Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning a biographical offensive starting this weekend to connect with Middle America and give voters a better sense of his values and character.
Romney's advisers concede that many everyday people consider him too much of a patrician to understand their lives, so they are planning to show more of his personal side. Romney is one of the richest people ever to seek the presidency and many voters see him as a man of privilege. One goal for Romney is to use Father's Day this Sunday to emphasize his commitment to his wife, children and grandchildren, which his aides say the public is barely aware of. He will also be placed in settings that show he is approachable and likable. Among other activities, Romney will attend a pancake breakfast in Brunswick, Ohio and meet hundreds of local citizens.
The Father's Day moment will be included in a five-day tour of six swing states, partly by bus, that runs into next week. Romney will start in New Hampshire and move on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan, focusing on a series of small towns in an appeal to Main
Beyond this weekend, other "humanizing" story lines that will be highlighted include what Romney aides call his generosity, illustrated by his donations to charities, and his kind treatment of employees and associates over the years. A senior Romney aide says Romney's "charitable streak" will be underscored.
Some polls have given President Obama a two-to-one advantage in likability over Romney, which is considered a major advantage for Obama.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook and Twitter.