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Fix Picks: A Romney Rundown

With former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) rising in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire (and claiming the number one slot on the Friday Presidential Line), it was only a matter of time before some newspaper offered up a detailed look at his life in and out of politics.

Lucky for all of us political junkies, Romney's hometown paper -- the Boston Globe -- is now in the middle of just such a series .

So far the stories have been largely positive for Romney, portraying his life as a series of accomplishments won by his intelligence and high-achieving nature. There are also elements that could have a negative impact on the campaign -- his great-grandfather's polygamy and some of the hard-nosed business deals when Romney was the head of Bain Capital chief among them. But, frankly, on the whole the series has been good news for Romney. (Time's Ana Marie Cox disagrees, pointing to this line in today's story: "Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.")

The Globe has done this before -- they produced the defining portrait of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 campaign.

For any campaign, the promise of a multi-part look at their candidate by a hometown paper is full of promise and peril. A negative fact unearthed could well come to haunt a candidate throughout the race. On the other hand, a series of detailed stories that unearth nothing new allow the Romney campaign to tell reporters from other publications that there's nothing new to find out.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole series. And then offer your thoughts in the comments section on whether the stories are a net positive, neutral or negative for Romney's campaign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 27, 2007; 4:47 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Picks  
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