A Romney campaign that loosened up and actually took some chances, on the other hand, might find that the Obama White House’s slash-and-burn liberalism had opened up some unexpected opportunities.

Because Obama has moved left on fiscal and social issues, there’s more space in the center — assuming, that is, that Romney can get over his fear of offending his own party’s interest groups.

Because Obama has gone so negative, there’s room to accentuate the positive, and run as the candidate of (right-of-center) hope and change.

Because Obama’s message depends so heavily on voters’ unhappy memories of the Bush era, Romney can do himself an enormous amount of good just by exploding the premise that he’ll govern as “Dubya, Part II.”