Mitt Romney could’ve really used this Netflix documentary about him in 2012

December 18, 2013

Mittbot. That's what dismissive opponents of Mitt Romney called the Republican presidential candidate as he toured the country in 2012. From afar, Romney was viewed as a polished statesman — but up close, the man rarely lived up to his carefully crafted persona. He could be stiff and awkward in person.

If Romney had released a video like this, perhaps things would've turned out differently.

For six years, Romney was trailed by a single documentary filmmaker named Greg Whiteley. Whiteley's now turned his footage into a film, and it's being released as "Mitt" on Netflix Jan. 24.

In the opening moments of the just-released trailer, Romney is hardly recognizable — he's exhausted, crushed from his loss on election night. You almost think it's an actor. But it's not.

From there, the trailer paints a touching portrait of a man whose least presidential moments are the most memorable ones. Romney snuggled in a blanket under the seats on his campaign bus. Romney ironing his shirt cuffs — while wearing the shirt. Romney playing in the snow. Romney on his iPhone, the signature white Apple earbuds tucked in. His insecurities. His little victories. They're all on display.

In 138 seconds, Whiteley's trailer somehow manages to make Romney more of a real person than all the stumping he did.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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