Arguing that Ann Romney “missed an opportunity,” Peggy Noonan marvels at the enduring enigma of Mitt’s character:
I have just spent the past two and a half days talking to people who’ve known Mitt Romney well for ten, twenty and thirty years, even more. They love him, and in all their conversations they say either literally or between the lines, “If only you knew him like I do.” It is their mantra. They mean it, and they are so frustrated. They believe he is a person of unique and natural integrity, a kind man who will give you not only his money but his time, his energy. They see him as a leader. They know the public doesn’t see this. They don’t understand why. And, actually, I don’t blame them, because it really is a bit of a mystery. If he’s so good why can’t his goodness be communicated?
Amy Davison notes Ann’s refusal to step beyond the couple’s wall of privacy:
“You can trust Mitt,” she said. “He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.” A “better place” might not have been the best phrase; there was already something stultifying about the frozen way we were asked to look at set pieces from their marriage without inquiring too much…. Her line about Mitt not liking to talk about how he helps others is baffling on its own—shouldn’t someone who is running for President give us a hint?—and also echoes the shameless explanation that she and her husband gave, in an interview with Parade, for not releasing their tax returns: that it would embarrass them by revealing just how charitable they were …