Yes, the new Romney documentary is worth your time

posted at 6:41 pm on January 27, 2014 by Allahpundit

Time to tear off the band-aid if you haven’t already. I watched this weekend and found it alternately agonizing and oddly consoling. Romney was indeed, per his own diagnosis, a “flawed candidate,” but it comes through palpably that he never wanted to be president. He was willing to be president — he gave it his all, despite his misgivings — but the vibe from the whole family (more than one member of which mentions the upsides of losing) is that they felt this was something he was duty bound to do, not something he did eagerly like every other power-sniffing politician on the planet. The late Dean Barnett, who knew Romney and supported him in ’08, told me once long ago that Mitt was a Boy Scout who was running because he genuinely believed he could make the country better. I always thought that was self-serving nonsense concocted to justify Dean’s own preference, no different from what you’d hear a McCain supporter say about Maverick. If anyone was running purely because he craved power, it must be the guy who changed his positions repeatedly to try to please voters, no? After watching the movie, I finally see what Dean meant. There’s a moment of psychodrama about halfway through, after the first debate, when Romney hints that part of his motivation in running was needing to prove himself the equal of his father, but he never seems so honest as he does on election night in his hotel room when he explains why O’s victory is no aberration. That mini-soliloquy has already been celebrated online, but it’s less what Romney says than when he says it that’s a gut punch. With the election lost, he had no reason left to lie; stopping America from heading down a doomed European track really was, I think, why he ran in the end, even though he hated the process and could never illuminate his fears to the rest of the country. But I think he meant it. I thought of Dean there.

The consolation is that his family really is wonderful, to the point where you begin to understand why they’d be reluctant to trade their idyll for a credible chance at the presidency. The last shot is the whole movie in microcosm — Romney staring out the window, pondering failure on a global stage, with Ann beside him searching for the words to make it better. It’s bleak but tender. Every scene is, really: The filmmakers track his failed campaign in 2008, then gloss over his many victories en route to the nomination in 2012 with a two-minute montage before picking the story back up before the first debate with Obama. Even that scene, capturing Romney’s finest hour, is weighed down by his pessimism that he can win the next one. His only respite on the trail is family time before and after events, when he finally (finally) seems to decompress and behave like the lovable guy his friends always swore he was. It’s strange but true that “Mitt” is basically a movie about how politics isn’t everything, even at the highest level. A small consolation to the many millions who now have to live under Hopenchange 2.0, but it’s something.

Here’s the man himself in a scene not from “Mitt.”


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I agree, I also remember: “Got to go through Carter to get to Reagan” -Hotair excuses for staying home on election day circa 2008. So where is he? That couldn’t have been wrong, could it?

V7_Sport on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 AM

I remember thinking that when McCain lost. But I had clearly underestimated the total lack of wisdom, insight, and morals of America. Reelecting Obama was completely impossible to me when in 2012. Even in light of Mitt’s shifting positions, they paled in comparison to that sack of dung Obama’s shifted positions. They bought the medias narrative because they are uneducated, ignorant, and immoral.

Voting for another 4 years of socialism makes me scared that these idiots might just vote for another 4 years of socialism embraced by the demrat candidate in 2016. And I’m wondering about those (like many here on HA)who stayed home thinking that another 4 years would wake up the GOP and they would support a Reagan conservative. It isn’t going to happen because they aren’t Reagan conservatives!

Being complicit in the Obama win makes them responsible for the state this country is in. On the other hand, conservatives have abandoned those institutions that are succeeding in their plan to engineer a socialist community in America. Institutions such as K through 12 school, universities, and the media. We have left it to the progressives and they are destroying the America that our fore fathers left us.

Now, because of people like those who advocated staying home, conservatives are now leaving the voting process to the progressives.

Be proud, be very proud!

csdeven on January 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

There is no point at all in trying to convince ddrintin or like minded folks. When conservatives hate a man because he is successful, when the audience howls it’s approval for a serial adulterer defending his actions during a debate, what hope is there? Clearly their beliefs are emotional rather than logical- how can any conservative think Gingrich is more conservative than Romney? Did Gingrich CUT spending? No. Did Romney? Yes. Did Gingrich live a conservative life? No. Did Romney? Yes.

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Why are we debating Romney still. The election is past and Mitt has lost.

If he was running again I could understand-but he’s not.

I think he would have made a great president and fixed the government.

But he’s past and gone. I do not understand why Allah keeps bringing him up.

gerrym51 on January 28, 2014 at 12:12 PM

There is no point at all in trying to convince ddrintin or like minded folks. When conservatives hate a man because he is successful, when the audience howls it’s approval for a serial adulterer defending his actions during a debate, what hope is there?

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Well you can always trot out a straw man. In the first place, I don’t hate Romney. I defy you to find anywhere that I ever called him “Mittens” or “Willard” or ever said anything negative about his wealth. Secondly, I’m no fan of Gingrich either. But…in those first debates, Gingrich outdebated Romney by going after Obama and the media, not the other GOP candidates. Gingrich overtook Romney in the polls, whereupon the Death Star unloaded on Gingrich (that Death Star’s only targets seems to be other GOPers, for some odd reason).

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Your logic is so flawed that it’s not even worth responding to, but I’ll do it anyway. Yes, the only states he ended up picking up that McCain/Palin didn’t were North Carolina and Indiana. And yes, he was supposed to win OH, VA, and FL.

Period. End of story, or at least it should be until…

Just because he lost those states doesn’t mean that he wasn’t our best shot to win those states.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Huh? LOL Prove it.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

ddrintn- do you really believe gingrich could beat Obama merely by debating him? have you seen the cheney/silky pony debate? The Biden/ryan debate? Cheney/bush barely won by 50,000 in iowa, and ryan blew biden away. What makes you think Obama won by logic? America votes by emotion. “who would you rather have a beer with?” is a question no logical electorate would care about.
Again- do you actually believe gingrich could have won by out debating Obama?

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

csdeven on January 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Hi csdeven. Nice to see you. Interesting thread here if you are so inclined.

Bmore on January 28, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Huh? LOL Prove it.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Just compare Romney’s polling in swing states to Cain’s and Gingrich’s. I know you only believe the data in your own head, but I tend to rely on my substantive data.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

ddrintn- do you really believe gingrich could beat Obama merely by debating him?

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Did you think Romney was going to beat Obama merely by existing?

Just compare Romney’s polling in swing states to Cain’s and Gingrich’s.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

That’s no proof. I could find data showing Romney beating Obama, too, at one point. So? Romney lost. And he didn’t win Ohio (data at one point indicated he would) and Michigan (ditto).

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

That’s no proof. I could find data showing Romney beating Obama, too, at one point. So? Romney lost. And he didn’t win Ohio (data at one point indicated he would) and Michigan (ditto).

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Yup. You proved my point. Romney was consistently doing a lot better than Newt or Cain in all the swing states, and Romney still lost them, with the exception of Indiana, North Carolina, and Missouri. Imagine how badly Newt and Cain would have done. If Cain was losing badly to Obama in GA, and Newt never led Obama once in NC, then how well do you think they would have done in tougher swing states?

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Yup. You proved my point. Romney was consistently doing a lot better than Newt or Cain…

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

You want to know another fact? Gerald Ford consistently outpolled Ronald Reagan against any hypothetical Dem opponent. That’s what poll-humping is all about, o wizard of electability.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Did you think Romney was going to beat Obama merely by existing?
That’s what you consider logic? im done- like I said, logic doesn’t convince americans, emotion does.

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

You want to know another fact? Gerald Ford consistently outpolled Ronald Reagan against any hypothetical Dem opponent. That’s what poll-humping is all about, o wizard of electability.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

No one knows anything we talk about for a fact. The only difference between what I say and what you say is that I actually have data to back up what I say. You have merely your own opinions.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

That’s what you consider logic? im done- like I said, logic doesn’t convince americans, emotion does.

drballard on January 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

LOL, well said.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

You want to know another fact? Gerald Ford consistently outpolled Ronald Reagan against any hypothetical Dem opponent. That’s what poll-humping is all about, o wizard of electability.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

No one knows anything we talk about for a fact. The only difference between what I say and what you say is that I actually have data to back up what I say. You have merely your own opinions.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

The Ford-Reagan data are a fact. Saying that Ford would have won even more convincingly against Carter is conjecture. Saying that Romney did better than anyone else could have done is likewise conjecture. It’s no more provable than the Ford hypothesis is.

Did you think Romney was going to beat Obama merely by existing?
That’s what you consider logic?
drballard on January 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

That’s what you Mittbots considered logic.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 6:15 PM

The Ford-Reagan data are a fact. Saying that Ford would have won even more convincingly against Carter is conjecture. Saying that Romney did better than anyone else could have done is likewise conjecture. It’s no more provable than the Ford hypothesis is.

There are claims based on some sort of evidence, and then there are claims based on nothing. I made the claim that Romney did better than Newt and Cain would have because just about every poll showed Romney doing better than both of them in just about every state (red, blue, and purple). You claim that Cain and Newt would have done better than Romney based on…nothing at all. What evidence do you have that Cain and Newt would have done better? You’ve provided nothing at all. Your best attempt at a response is, “Well, uhhh, a few decades ago, polls showed Ford doing better against Carter than Reagan would have,” which really doesn’t prove anything.

The fact is if you live in a red state or are from there (GA), and you’re well-known there, and you’re considered a conservative, and you’re losing to the most liberal President outside the margin of error, it’s probably a safe bet that you wouldn’t have come close to winning any swing state.

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Mittler youth enforcing rigorous adherence to the party line, which is the status quo.

Murphy9 on January 28, 2014 at 6:27 PM

There are claims based on some sort of evidence, and then there are claims based on nothing. I made the claim that Romney did better than Newt and Cain would have because just about every poll showed Romney doing better than both of them in just about every state (red, blue, and purple). You claim that Cain and Newt would have done better than Romney based on…nothing at all. What evidence do you have that Cain and Newt would have done better?

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I claimed that they wouldn’t have done any worse than Mr Electability.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 6:50 PM

^ Now’s the time for you to hit us with “If Mitt couldn’t beat Obama, nobody could!!!!!”

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I claimed that they wouldn’t have done any worse than Mr Electability.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 6:50 PM

And I’m claiming that they would have done worse. Cain’s and Newt’s numbers in GA and the swing states compared to Romney’s are indicative of that. What evidence do you have that they wouldn’t have done any worse that Romney?

GOPRanknFile on January 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

This idiot, for instance, wants to revive the Whig party. I am not making that up.

V7_Sport on January 27, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Yeah, you pretty much are making that up. The thinking is that the GOP itself is the Whigs. It’s showing it can make itself irrelevant all on its own.

ddrintn on January 28, 2014 at 10:44 AM

So the obvious fix is to vote for Democrats, right? Oh wait, that’s idiotic. Probably be better to fix the party….
And no, had you read his previous posts you would see that I am not making that up. He wants to split the right with a 3rd party.

Being complicit in the Obama win makes them responsible for the state this country is in. On the other hand, conservatives have abandoned those institutions that are succeeding in their plan to engineer a socialist community in America. Institutions such as K through 12 school, universities, and the media. We have left it to the progressives and they are destroying the America that our fore fathers left us.

Now, because of people like those who advocated staying home, conservatives are now leaving the voting process to the progressives.

Be proud, be very proud!

csdeven on January 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Agreed, 100%

V7_Sport on January 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

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