In the blur of well-heeled good looks and generic charisma that defines the public perception of the Romney brood, it’s easy for outside observers to miss the increasingly active role being seized by the candidate’s eldest son. But over the past two months, Tagg has emerged not only as his father’s most motivated surrogate, but also as his most trusted ally and key political adviser.

“Second only to his mother, Tagg is probably the most trusted individual in Mitt’s life on political matters,” said Kirk Jowers, a longtime friend of Mitt Romney’s, and director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. “Tagg really devoted himself in 2007 and ‘8, and has stayed engaged all the way through until now.”…

But amid all the out-of-the-way stump speeches and fundraising pitches consigned to a surrogate-son, people started to realize something about Tagg: He was actually something of a natural to politics.

“There is something innate he has that most people don’t have,” said Jowers, who helped found Romney’s first presidential political action committee in 2005 and remains one of the campaign’s top fundraisers. “Tagg’s ability to tap into the mood of people in the country, I think, is partly the Malcolm Gladwell effect, where he really has spent thousands of hours now studying his dad’s campaigns. But I’ve also always been impressed with his general empathy toward people.”