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The Romney Family 'Decision' With Cameras Rolling

The Romney campaign has posted a video called, "The Decision", a 13-minute movie chronicling the Christmas 2006 family meeting where the former governor, his wife, five sons, their daughters, children, and dogs discussed the pros and cons of a major presidential campaign.

While the Romney family and the campaign score points for the transparency (and for sharing honest, almost tearful opinions) it might make some viewers wonder if there was really a decision to make at all, or if the family merely staged the meeting for the cameras.

Over the course of the video (which, at 13 minutes, 13 seconds is an eternity for YouTube), wife Ann Romney gives a tour of the family's home, introduces family members, and recounts a story from the couple's high school years when they were arrested for sliding down a snow-covered hill on ice blocks.

The video includes footage of the former governor praying, and images of the family sharing dinner.

Amid Mrs. Romney's tour and childhood stories, she highlights some of Romney's strengths.

"He's a real problem solver. And then, he moves it forward and figures out amazing solutions on how to get us through this. For example, health care. It seemed impossible. People have been working on this for 20 years, in government, in business, everywhere. He's had consulting experience, he's run businesses. He spent two years studying the health care issue. But he did it by bringing in consultants, hospital administrators, doctors, all sorts of different people. Lots of different people," she says.

She suggests that the best part of the presidential campaign process has been "going to Iowa. Going to South Carolina. Meeting the most fantastic people. Going to San Diego, meeting Republican activists there that you just fall in love with. It's an extraordinary experience to go across the country and meet with people you'd never had the chance to meet with before."

Finally, perhaps in a shout out to the crucial South Carolina primary, "I really really love the people in the South. They're so gracious, and so friendly. And so charming."

About 11 minutes into the video, the video turns to the big "decision" meeting. The governor, with pen and pad in hand, gathers with the family to list the pros and cons of a presidential run.

Some interesting responses:

Daughter-in-law Jen: "People think because they see you on TV, or because they read about you in the paper, that you're one way, and that must mean that we're that same way. And so, my kid's teachers, for better or worse, treat us a certain way. I think that's the hard thing that I'm just bracing myself for."

Son Matt: "We could potentially protect the kids, the grandkids, etc. by just keeping them out of everything. And I think that that would actually be fine, but I think it would be a mistake. This is who you are. You care enough about family, that we sit around and talk about this. I know you're not just taking notes because there's a camera here."

Son Craig: "If people really get to know who you are, it could be a successful campaign."

Son Tagg: "I don't think you have a choice, I think you have to run. ... And if you don't win, we'll still love you. ... The country may think of you as a laughing stock, and we'll know the truth, and that's OK. But I think you have a duty to your country, and to God, to see what comes of it."

The video ends with the governor thanking his family, guitar strums, and a fade to black.

Watch "The Decision" below:

Thoughts? Post them below.

By Ed O'Keefe |  June 20, 2007; 9:47 AM ET Mitt Romney
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

your family look like very nice!
Everyone is natural.

Posted by: maqin | June 21, 2007 6:37 AM

This video is consistent with Romney's phoniness. He expects us to believe this is a "sincere, spontaneous" discussion among his family, and the film crew that he hired just happens to be in the room? It's just as sincere as his constant changes of opinions and principles to satisfy the right-wing base. The man has nothing to offer but naked ambition. His wife seems nice, though, and I liked the dogs.

Posted by: John B | June 22, 2007 7:13 AM

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