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Eskew: 'I'm Mitt Romney, and I have a problem'

Mitt Romney took the first step on the road to recovery when he said, in effect, "I am Mitt Romney and my campaign has a problem." But it's not surprising that Romney's decision to admit weakness and shake up his campaign message is being greeted with derision.

This is a law of politics: The hounds bay for change in the campaign and then trash you when you make it. In fact, the reason campaigns -- and presidencies -- cling to people and messages that fail is precisely because the story about the change overwhelms the change itself. The story invariably becomes "campaign in disarray."

Of course, if the polls tick up for Romney, then we will all say this -- the elevation of senior adviser Ed Gillespie and the repositioning of lead political strategist Stuart Stevens -- was a turning point. But here's the problem: Romney needs to go a step further and say: "I am Mitt Romney, and I have a problem." And if you think it's hard to change a campaign, try changing the candidate.

Writer Carter Eskew is a co-host of The Insiders blog, offering commentary from a Democratic perspective on the 2012 election, and was the chief strategist for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign.