I watched the Netflix exclusive documentary ‘Mitt’ the other day. Being interested in the USA and its politics (especially Presidential elections), it was a must-watch. It follows Mitt Romney’s two Presidential bids – in 2008 and 2012. Disappointingly there isn't a huge in-depth look at electoral tactics or policy, but there is a strong focus on his family relationships and his journey from Republican outsider in ’08 to nominee in ’12.
Romney, as expected, is a different character at home as opposed to the public sphere. We saw both his more affable and human nature in his home life, and his awkwardness out on the political stage. The ‘47%’ remark was his biggest mistake, and he seems to realise early on that he was a ‘flawed candidate’. He knew that he was seen as a flip-flopper, yet still couldn't grasp why the American people didn't vote him into the White House which along with ‘47%’ displayed an unpalatable arrogance.
Even though I disagree with him on many issues, it was hard not to feel sorry for him when he asked his family half-jokingly if anyone knew what to put in a concession speech when it became clear that he had lost. There was radio silence, and Romney looked around his family members and that was the first real sadness I could see in him. That seemed to matter more to him than losing the election. The awkwardness of the situation was compounded by them delaying the concession, because Karl Rove of Fox News was insistent that Romney could still win (he was totally wrong, and it was embarrassing how much so-called ‘experts’ listened to him).
Overall, it was worth watching. It was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes dynamic, and a different side to the campaigns in the USA.