Is Romney's Stiff Persona Part Of The Plan?

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Time Magazine's cover shows a photo of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney under the headline, "Why don't they like me?"

Contributing writer Robert Draper lays out some of the reasons. But he also explains how the campaign is trying to play to Romeny's strengths, instead of trying to force him to fit a certain mold.

Behind Romney's Image

Draper argues that the image of Romney as perfectly-coiffed, stiff and unknowable is exactly the way his campaign wants him to be seen.

Draper spoke with the manager of Romney's failed 2008 presidential bid, who said that four years ago Romney tried to be something he wasn't and that's why he lost.

'The Campaign Realizes Who They've Got...Why Pretend Otherwise?'

This time around Romney's campaign has decided they won't try to make him appear to be a warm and cuddly family man--and his kids are less visible on the trail, and won't be Tweeting.

"The campaign realizes who they've got. They've got a highly intelligent candidate... who doesn't commit a lot of unforced errors... but he's not good at retail politics, so why pretend otherwise?" Draper told Here & Now's Monica Bracy-Myerov.

Draper says that the campaign is focusing on Romney's business acumen, and keeping him away from laid-back settings.

"Better to avoid any opportunity for [Romney] to have to show off empathy skills that he, in fact, lacks," he said.

Draper writes that Romeny's campaign "has taken a smart and highly qualified, but largely colorless candidate and made him exquisitely one-dimensional: All-Business Man, the world's most boring superhero."


  • Robert Draper, contributing writer for the New York Times

This segment aired on December 2, 2011.


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