The film version of Mitt Romney

I watched the new documentary on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Netflix Friday. It's the best account yet of just how hard it is on anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- to run for president anymore.

Remarkably, there's not much politics in it. No heated war room strategy sessions, no earnest young staffers debating the meaning of life and the importance of yard signs over late-night pizzas.

Instead, we see the Romney family debating whether he should run, and as the campaign progresses, the effect the marathon of the modern campaign is having on them and him.

One of the most endearing moments is when one son assures him that if he loses, they'll still love him.

About half way into it, I thought, "Why didn't the guy I'm seeing here run for president?"

He was, after all, a moderate Northeastern governor with a fairly good record who passed a health care law people in his state liked, and he was a devout family man.

But he played down most of that. "Moderate" is modern politics' dirty word. Mentioning health care is toxic to the right. Advisors feared his Mormonism would be held against him.

Instead, he tried to convince voters he was to the political right of Rick Santorum, which he wasn't.

I'm not sure he could have been elected in any case, but the Romney in that film was a far more likable guy than the candidate we saw.

In American politics, that counts for a lot.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.


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