Video: Mitt Romney, detective?

He needed something heartwarming after he got caught knocking Huck on the day the latter’s Christmas ad came out. Here it is, belatedly, a compelling spot that reveals something few of us knew about the man. Ambinder thinks that, to the extent there’s a target here, it’s Giuliani: Needing volunteers to find a missing girl in New York City circa 1996 supposedly doesn’t speak well for the mayor’s vaunted record on crime. Seems too subtle a point for most viewers to draw, though, and one missing girl isn’t going to throw the Giuliani crimefighter reputation into doubt. Besides, what does Mitt have to fear from Rudy? He’s fading everywhere and a nonfactor in the earlies early primaries.

No, I think the target here is someone else. Compare and contrast: The man who drops everything to helps rescue a woman in jeopardy from predators and the man who helps put predators back on the street and thereby places women in jeopardy. Hmmm.

Still a big lead in New Hampshire, incidentally.

More (Bryan): I was working on a post on this ad at the same time Allah was. My take is substantially similar, but with a twist. The story in the ad speaks for itself, and it’s powerful. And maybe this is just me, but the story that the ad tells immediately made me think of the parable of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to search for the one lost sheep. If other evangelicals pick up on that, it’ll resonate. Paired up with AP’s thought above about the contrast between a man who puts criminals back on the streets with alarming frequency and a man who would shut his business down to lead the hunt for a lost girl, well, that’s likely to resonate too. And Romney needs a little resonance to start working for him. The Huckaboom has put Mike and Rudy in a tie nationally.