To pin recent stumbles on Stevens would be to overlook Romney’s role in all this. As the man atop the enterprise ““ in effect, the CEO of a $1 billion start-up ““ Romney ultimately bears responsibility for the decisions he personally oversaw, such as the muffling of running mate Paul Ryan’s strict budget message and his own convention performance. – Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM with the fascinating article on Politico by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei is the real answer to the title’s question. How did Mitt Romney stumble? Any Republican trying to win approval of the fever swamp base of the GOP is bound to have problems once he or she turns to the general election, because how they presented themselves in the primary isn’t going to win against Barack Obama. The next issue is that any candidate willing to turn himself into the right-wing hero of his base is likely not worth much in the end, because he or she does’t have a compass and just wants the power of the presidency.

Hey, but let’s blame Stewart Stevens and the consultant class. It’s easy to do, because for the most part they’re awful. When the candidate won’t take responsibility or control is where the problems begin.

Let’s also remember the same right-wing base who whipsawed from Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum, with Herman Cain in the middle, finally settled on Mitt Romney, because he was the only one with the money and campaign infrastructure to outlast the flavors of the month.

Everyone who has ever been in a losing campaign can find someone inside that campaign to blame. They can find reasons for the loss, too, that comfort them.

But take a look at the campaign to date. Just look at very recent history, say, the summer of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy trip. Look at the convention after that.

The reason Mitt Romney is losing is because of Mitt Romney. He’s one of the worst politicians we’ve seen in the last twenty years and he’s not gotten better as the campaign rolled on. He and his campaign just keep screwing up.

The article on Politico is a fascinating read, but it skirts the fundamental issue. How can any politician make it through what the Republican base puts them through and end up with the stances that got him or her nominated being what the majority of American would want in the White House?

Jeb Bush didn’t want to run this year, neither did Chris Christie, so instead we got Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Why? Because the base demands their right-wing red meat and the allegiance to things that most voters who are Republicans don’t.

Mitt Romney is exactly the candidate Republicans deserve. He represents the type of politician that can make it through the right-wing obstacle course that is the primary season.

What we’re also learning is that Mitt Romney would make a very bad president, because he’ll say anything to get the power of the presidency, while showing none of the leadership skills required for the job. He can’t even run his own campaign. How he ran Bain Capital and made it successful is a whole different skill set, because that was centered on numbers and making them add up. Politics is about the people, but Romney knows absolutely nothing about us, because the only ones he’s been talking to the entire time he’s been running for president are the extreme elements in the Republican base who don’t represent the wider American electorate.

Massachusetts Mitt might be able to win, but he can’t show his face in today’s Republican Party.

People do want a change from Barack Obama. There’s just no evidence right now they want it so bad as to throw the dice on Mitt Romney.

The ad above is an answer to the Romney campaign’s troubles. They’re now getting down to broad specifics, a purposeful oxymoron. Whether anyone cares at this point is hard to tell. Most are waiting until the first debate, which sits on Mitt Romney’s shoulders like dead weight.