Mitt Romney had a successful career by any measure as the Republican governor of a blue state and someone who made a lot of money heading a giant investment firm, but he will probably always be remembered as a loser. He lost decisively to Barack Obama in 2012, and that will be the most prominent part of his legacy.
A new documentary, produced and released by Netflix, titled simply, Mitt, tries to humanize the man who could not humanize himself. It’s a funny thing about politicians, that they always look better backstage, when they’re just acting like themselves. It’s also easier to like Mitt Romney when you don’t have to worry about the possibility of him running the country.
The preview opens up on Romney and his family, election night 2012, when they have finally accepted that Romney is not going to win. There is one moment that shows all sides of Romney at once.
“By the way, does anyone have a number for the President?” Romney asks. Apparently they never called each other for the entire length of the campaign.
“I do,” says someone off camera.
Romney laughs. “Hadn’t thought about that,” he says.
For a moment Romney can laugh at himself for being so sure that he was going to win that he hadn’t made even the most basic preparations for losing. We already knew the second part—the self-assured businessman who is 100% confident that he is right and will be rewarded for it. The documentary wants the world to see the self-deprecating laugh.