The documentary “Mitt” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month, and debuted on Netflix Friday afternoon. For the two-time Republican presidential hopeful who has received more than his fair share of scrutiny, “Mitt” gives a behind-the-scenes look at the man, more than the political machine that sought to put him in the White House.
It was a refreshing take on the former Massachusetts Governor, who was frequently portrayed by his political opponents as an out-of-touch wealthy businessman who couldn’t understand the common American. Instead, we get a glimpse of a man of strong family and even stronger faith. Both of which drove Romney to pursue the Oval Office not once, but twice.
The support system that is seen within the Romney clan is that of a Hallmark Channel movie. Mitt and Ann rely on each other for energy and motivation, their love clearly transcending the turmoil that followed them as they fought past primary challengers, through challenging debates, and realized they’d come up short.
We see the Mitt who wears old gloves patched with duct tape, and who is as good at playing in the snow as he was debating behind a podium. The Mitt who listened to his family and his convictions and decided to put everything on the line in order to offer Americans a better tomorrow. The Mitt who in the middle of the hardest times of his life got to his knees with his family to seek divine wisdom and council as he sought the Presidency.
“Mitt” is very emotional, and evokes the same wide range of feelings that flowed through Mitt’s supporters during his time on the campaign trail. The electricity of crowds packing airplane hangars, parking garages, and stadiums just to catch a glimpse of the man who embodied the American dream. Sentimental tears as Mitt revealed that he wrote “dad” on his debate notes to remember whose shoulders he stood on. The anger aimed at Candy Crowley when she inappropriately and falsely backed up the President Obama’s claims on the Benghazi attacks. The optimism that America would once again have a leader who could truly lead and get our nation’s economy running again. The shock of the loss feels real again by the end of the movie, after seeing recounted the dozens of sold-out rallies and energetic crowds.
The “flipping Mormon,” as Mitt refers to himself at one point embodied the best of America, and represents a piece of all of us. Mitt is a businessman, a family man, a father, a husband, and a man of his faith. This image shines in “Mitt,” and flies in the face of the calculated, cold, out-of touch politician the main-stream media and democrats painted him as.
Rather, Mitt gave me, and many Americans, a reason to believe in America like we couldn’t before. He embodies what we want in a leader: experience, convictions, a strong foundation, and the ability to get things done. His father had established an American dream that Mitt was blessed to grow up in, and wanted to provide for his children and grandchildren. He knew how to turn around budgets of floundering companies, and was ready, willing, and able to do the same for our nation. He was a reason to be optimistic, and he continues to give me a reason to be hopeful going forward. As 2016 begins to heat up for the Republican party with new primary and convention plans, I am hopeful for leaders like Mitt to step up and carry the party forward.