Romney’s campaign has decided to skip South Carolina, appear in Nevada for a couple of days and then head south, so the ad below begins its run in Florida today. With Giuliani cratering and McCain surging but Romney and Huckabee within striking distance, Florida is anyone’s state and there’s time to make a move there. This ad includes what is becoming Romney’s rationale for his candidacy — that he can fix things.

I will change Washington. I will take it apart and put it back together. I know how to bring change.

I really, really hate the “change” mantra that has engulfed the campaign, not because I hate change itself but because that word is being used as an empty vessel into which candidates and voters can pour whatever they want or whatever the tactics of the moment call for. Change qua change is meaningless without some specifics, and change isn’t always for the better. But at least Romney here is tying it to his own resume and history. With pretty much everyone left, right and center agreeing that Washington is not working, Mr. Fixit isn’t a bad identity to run with. This probably should have been his central campaign theme from the start. The Fixit theme has always been hovering around the Romney campaign, but the Michigan primary brought it to the top as a theme that resonated on its own for the first time in the campaign.