Romney Gets His Reintroduction

Mitt Romney's campaign has launched a push to humanize its candidate ahead of the general election.

Voters have learned that Romney and his wife, Ann, sometimes quarrel — even about politics — but never slam doors or yell.

They were told that when Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, his five sons realized their father might have been more frightened than their mother.

And as a child, voters have learned, Romney would cut the tension in a household led by two prominent politicians with subtle digs at his purpose-driven father.

Each of these moments — which offer small insights into the different dimensions of the Republican presidential nominee — have been gradually doled out in recent weeks.

The reintroduction is crucial for a man auditioning to be the person invited into Americans' living rooms every night for the next four years.

“Save only Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, President Obama is the best politician on the stump — he's a fantastic campaigner who connects well with voters,” said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. “But what Mitt Romney can do is cut into that, showing he has overcome hurdles himself, and show within his family things that a lot of people can relate to. He doesn’t have to be more popular, but he does have to cut into that gap.”

Crafted perfectly, Romney's awkward business jargon and conservativeness can become endearing manifestations of his economic aptitude. But if he’s unable to grasp that mantle, they represent an elitism and distance that will bruise his chances.

“If he can solidify himself as a turnaround artist that is adept at cleaning up messes, it all becomes a lot easier,” O’Connell said.

Read more from Justin Sink at The Hill

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published this page in In The News 2012-06-01 08:30:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy