. And the competitiveness, or fragmentation, however you want to look at it, in the Republican field owes a great deal to Romney's having chosen to reinvent himself from moderate business man and governor to a whoeveryouwantmetobe conservative, depending on the audience. I can imagine Romney having been in a much better position had he chosen a more straightforward and honest campaign message.