Telling the Brief Success Story of Mitt Romney

Speaking of the Republican National Convention, we’ve all heard that this will be an occasion for Mitt Romney to “reintroduce himself to the American people.” And sure enough, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says the convention will tell the “Mitt Romney story,” per Geneva Sands of The Hill:

Priebus said the story of the presumptive Republican nominee is one of a “good, decent man” that built a successful business, managed the Olympics and governed Massachusetts.

“That story is a story of success that we in the Republican Party are going to celebrate. We’re going to celebrate the American Dream and success. We’re not going to be on defense on success, and I think that is something that you’re going to see at the convention,” he said.

Success, success, success. What other option does his campaign have than to paint a brief and heavily edited story of Mitt’s life as one unbroken triumph after another? But the editing will have to be heavy: Bain without outsourcing or too much “creative destruction,” the Olympics without public subsidies or too many references to London, and of course the Massachusetts governorship with most of his major accomplishments going unmentioned. I suppose they could have gone in a very different direction, telling Mitt’s tale as one of sin and redemption whereby he has finally come to the True Faith of a ideology that treats government merely as a help-mate to private-sector “job creators” and moral censors. But such an approach would show defensiveness about “success,” and we can’t have that in a room full of the smug and self-righteous, can we?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.