The economy is collapsing and the GOP is stuck with a candidate who doesn't know jack about economics. But what if Mitt Romney had won that hard-fought Florida primary and grabbed the nomination? Romney's whole business career was about turning around distressed companies. Plus, he's far less identified with George W. Bush than is McCain. And unlike McCain he might not have had to give up on Michigan, where his father was governor. (What state pray tell is McCain holding that Mitt couldn't?)

I know there are plenty of strikes against the guy. But it's an interesting counterfactual to consider--one that makes a lot more sense now that foreign policy has all but disappeared from the conversation.

P.S. Good point from commenter timteeter:

Or for that matter if McCain had sucked it up and made Romney his VP.

You might've had far less base enthusiasm at convention time, but delivering a strong economic message right now could've been far easier.

--Michael Crowley

For Eve Fairbanks' take on Romney's 2012 prospects, click here.