According to Politico, reports have surfaced that, right before the first debate, the Romney family held an "intervention" with Mitt to tell him that his campaign strategy wasn't working. Campaign insiders told Politico's Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei that the candidate's image was in need of softening, and that his strategists had privately acknowledged that they were too focused on the news cycle.
"When the history of this campaign is written, the family intervention will be among the most important turning points in the Romney saga," wrote Allen and Vandehei.
Not everyone believes the reports. "I don't buy this whole idea that his wife and family swoop in and bring out the real Mitt," Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank said Tuesday night on PoliticsNation.
Ultimately, the public has no way of knowing whether the Romney who shined at the first debate is the "real" Romney, Milbank said. What happened to the Romney from weeks ago, from the primaries, or from the 2008 race?
"He changes positions the way you and I take neckties," Milbank quipped. He speculated that Romney's campaign was sputtering and the rumors of an "intervention" were simply a way to signal a reset, to interest the media in a new narrative, and to fire up the disaffected Republican base.