Editorial: Romney hides off-camera charm
News media and political junkies have polarized the images of President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to no repair.
Obama is the Democrat Party’s knight in blue armor, while Romney, the new face of the Republican Party, is the perfect ultimate conservative voice to combat Obama’s liberal agenda. The right maintains that Obama isn’t very presidential: He’s charismatic to a fault, makes guest stops on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and uses social media gimmicks to reel in the impressionable youth block. The left calls Obama relatable and down to earth, eager to connect with voters on a more direct level.
The left is also not reluctant to castigate Romney as an impersonal robot, whose rare unscripted moments make him out to be to be the biggest flip-flopper since the American Revolution. The right exonerates him with his strong business background and his unrelenting family values. Conservative voters and commentators constantly criticize the so-called biased liberal media for perpetuating the image of Romney as an emotionless drone.
But maybe there’s something to that. After all, Romney’s human, just like the rest of us. He has to have feelings, right?
Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins said Romney is like a Mormon Larry David, “acutely aware of how his publicly spoken words can be misinterpreted.” Socially awkward, Romney is often thrown under the bus for his alleged lack of personality. But like the Buzzfeed article suggests, Romney is “loose as a goose and sort of endearing” off the record. It called him “intellectually honest, comfortably dorky and even prone to introspection” off camera.
Both conservative and liberal voters wish Romney would share a little more about himself. Why is he so reluctant to stray from his business-oriented image? Why can’t he just relax, let loose a little on camera?
Perhaps it’s because Romney has become the brand of the Republican Party. He’s been swallowed by the ethos of his own party and overshadowed by its mission to defeat Obama. He’s no longer Mitt Romney, a candidate with a business background and strong family values. He’s Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee most likely to replace the president. Thus, he builds himself up to be everything that Obama isn’t. If Obama is too charismatic and lighthearted, Romney will take foreign and domestic policy seriously. If Obama is the celebrity’s politician with an undying fan base, Romney is the politician for the average Joe.
In order to beat Obama, Romney is evoking the Republican base’s disdain for Obama and becoming everything Obama isn’t. Unfortunately, his personality gets lost in the process.
His voice is drowning in his own party’s agenda and it might cost him the election.
Want to join the conversation? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.