I don't know, Rachel...
I think you are giving Romney too much credit.
If you ask me: Obama bumbled because he lacked convictions.
You know how it goes, the expression varies but the basic saying is the same:
It's not easy being a "New Democrat".
And it's not easy being Barack Obama—especially when there is so much he and Mitt Romney do really agree upon.
I think the best take on this has got to go to Charlie Pierce: