Mitt Romney, America's Most Successful English Major, Also Its Least Successful

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Mitt Romney is really bad at telling stories about other people. When Romney tries to tell the folksy stories about people who embody the American dream or the Obama economy, he doesn't mention their names, or offer many details, or craft much of a story arc, Bloomberg's John McCormick explains. This is particularly odd, given that Romney was an English major at Brigham Young University, as he admitted to Ohio college students last month. And, like most English majors, he's always been a little snotty about his skills as a wordsmith -- at a Republican primary debate in September, for example, he sneered at Rick Perry, "I actually wrote my book." In fact, he said some combination of "I," "wrote," and "book" four times. And, as McCormick reports, Romney wrote his own speeches the last time he ran for president, and an aide had to persuade him to hand over the task this time. 

To help Romney out, we're workshopping a couple of his anecdotes. First, this story from an April 2 town hall in Wisconsin:

From a private meeting with donors -- secretly taped by cell phone -- at the home of John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's, on April 19.


In The Real Mitt Romney, Michael Kranish and Scott Helman write that one of the things that struck Massachusetts legislators about Romney when he was governor was that he wasn't interested in them, or anyone who wasn't a close friend. "He wasn’t overly interested in people’s personal details or their kids or spouses or team building or their career path," a former aide told them. "We always would talk about how, among the legislators, he had no idea what our names were—none," a legislator said. So here's another English/journalism professor tip for Romney: Be interested in other people!

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