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Campaign Trailer Critic: Mitt Romney's 'Believe in America'

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WNYC

Throughout the 2012 campaign season, It's A Free Country's political film critic Sarah Kate Kramer will be analyzing the videos released by presidential hopefuls. Today that hopeful is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney's going for the gentle great uncle look these days. In his video announcing his 2012 presidential exploratory committee, there's Mitt in pulled focus, standing against the soft background of a football stadium (the good old boy at the good old American game) at the University of New Hampshire. He's wearing a pink undershirt and his hair is showing the beginning signs of gray. Sigh...he just seems like a straight-talking, sweet, sensible guy.

Mitt's going for simplicity. No background music (only some bird chirping, if you listen real close) no fancy camera work--this is shot from one angle, the only change is from wide to close up shot. The whole thing is in the pastel palette, and has an undercurrent of, "let me tell you this lullaby, and you'll fall back into that American dream."

"Because your reality is not so nice!" he implies, in the nicest, most grandfatherly way possible. Twenty million Americans are out of work, he says matter of factly, how could that be possible in the greatest nation in the world? Cue for the close up:

"The answer is that President Obama's policies have failed." A pregnant pause. "He and virtually all the people around him have never worked in the real economy, They just don't know how jobs are created in the private sector."

So non-profit and public sector work are not the "real economy." Noted.

But Mitt, he's real. Back to the wide shot. Mitt's the all-American small businessman who knows how to create jobs. With a furrowed brow, he says he can see that America has been put on a "dangerous course by Washington politicians and it's become even worse in the last two years."

Another close up. "I believe in America, I believe in the freedom, opportunity, and the principles of our nation that have led us to become the greatest nation in the history of the earth."

Mitt, you've become incredibly earnest.

This is done with impressively few edits. But Mitt looks so earnest, so serious, so--lest I say it, boring--I just don't know if it's gonna help him win.

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