A campaign blog shows what the candidate is like behind the scenes: the same as he is the rest of the time, apparently.
Many politicians have been quick to realize the power of the Internet to humanize themselves: they can show a casual side of their personality in a way that makes them more relatable to the average voter, but still affords them a fair amount of control over how they're depicted. Think Sen. Claire McCaskill's Twitter or Sarah Palin's Facebook page. Sometimes things go awry: think Anthony Weiner's Twitter.
What, then, to make of a new set of blog posts on Mitt Romney's site? Written by Romney body man Garrett Jackson (and via Huffington Post's Elise Foley), there are only two entries so far, though one hopes there will be more. In form, they are perfect: it's a behind the scenes look at the life of a presidential candidate, there's a narrative arc to both posts, and they're a nice web-friendly mix of text, photos, and videos. In execution, they are ... perhaps not so compelling. It's not Garrett Jackson's fault. Just watch the videos. "I'm in Rosemont, Illinois, about ready to go on Fox and Friends, I've got some friends around me here, so this ought to be some fun," he says, utterly unconvincingly (given a few of his recent appearances on Fox, that's understandable). In another, he stands in a poorly lit hall and informs the audience flatly that he's going in to talk to Bill Hemmer.
By far the best, however, is the one above. Here's what he says:
These are pancakes. I'm in Rosemont, Illinois. I just got these pancakes from a restaurant called, uh, Pancakes Eggcetera, it's kind of a play on words, and the pancakes apparently are very good.
First, they're "apparently" good? You're eating them! Even better is the fact that he is that guy who explains jokes, and he does so totally deadpan. As Molly Ball has established, Romney is actually a pretty hilarious guy, but it's not hard to see why conventional wisdom has tended to be the opposite. Rather than a peek inside Mitt the man, we get a catalog of banal moments in the long slog toward Tampa. On the other hand, the world does finally know what the notoriously self-controlled Romney cannot resist. To wit: Little-Debbie style cupcakes.