Perhaps the Romney team has categorized every positive incident, endearing quality and wildly positive story about its candidate as “Top Secret.” That’s the only explanation for the campaign’s failure to highlight the truly admirable aspects of the man accused of having no character or core convictions.

There is the Bain rescue story. That was an incident that had to be pulled out of Romney and was only belatedly related to voters. Wouldn’t want to rebut the idea he is aloof or uncaring, huh?

There were his tax returns, which advisers were determined not to release. In fact they revealed a jaw-dropping level of generosity in charitable giving that made his opponents seem miserly.

Then there is this, a story of which I and virtually every voter outside Massachusetts certainly is unaware:

[W]ay back in the summer of 2003, the then-Massachusetts governor made the news for a very different reason: He helped save a Tewksbury family from drowning in New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Morrisseys of Tewksbury were motoring their vintage wooden boat through the large lake on July 4 weekend that year when, around sunset and about 300 yards from shore, the vessel began taking on water.

Robert Morrissey attempted to dial 911 on his cell phone, only to lose the device in the water as the boat started sinking rapidly.

That’s when Romney, who owns a home on the shore of the lake, and two of his sons jumped on jet skis and rode out to assist the six people, along with the family dog, struggling in the water.

The Romneys took two of the passengers ashore, and others in the area helped the rest of the family — and the dog, too — make it back to land without injury.

Must not talk about that one! Heaven forbid the voters might find him brave and reliable in an emergency.

I have no idea why a lot of the best material has been ignored or hidden. Maybe Romney is embarrassed by these incidents; If so, he should get over it fast. It’s more embarrassing to be painted as cold, indifferent or lacking in moral backbone. And if his staff simply didn’t think to use these gems (what campaign wouldn’t kill to have some of this character-affirming material?) or didn’t know how to use material to counter the onslaught of rotten press, then they need to send in the cavalry for the general election.

The Romney team has to play to win, not leaving anything of value hidden in a desk drawer.