Mitt Romney has officially declared that he has set up an Exploratory Committee for a possible bid for the Republican nomination for President. On his final day in office Romney stated that he has "...decided to take this initial step of forming an exploratory committee in order to raise the resources and build the campaign organization required to pursue the highest office in our country".
Serving as Governor of Massachusetts for the last 4 years, Romney has built a varying reputation, both within the state and across the country.
Romney is Mormon, and this is increasingly becoming an issue for the media - although why this is deemed to be an issue is unclear. The main reasons cited by media outlets is because there has never been a Mormon President and that some in the Republicans will never vote to nominate a Mormon. It is perhaps the same logic many media agencies will place on the Obama and Clinton tilts.
That aside, the biggest problem for Romney lies in his record. Not only has Romney been a Republican Governor in a moderate state, he made a bid for the Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. In doing so, he has made many comments in the past particularly on gay rights and abortion issues - positions he had which he has now changed.
He has obviously seen the light. Romney will be making his pitch to the socially conservative wing of the GOP, seeking to capitalise on the seemingly moderate labels given to McCain or Giuliani.
Romney's first major announcement was to sign the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge", to ensure that there are no increases to the marginal income tax rate.
He has surrounded himself with a team of advisors, including Colorado Governor, Bill Owens, and former Members of President Bush's team.
At this stage Romney is considered third favorite behind Giuliani and McCain. However, he is clearly the leading contender on the conservative side. It remains to be seen if his "flip flopping" in the past as one commentator noted, will damage his chances for the nomination.