Romney speaks at a Salt Lake City fundraiser on Sept. 18. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Yet even after the man who saved the Salt Lake Olympics pretended to be “kind of a Snooki fan” — God, please let that be untrue — he didn’t stop. By the time he confided to Kelly Ripa that he’d been coached to tell her he wears as little as possible to bed — and when Ann kicks you under the table, do you also squeal, “What was that for?” — I felt something very like pity coming on. Staved off only by repeating, “President Romney.” And by how sorry the candidate seems to feels for himself, kidding on the square about how much easier this run would be if only he were Latino.

He can’t be that guy is all I can figure — any more than the 47 percent of Americans he called moochers are anything like he made them out to be.

He cannot believe that we are the most exceptional country in history and also consider us a nation of no-accounts.

He cannot be a man whose forefathers fled religious persecution and believe in his heart that standing up for religious tolerance is weak, or even treasonous.

He can’t be both the man who helped a dying teenager write his will, and someone who feels we all get what we deserve.

He can’t know that his father’s family took government aid when they needed it — and he does know, because he mentioned it in his Tampa acceptance speech — and also believe that such beneficiaries embrace victimhood.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane in Santa Ana, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, as he travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, for campaign events. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

He can’t be this evangelist for capitalism and not know that many of those who give it all they have fail anyway.

And no matter how privileged his perch, he can’t have lived this long in the United States of America without noticing how hard the non-rich and non-Republicans, too, work for a living.

Occasionally, the Mitt Romney who does know that we shouldn’t allow insurance companies to cancel policies mid-chemo shows himself, then just as quickly slips away again, leaving aides to explain that he meant no such thing. But with just weeks until Election Day and Team Romney in such disarray you’d swear he really doesn’t enjoy firing people, I still dare to hope we get to meet that man, who even if he loses could then say he showed up for the race.

Melinda Henneberger is a Post political writer and anchors the paper’s ‘She the People’ blog. Follow her on Twitter at @MelindaDC.