I watched the documentary Mitt on Netflix a couple weeks ago and though it didn’t change my opinion of Mitt Romney’s politics or show a previously unknown side to him, it did offer a more intimate glimpse at his family life.
The documentary follows Romney from his unsuccessful 2008 bid to be the Republican presidential nominee to his 2012 loss to Barack Obama in the presidential election. Over the course of those six years, Americans got to know Romney as a wealthy Mormon with a large family, conservative views and a complicated corporate background. Like any other politician, Romney had his fair share of gaffes and controversies.
Mitt does not shed light on any of Romney’s political stances, there are no in-depth “war room” strategy sessions shown and viewers get no additional insight into the context or reasoning behind Romney’s “47%” comment, perhaps his most infamous campaign flub.
What the documentary does show is how the Romneys interact as a family. As I said earlier, the fact that Romney has a large, close-knit family is not news, but it is heart-warming to see them in action. They are so affectionate! Hugs and kisses all around whenever someone enters or exits, even if that person was in and out in 10 minutes. We see the family pray together, laugh at a David Sedaris story together and talk to each other candidly, but lovingly about how the Romney’s campaign effects the family.
Some have criticized the documentary because it doesn’t show that nitty gritty political stuff and they argue that the film is nothing more than Romney fluff, propaganda. Mitt is definitely something that humanizes Romney and it is meant to tug at the heart stings. That’s for sure. But I see nothing wrong with that and the love that emanates through out the Romney family (from the little grandbabies to the sons and in-laws to Mitt and Ann and back) is very real and it’s beautiful to see that in action. They treat each other so well. They verbalize and demonstrate their love in innumerable ways everyday, around the clock.
What a wonderful life to have. Just imagine, no matter what kind of day you’ve had, no matter if you missed the game-winning shot, no matter if your boss yelled at you during a meeting, no matter if you lost an election–you still come home to a beautiful, loving family everyday. A home where you can rest in love, recuperate and be bigger and better for the next day.
The last shot in the film is just beautiful. Romney has just lost the 2012 presidential election, he and his wife Ann say a final goodbye to their Secret Service detail and they walk into their home. Romney settles into a comfortable chair and looks out of the window. The camera zooms in on his wife who has taken a seat near him. Neither one of them says a word, but the look on his wife’s face speaks volumes. She loves him, she is proud of him and she thinks the world of him. Just beautiful.
And there were many moments in the film that showed Romney’s feelings for his wife are nothing short of pure adoration. They are a loving, affectionate couple.
My biggest takeaway from Mitt is the importance of having a solid “home.” When I say “home,” I don’t necessarily mean the people who live in your actual house. I live alone, so I don’t have a spouse or children or a gaggle of grandkids or even a roommate to greet me at the end of the day. But for me, “home” is that group of rock solid people in your life.
For me, “home” is a combination of select family and friends. These are the people who are genuinely happy when I’m happy and who patiently listen and advise when I’m less than happy. Of course I do the same for them.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your career or the man or woman you like at the moment, but your life has to be bigger than that. Getting fired or losing out on a promotion or going through a break-up are hard enough and times 100 if you don’t have anything else in your life. If you don’t have a “home” as an anchor, you might end up just drifting along in life or spiraling into despair because you have placed your entire identity into a job, fame, a certain amount of money or a romantic relationship.
Do you have a solid home? Have you always had one or have you had to build or re-build yours?