ANALYSIS: No matter what Mitt Romney wanted this week to be about, it's clear that it's going to be about one thing: A campaign that is off message and in disarray.
The series of stories Monday morning that laid bare latent tensions within the Romney campaign, and in particular, displeasure with the one of the GOP candidate's trusted advisers, Stuart Stevens, turnout out to be just the beginning.
But it was the late-day hidden camera dump by Mother Jones' David Corn and video researcher James Carter that turned out to be the day's real atomic bomb. The leaked videos showed a series of candid moments from a May Romney fundraiser at which the presidential candidate said, among other things, that no matter what" he does, 47 percent of the population is going to vote for Obama because they are "are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."
In the video, Romney is also shown saying, "My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Even so, voters are clearly waiting for the debates to make a final judgment on Romney. At least that was the take away from a focus group of suburban swing voters from Northern Virginia voters conducted last night in Fairfax, Virginia by Peter Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Despite being inundated with campaign ads, neither candidate has satisfied these voters' desire for a cogent plan for implementing all of his proposals and promises. These voters are hoping, even though some admit it may be naïve to do so, that these debates are finally going to cut through the clutter and the attacks and the talking points.
For Romney, who has had a terrible September, the old Green Day song -- "Wake Me Up When September Ends" -- seems to apply because October 3rd can't come soon enough.