The Washington Post

Mitt Romney is no Tim Pawlenty

Mitt Romney made it official today. He’s forming an exploratory committee, the precursor to becoming a full-fledged candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 2012. And he made this exciting announcement in one of the most boring videos I’ve ever seen. I’m sure there is one more boring — a friend suggested “Beaches” — but I can’t think of one right now.

David Chalian of the PBS NewHour was right when he wrote that the Romney snoozer “may go down as one of the most low-key affairs in modern presidential campaign history.” That’s an understatement. If the nomination were won on announcements alone, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) would win hands down.

It’s not like Romney didn’t have anything to say. “From my vantage point in business and in government,” he said, “I’ve become convinced that America has been put on a dangerous course by Washington politicians and has become even worse during the last two years. But I’m also convinced that with able leadership, America’s best days are still ahead.” In case you were asleep or distracted by Angry Birds, before he asks for your support, he says, “It's time that we put America back on a course of greatness with a growing economy, good jobs and fiscal discipline in Washington.”  

That’s nice. But as David Meadvin, a friend who is a former speechwriter for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Attorney General Eric Holder, wrote in a blog post, “If I were prepping Romney for his announcement video, I would have recommended shorter segments that could be delivered sans-tele prompter.” That would have helped him seem less programmed, a little more human and passionate about leading the United States.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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