The old saw coined by former Interior Secretary James Watts - "Let Reagan be Reagan" - refers to the idea that the president (or in this case a candidate) is held hostage by his advisors who won't let the principle express their true beliefs, but rather keeps them on a poll tested, focus group influenced path.
Watts was mostly wrong. Reagan was always Reagan. It's just that Watts and some on the hard right wanted Reagan to be someone he wasn't; a flaming ideologue.
Romney is not a strong ideologue as everyone knows. But his advisors apparently wanted him to be someone he wasn't. Enter Romney's oldest son Tagg who, according to this story, has taken a larger role in the campaign to save it from the politicos:
In the blur of well-heeled good looks and generic charisma that defines the public perception of the Romney brood, it's easy for outside observers to miss the increasingly active role being seized by the candidate's eldest son. But over the past two months, Tagg has emerged not only as his father's most motivated surrogate, but also as his most trusted ally and key political adviser.
"Second only to his mother, Tagg is probably the most trusted individual in Mitt's life on political matters," said Kirk Jowers, a longtime friend of Mitt Romney's, and director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. "Tagg really devoted himself in 2007 and '8, and has stayed engaged all the way through until now."
If Romney wins the presidency, his five successful, well-educated sons could provide the necessary building blocks for a political dynasty - and no one is more valuable to that future than Tagg, according to advisers, family friends, and campaign insiders. Already, his advice to his father is beginning to supersede what's coming out of the Boston campaign headquarters - and many believe his influence will only grow going forward.
"He's very protective of his dad, both behind his back and in front of him," said one person close to the campaign. "He's always been sensitive to it, but he's become very assertive recently in making sure people aren't doing his father harm, or not living up to their responsibilities to him."
One adviser added, "If he ever did want to go into politics, he'd make a fabulous candidate."
Romney certainly looks more relaxed and confident these last 2 weeks. It may be the influence of Tagg, or it may be that Romney has just hit his stride after a brutal primary season and a somewhat bland convention.
Whatever it is, he should bottle and drink from it every day. He is a different candidate than he was a month ago and no matter what transpires from here on out, he is going to be giving Barack Obama all he can handle.