A Reddit user claims he bumped into the former Republican presidential nominee at his local fill-up station last night, and posted this shaky Loch Ness monster-esque photograph to prove it. The time, location, and even the subject of the image are not fully confirmed, but it sure does look like Mitt Romney—a bit less neater than we're used to seeing him—filling up his car with regular unleaded. The picture was posted to the website last night around midnight and quickly zoomed to the top of the front page.
The Redditor, mkb95, says the photo was snapped in his home town of La Jolla, California, where Romney does indeed own a home and is reportedly planning to settle down (retire?) following his last election defeat. He says he chatted up Romney, who was obviously without security guards or drivers, for a few minutes, before they both went on their way.
The picture wasn't necessarily posted to humiliate Romney, but naturally the thread turned into a heated political debate, combined with comments about his rather haggard looking appearance. (A few commenters even suggested that a picture like this might have humanized him in a way his campaign never could.) We can sympathize with that since we certainly aren't used to looking our best when making pit stops on the road. But no matter how he looks, the picture does drive home just how quickly a major candidate can go from Secret Service entourages and a phalanx of reporters watching your every move to a completely normal life driving yourself around the suburbs. Romney is a private citizen again and it's going to take awhile for us—all of us—to get used to it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.