Team Romney Can't Seem to Humanize Mitt

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"It was very personal and real," writes  Mitt Romney's body man, Garrett Jackson, in his behind-the-scenes campaign blog meant to humanize his boss. Jackson was writing about campaigning in Puerto Rico, but was perhaps hoping that impression of realness rubs off on Romney himself.

So far, it has not. Jackson has posted several videos on YouTube of Romney trying to sound like a regular guy  -- they're not traditional slick campaign ads, but authentic regular-person-looking cell phone videos with bad audio. But even with such a verité style, Romney doesn't seem all that real.

The candidate's stiffness recalls a late Friends episode in which Monica wants to announce her marriage to Chandler in her hometown newspaper, but can't manage to get him to smile like a normal person when a camera is pointed at him. Romney appears to be like Chandler: He looks like he wants to crawl away when a camera lens is pointed at him. It's most obvious in a video Jackson posted Sunday night, after Romney's huge victory in Puerto Rico, where he got almost 90 percent of the vote. "We have just heard from Gov. Fortuño that CNN has called Puerto Rico for us. Very excited," Romney says not very excitedly, then looks at his wife for agreement.

In a video posted Friday, Romney explained the human joke system known as "puns," as the Atlantic's David Graham points out. Romney, hunched over breakfast in a styrofoam container, looks uncomfortable as he explains what he's eating. "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." Apparently! Human taste buds are still in beta on this Romney model.

The campaign posted this loud video from Romney's Friday rally on the island, in which everyone around Romney celebrates while he stands with his arms at his sides, taking it all in.

Perhaps the most successful humanizing video is one from a rally in Vernon Hills, Illinois, in which he walks from backstage into a cheering crowd. That's because it doesn't show Romney's face -- only the back of his head.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.