TV Review: Mitt

Via: Tuned In

“That freedom so integral to the American experience will again propel us forward to new heights of discovery, to new horizons of opportunity, and to new dimensions of prosperity.” Those words come from the first presidential acceptance speech of Willard Mitt Romney, 45th President of the United States. You don’t recognize them, of course, because you never heard that speech, because Romney lost the 2012 election. But Mitt, the documentary premiering on Netflix today, captures him composing the speech and reading bits of it aloud, aboard his campaign plane, his work interrupted by his running mate, Paul Ryan, with an upbeat report from an election-eve campaign swing through Ohio. “It’s all good,” Ryan says. It wasn’t, as it turned out. That small moment is one of many caught by the unobtrusive camera of Greg Whiteley, who tailed Romney over six years and two campaigns. Mitt doesn’t serve up a Game Change-style story of campaign tactics and finger-pointing, nor does it particularly dish or drop bombshells. But it offers a quiet, empathetic picture from the perspective of Romney and his family of what it’s like for a human being to experience the glare of a modern media campaign and to offer himself up for rejection, twice. As followers of the campaign know, Romney’s family were not just his supporters but among his closest advisers, particularly his wife, Ann, and his son Tagg. Mitt emphasizes the dynamic from the beginning, as the Romneys huddle up in winter 2006 for a family meeting to weigh the pros and cons of a Presidential run. There are many cons–Tagg notes that he once asked Mitt’s father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, for advice on a political career, and grandpa’s advice was “Don’t do it.” But he urges dad to go for it, despite the risks for a rich, patrician (and Mormon) candidate: “The country may think of you as a laughingstock, but we’ll know it’s not true, and it’s OK.” Much of Mitt ends up being about that, namely, the way a candidate like Romney

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