Why Romney can't articulate his positions clearly

I’m beginning to wonder if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney understands what it takes to become the president of the United States. Given the recent turn of events in his campaign, I could make a credible argument that the Republican presidential candidate simply cannot persuade a majority of voters that he’s in the race to win. Why? Well, he can’t explain why he wants to win—a fundamental prerequisite for the job.

Indeed, he’s twisted himself into such a pretzel largely to appeal to the narrowest slice of the undecided electorate as well as his conservative base that it’s almost as if he’s stopped actually believing in anything at all. If he loses the election, it will be an affirmation that most Americans don’t embrace the harshest and most extreme brand of conservative ideas, but it will also be a judgment on Gov. Romney’s increasingly apparent lack of commitment to any one overarching ideal beyond personal ambition. He doesn’t seem very committed to anything, which is why he’s having such a hard time trying to persuade voters that even he believes what he’s saying and doing.

Related: Why Obama is an increasingly strong favorite in the presidential race

Consider, for example, the short list of bungles, mishaps, and discoveries occurring in the span of days following the Republican National Convention, a time when most nominees are basking in the afterglow of a post-convention “bounce” in national polls. Not Gov. Romney, who has spent valuable campaign time batting back self-inflicted, negative news stories:

None of this demonstrates a commitment to any single political ideology so much as a series of crass calculations about political expediency

A despairing right-wing pundit, Laura Ingraham, took to the airwaves of her nationally syndicated show last week to lament what Gov. Romney is doing to the Republican Party.