For the past few weeks Frontline has been running a series of online discussions, based on "artifacts" it has uncovered from the pasts of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. You can read the first week's discussion here, the second here, and the now-ongoing third round here.
I highly endorse checking out the series as a whole and all of the twelve artifacts offered so far. At the moment I find myself particularly struck by the contrast between two letters, one from Young Barack Obama and one from Young Mitt Romney.
Obama's, which you see below and can read more about here, is hand-written and conveys his initial impressions of the communities in which he has begun his organizing work in Chicago. Romney's, shown below it and described here, is about his his initial impressions during his LDS mission work in France.
There were minor differences in the two men's situations. Obama was in his mid-20s, with both his Occidental and his Columbia years behind him. Romney was barely into his twenties, and had left for his mission service after only one year at Stanford.
But the gulf between their sensibilities is enormous -- and startling, even given all we know about each of them. Please click on each of the letters to read them through. I promise it's worthwhile.