As we Americans have gotten to know Mitt Romney over all these years he’s been running for president, we’ve come to know him as many things, most of those things being painfully awkward. I think it’s safe to say what we have not come to know his is this: Mitt Romney, practical joker. But in a New York Times profile of Romney out today, the eve of the election, we see a lighter side of the cyborg who might be president for the next four years.
On Saturday, he surrounded himself with his entire team of top advisers, who made a rare joint appearance on his plane for the closing 72 hours of the race. Many of them have worked with him since his days in the Massachusetts Statehouse, and he wanted them by his side.
Over the weekend, he took out his iPhone and began to surreptitiously record video of his aides asleep in their seats. As he prowled the cabin, laughing quietly to himself, he seemed to understand that come Tuesday, win or lose, this chapter of his life would be over.
Actually, that’s not entirely true, because if he wins he’ll spend a lot of time traveling with aides, which will provide many opportunities for corny Romney trickery. Just saying.
What else do we learn in this new Romney profile? He likes Greek yogurt!
On the plane that now doubles as his home on the road, he stocks peanut butter, honey and whole wheat bread, the components of his go-to sandwich. Hidden away, in an overhead bin or a nearby fridge, are his guilty pleasures: granola bars, pita chips, Kit Kats, Snickers and Greek yogurt with honey. (“The Greek yogurt industry has got to have a boost, just from the front of the plane,” Mr. Madden said.)
Also, Mitt Romney likes to eat alone in his hotel room and is an iPad fan!
Two years into the race, Mr. Romney’s interior life remains something of a mystery — not just to voters but even to some of his aides. He seems capable of truly unwinding only in the company of his family. He eschews the raucous staff dinners and late-night strategy huddles that are a staple of campaign life. At night, he sometimes eats alone in his hotel room, savoring his solitude over takeout that aides order from nearby restaurants.
Aboard his plane, he devotes little time to chitchat. “He just goes right to his seat, takes out his iPad and gets to work,” said Kevin Madden, a senior adviser.
In other words, Mitt Romney is human, you guys! Thank God this will all be over soon.