Instead, his entire rationale is now kaput. Mr Romney looks like someone who has elbowed his way to the dinner table. In a way, this is a return to his image as the eager kid in the front of the class with his hand raised to answer every question.

“Look, I think Mitt Romney wanted to run all along,” declared panellist Stephen Hayes on Tuesday night’s edition of Fox News’ Special Report. “And this,” Hayes continued, “I think this is going to be the fundamental challenge of a Romney candidacy. His problem, going back years, has been flip-flopping or inauthenticity – call it what you want. And I think he’s starting this race by pretending that he’s just now been called back into the race – possibly called back into service – when I think it’s pretty clear that this is something he was thinking about all along.”…

Or maybe it’s about money and turf? I asked Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and a Romney rival for the 2012 Republican nomination, to help make sense of it.

“I can’t help but think there’s a little bit of follow the money here,” Mr Huntsman told me. Mr Romney was the last nominee, he explained, and therefore he controlled the money. And now all of a sudden, Mr Romney – this is my version here – is starting to see his donors checking out the hot new thing (as much as Jeb Bush can be the hot new thing), and he’s getting nervous, and thinking maybe he wants them back.

“And listen,” Mr Huntsman continued, “[money] in politics is equity. You know, what is your leverage as a politician – or as a player – in party politics? It’s what kind of money you bring to the table.