In a letter released by his campaign last Friday, Mitt Romney's doctor gave him more than just a clean bill of health. His personal physician called the Republican presidential candidate a "vigorous man" with "reserves of strength, energy and stamina that provide him with the ability to meet unexpected demands."
And it's a good thing because the past two weeks have brought more than a few of those "unexpected demands" -- from a foreign policy crisis that spilled over onto the campaign trail to a hidden camera video that landed Romney in hot water to the release of his tax returns on Friday afternoon
And to meet those demands, Romney has become a candidate who wears many hats.
There's CEO Mitt who some political observers say runs his campaign too much like he ran the private equity firm, Bain Capital. The Associated Press's Kasie Hunt elaborated in a recent article: "He likes to watch the TV ads before they go on the air. He reviewed Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's financial information before selecting him for the No. 2 spot. He's rarely separated from chief strategist Stuart Stevens. They often spend hours conversing and poking at an iPad on the campaign's charter plane. If Romney's not with Stevens, he's often calling him." http://bit.ly/Q4QPuu
These are the kind of habits that led Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan to write a column titled, "The Romney Campaign Needs A New CEO" with some advice for the GOP presidential contender: "He can't be the CEO of the campaign and be the candidate. The candidate is out there every day standing for things, fighting for a hearing, trying to get the American people to listen, agree and follow. ...The candidate cannot oversee strategy, statements, speechwriting, ads. He shouldn't be debating what statistic to put on slide four of the Powerpoint presentation." http://on.wsj.com/3ksWVd
Then there's the cool-calm-and-collected Romney -- so cool, in fact, that he can seem dismissive of the problems that have beset his campaign. This is the Romney who said in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," which aired last night, that his campaign does not need a reset.
"It doesn't need a turnaround," Romney said. "We've got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States."
Well, not exactly. While many national polls show a neck-and-neck race, surveys in the eight crucial swing states that will ultimately decide who wins the White House give President Obama a lead, not just in a few of the states, but in every single one. There's enough time for Romney to catch up, but with 43 days to go until Nov. 6, that window is getting smaller.
There's also feisty Mitt. The one who bounded to the back of his campaign plane last night on his way from California to Colorado and accused the president of "trying to fool people into thinking that I think things that I don't." http://abcn.ws/UvGpXl
He went on to take Obama to task for running ads that are "factually inaccurate."
"He keeps running these things even though he knows they're wrong and saying them in rallies even though he knows they're wrong," Romney said.
"That ends at the debates," Romney told reporters. "I hope I'll be able to describe my positions in a way that is accurate and the people will make a choice as to which path they want to choose."
That's a lot of Romneys for one campaign. And his real challenge ahead of the first debate on Oct. 3 is closing the gap with the president in at least a few of the tossup states. This week, Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are plunging headfirst into of the most important battlegrounds -- Ohio -- just as polls show President Obama with a consistent lead there. An NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll out earlier this month put Obama's edge in Ohio at seven percentage points over his Republican challenger and a RealClearPolitics.com average of recent polls pegs the president's lead over Romney at roughly four points.
But the GOP ticket's focus on the state next week reflects its importance on the political map. Without winning there Romney faces a much trickier path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.
ABC's Jake Tapper reported for "Good Morning America" today on last night's dueling "60 Minutes" interviews. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/QcVMBi