“Mitt” is a 2014 political documentary directed by Greg Whiteley that chronicles Mitt Romney’s run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008 and his candidacy as the Republican nominee in 2012. “Mitt” presents an intimate look at the personal experiences of Mitt Romney along the campaign trail and the decisions that he and his advisors made throughout both of his campaigns for the Presidency. Additionally, “Mitt” presents a different perspective regarding political candidates that is completely different than what is commonly portrayed in the media. Throughout “Mitt,” several different examples of political communication concepts are shown, and they help to explain the rationale behind the political candidacies of Mitt Romney in both 2008 and 2012.
An example of a political communication strategy highlighted in “Mitt” was the ways in which Mitt Romney framed his arguments in both 2008 and 2012. For example, competing candidates highlighted their experience in elected office. As opposed to promoting his experiences as governor of Massachusetts and the specific policies that he implemented, Romney focused more on his experience within the private sector and success in building a number of different businesses and argued that such experiences are suitable to qualify him to serve as President. By highlighting his background in business, Romney was attempting to portray himself as an outsider candidate who would promote change within the American political system. Additionally, by portraying himself as a political outsider and by highlighting his record in business, Romney is attempting to appeal to voters who are critical of the status quo in politics and who desire political change.
Another way in which Mitt Romney was able to communicate his message was through his adoption of different communication styles during the 2012 campaign. For example, Romney attacked both the economic and foreign policy record of the Obama administration during the 2012 Presidential debates. By following such a strategy, Romney was able to put President Obama in a defensive position. Forcing an incumbent politician to defend all of their actions serves as a way to guide voters into thinking that the incumbent is ineffective and that their policies are flawed. Romney also used a strategy of emphasizing an optimistic view for the future of the United States. For example, in both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns Romney promoted the belief that his policies will serve as a way to strengthen the United States and allow it to meet the challenges of the coming years head-on and with success. Utilizing such a strategy is important during a political campaign because it allows a challenger to convince voters that things are not perfect under an incumbent leader and that change is necessary for things to improve.
In conclusion, several different examples of political communication strategy are shown throughout “Mitt.” Some of the specific strategies shown throughout the film include the use of different communication strategies by the Romney campaign and the ways in which Mitt Romney frame his arguments in order to appeal to voters. An analysis of the political communication methods used by Romney in both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns allows political scientists to understand the particular strengths and weaknesses of his campaigns. Additionally, an understanding of political communication strategies serves as a way to increase voter perception of the different ways in which candidates communicate their messages.