Can the Economy Save Mitt Romney?

Against Michigan's economically sullen landscape, the GOP candidate found his footing. Can he sustain his bounce?

Danny Wilcox Frazier / Redux for TIME

Mitt Romney

Until he pulled into his home state of Michigan, Willard Mitt Romney was the Frankenstein monster of the 2008 Republican sweepstakes. The former Massachusetts governor at times seemed less like a real person than a strange, inauthentic collection of market research, body parts and DNA that had been borrowed from past G.O.P. campaigns and assembled in a lab by the party's mad scientists. Romney had the overpowering optimism of Ronald Reagan, the family values of Dan Quayle, the hair and handsome looks of Jack Kemp and the manners of George H.W. Bush. On paper, each piece of the Romney...

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