Between the first debate and October 10, Romney's brazen flip-flops were not subject to any serious critique from Time's political team. What coverage Romney received for altering his campaign positions (aka his "tack toward the political center") mostly revolved around how conservative activists reacted to Romney's sudden embrace of moderate rhetoric. (They're totally fine with it.) Time was much less interested in what the about-faces said about Romney's candidacy, his character or what his presidency might look like.
The fact that the Republican candidate had radically altered his positions on core domestic issues just one month before Election Day was not treated as a campaign evolution that reflected poorly on Romney. To the contrary, it was largely portrayed as a savvy move by the Republican.
Time's soft peddling of Romney's broad reinvention was typical of how the Beltway press has politely covered the candidate's latest chameleon turn.
Politicians once flip-flopped at their own risk knowing the price they'd likely pay from the hypocrisy-sensitive press corps. Indeed, there was a time when it meant something if a candidate made it clear he didn't believe what he had been saying on the campaign trial, and the press held that revelation against the candidate. Recall that Al Gore was hammered in the press in 2000 as a politician without any core convictions. And George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign was largely built around calling Sen. John Kerry a flip-flopper; a tag that stuck thanks in part to the press coverage.