It seems like in every US presidential election since Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President 1960, there’s one ‘definitive’ piece of journalism that captures the essence of the election — and that demonstrates to the rest of the world the inner workings of politics in the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.
In 1972, it could have been Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, an acid trip that revealed the emptiness of Republicans like Richard Nixon and Democrats like Hubert Humphrey.
In 1988, it was Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes, a 1072-page sextuple biography of the leading presidential contenders, including the winner George H.W. Bush and future vice president Joe Biden.
In 1992, it was the documentary, The War Room, about the campaign team that propelled Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to the presidency.
In 2008, it was Game Change, the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin that transformed Barack Obama’s legendary presidential victory into a thrilling page-turner.
But despite at least two major blockbuster books on the 2012 presidential race, including a second volume from Heilemann and Halperin, I haven’t seen anything that really captures the race in an extraordinarily compelling way. Enter MITT, a documentary that Netflix will debut in January 2014. If the trailer (embedded above) is any indication, it could become the definite media chronicle of 2012. In the trailer alone, you can see Romney’s real-time reaction to the news that he’d lost the presidency.
Greg Whiteley followed Romney for six years in order to shoot the documentary — starting just after Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, through his unsuccessful primary campaign to become the 2008 Republican nominee and the grueling 2012 campaign. Romney ultimately lost that race to Obama, the incumbent, by a margin of 51.1% to 47.2% (an electoral vote loss of 332 to 206).