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Mitt Romney: Senator-killer Killer

I can't dispute what Jason is seeing with his own eyes, but, like my Republican idol Mitt Romney, I wish we could have a discussion about issues and not about personal attacks...

Seriously, I think Jason is right--Romney is probably going to lose today, and that will most likely be it for his campaign. But I'd emphasize the word "probably." I stand by my take on Romney's and McCain's debate performances this weekend, which I think helped Mitt. And if Obama has a great night--attracting upward of 70 percent of independents, thereby depriving McCain of a vital source of support--Romney could do well enough among registered Republicans to keep it close. I think he can clearly fight on to Michigan if he gets within two or three points of McCain, which seems entirely possible.

Also, I thought Romney's new argument incorporating Obama yesterday was actually pretty shrewd. He said Obama has proven he can demolish Washington insiders. (He's a "senator killer," Romney said, which is a slightly weird way of putting it since Obama himself is a senator, but you get the idea.) If the GOP makes the mistake of nominating a such a figure (i.e., McCain), Romney continued, they'll be walking right into the Obama buzzsaw. The only hope is to nominate someone who represents change--which just happens to be Mitt Romney.

As Jason says, this would have been much more effective had Romney been running as the candidate of change and competence all along (which he could have pulled off). But having tried on and then discarded so many different personas, it may be a little late in the day for yet another one.

--Noam Scheiber