The people who work for the wire services and the news networks are physically incapable of writing sentences like, "This election is even more over than the Knicks-Heat series." They are required, if not by law then by neurological reflex, to describe every presidential campaign as "fierce" and "drawn-out" and "hotly-contested."A lot of people -- including nearly every professional Republican and most Democrats -- in Washington DC believes Romney is done. But these are the same people who were just as convinced Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in to be the 44th President of the United States.
But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it'll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It's just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. Even the news reporters who are paid to drum up dramatic undertones are having a hard time selling Romney as half of a titanic title bout.
I think it's Obama's election to lose -- for all the reasons Matt lays out in Rolling Stone -- but I think Obama is very capable of losing this election. While the US is leading the developed world in recovering from the Great Recession, no Republican is going to concede this, and I've no confidence Obama will call them on it anyway.
To win, Obama has to take off the gloves and pummel Romney into oblivion. And I'm not sure he has it in him. It's only in the last several weeks that Obama seems to come to understand that the GOP is not going to make deals with him (at least not deals they will keep) and he must engage them on every issue.