Palace intrigue inside the Mitt Romney headquarters in Boston makes an early entry into the 2012 presidential race, thanks to a fuse-setting piece in Politico that lays bare rivalries and criticisms of the campaign.
The piece details in-fighting involving Romney's botched address to the last night of the Republican national convention in Tampa, and sums up the grumbling within the Republican party at large over what is seen as flawed execution of a muddled message.
Almost as if in response to the Politico piece, published on Sunday, the Romney campaign sought to rebrand this week's appearance by the GOP candidate as a new start to the campaign, with a new message – although no one seems sure what the message is, exactly.
According to the Washington Post, it's still the economy, stupid:
"Republican Mitt Romney, who last week struggled with his responses to a major foreign-policy crisis in the Middle East, will now turn his focus back to the economy with a new offensive aimed at recharging a campaign that even some allies believe he is losing."
But McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed Politics has a compelling piece with Republican sources telling him the opposite: that Romney's economic argument is a front for a campaign aimed increasingly at the Republican grassroots with talk of "patriotism and God":
"Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign's top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they'll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them... 'This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote,' the aide said, explaining the pick."
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has decided to shoot one of Romney's foxes this morning, with a revelation in the Cleveland Plain Dealer – an influential outlet in the influential swing state of Ohio – that the US government is taking China to the World Trade Organisation in a dispute over car parts and tariffs.
And there's just 50 days to go until general election day itself on 6 November.