Did we really need another reason to pass on flip-flopping all-star Mitt Romney?

(National Journal)Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to hold the pole position for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll. But the surprise runner-up to Romney was the two-term Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who moved up from fifth place when the last ranking of the potential GOP White House contenders was conducted a year ago.

Romney’s assets and liabilities are well known and haven’t changed much since last January. He has a national network of political and financial supporters left over from his unsuccessful run for the 2008 Republican nomination, a command of economic issues derived from his days in the private sector as a corporate turnaround artist, and the hard-won experience from have run for the presidency before.

But Romney must also figure out a way to convince Republican activists that the health care reform measure that he signed as governor of Massachusetts is different from the national health care reform passed by Pres. Obama and congressional Democrats that is anathema to the GOP rank-and-file. He also has a perceived authenticity deficit. Romney “probably knows more about macroeconomics than most but will need to learn to speak or appear more genuine,” cautioned one Republican Insider.

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