I didn’t want to see Greg Whiteley‘s Mitt at Sundance because I didn’t want to see a softball portrayal of a guy I’ve always regarded as one of the most clueless assholes of all time. But a Romney quote, posted by New Yorker columnist Ian Crouch, has changed my mind. “I have looked, by the way, at what happens to anybody in this country who loses as the nominee of their party,” Romney reportedly says. “They become a loser for life, all right? That’s it. It’s over.” That’s right! This is probably the most candid and appealing comment from Romney ever. I’m now feeling a certain limited respect for the guy. I’m watching Mitt on Netflix tonight. (Romney also says that “Mike Dukakis can’t get a job mowing lawns.”)
Update: Salon‘s Blake Zeff watched it, disliked the lack of political candor, regarded the “focus on the family” material as a dodge.
“Remember that time Romney said he liked firing people, or that other time he said he wasn’t concerned about the very poor?,” Zeff writes. “He may well have been taken out of context and meant something far more benign. But viewers of this film won’t know because, like the process of choosing Paul Ryan as Romney’s running-mate, these political moments aren’t even mentioned.
“You might wonder how Romney and his team felt about his top aide comparing the campaign to an Etch-a-Sketch, telling reporters he would start all over in the general election campaign and effectively reinvent his message. Or, more substantively, how he felt about laying off droves of workers during his time as a buyout capitalist; one could imagine some deep introspection about such human-vs.-business decisions. But these things simply didn’t happen in Mitt. No wonder the title character comes off so well!”