The McCain opposition-research file circulating on the internet (if genuine) is just devastating in its picture of a man without any convictions whatsoever. It makes one thing crystal clear: Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, and quite possibly our next President, because he faced a GOP field made up of incompetent, unserious, and underfunded rivals. A serious contender would have eviscerated him.

Many of the positions that should have made him toxic to the Republican base will be far less damaging the context of a general election. Still, the total insincerity of the man has to be a liability. While my structuralist instincts tell me that Romney has an extremely good shot at becoming President, my “campaigns matter” side whispers that, if up against a halfway competent Obama organization, this guy is toast.

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