Working from makeshift offices at a hockey arena here, a team of Romney advisers, producers and designers has been staging and scripting a program for the Republican National Convention that they say they hope will accomplish something a year of campaigning has failed to do: paint a full and revealing portrait of who Mitt Romney is.
Instead of glossing over Mr. Romney’s career as a private equity executive, they will highlight it in convention videos and speeches as the kind of experience that has prepared him to be the economic steward the country needs.
And rather than shy away from Mr. Romney’s faith, as some campaign aides have argued he should, they have decided to embrace it. On the night Mr. Romney will address the convention, a member of the Mormon Church will deliver the invocation. On Sunday, this new approach was apparent as Mr. Romney invited reporters to join him at church services.
The campaign aides are determined to overcome perceptions that Mr. Romney is stiff, aloof and distant. So they have built one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention — a $2.5 million Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired theatrical stage. From its dark-wood finish to the brightly glowing high-resolution screens in the rafters that look like skylights, every aspect of the stage has been designed to convey warmth, approachability and openness.
I think it’s telling that they believe a wooden structure will convey warmth, approachability and openness. It’s Romney’s convention alright.