But I spent years filming Romney and discerning between genuine moments and those that were too self-aware and conscious of the camera. And I feel certain that what we saw on the Senate floor this week was the real person: free of affectation, careful and studied, nervous but resolved, emotional, but slightly embarrassed of any role those emotions would play in inhibiting his ability to do his job.
Like with everyone else I’ve filmed, I certainly witnessed moments of inauthenticity while filming Romney: a nervous tic, a laugh at a joke that isn’t funny, being overly polite or formal. But I also noticed how frequently, and quickly, his facade melted around his family. He would get into an intense debate with his son over which airline terminal at JFK had the best food. I saw him get frustrated over someone ordering milk via room service rather than the much cheaper 7-Eleven across the street. I saw him get extremely animated in discussions about the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”
The most emotional I ever saw him get was during a family gathering at a golf course in Iowa. Many of his extended family (and Romney has a considerable extended family) had gathered to help canvass the state ahead of the 2008 Iowa caucuses. Over lunch, he stood to thank them for making the trip, when he suddenly stopped and struggled to maintain his composure. It took what seemed like a full minute to get out the phrase: “I promise … I won’t do anything … to … embarrass this family.”
I’ve seen Romney give more…