Armed with facts, Romney whipped President Obama so badly in the first presidential debate that Rick Perry may no longer be considered the worst debater of the current election cycle. With Romney on stage with the president in person, the Obama campaign’s slanders didn’t resonate.
Romney wasn’t the spawn of Satan that matched Team Obama’s portrayal.
But Romney’s turnaround doesn’t seem to be limited to the debate. On the campaign trail, Romney’s human side is starting to come out. At one recent campaign stop he discussed the young cancer-stricken boy he comforted on his death bead.
“So I went to David’s bedside and got a piece of legal paper, made it look very official,” he explained, according to The New York Times. “And then David proceeded to tell me what he wanted to give his friends. Talked about his fishing rod, and who would get that. He talked about his skateboard, who’d get that. And his rifle, that went to his brother.”
“I loved that young man,” he added.
Stories like this add depth to Romney as a man, and humanize him with voters. There is much more in that arsenal, should his campaign choose to deploy it.
From what we know of Romney’s life, he has been a model citizen. He came from wealth but didn’t use it as an excuse to fritter his life away in triviality. He wasn’t Billy Madison.
In reality, he was a hard working student in college and business school, and then in corporate America. Just because you have a fortunate beginning doesn’t mean you are destined to start a widely successful company and become a leader of your community. Romney earned that through long, hard hours and personal sacrifice.
At the same time he was flying high, he was giving back to his church and community, both financially and with his time. His story may not be the immigrant’s-son-makes-good narrative of Marco Rubio, but not everyone’s can be. If you had a child, you would probably hope they would turn out a lot like Mitt.
If the Obama campaign’s character assassination worked temporarily, Wednesday night’s debate and the Romney campaign’s new tack on the trail is likely quickly erasing its effects. Romney is rolling — as he should be against a president presiding over such an economy as ours.
Donald Rumsfeld once famously said there are “known knowns” and “known unknowns.” One known known is that Romney is a good man, and it appears the Obama campaign’s effort to paint him otherwise may turn out to be money misspent.
As for how Romney will perform in the White House, that’s a known unknown.