With its ridiculous premise, creepy intimacy, and hollow candidate, the Romney video ought to be unbearable to watch. But the opposite is true. When the camera’s not on Romney, the video is irresistible. It’s like watching a reality show set in the 1950s—in color. It’s as if Jerry Mathers discovered a lost episode of Leave It to Beaver in which Ward Cleaver asks June, Wally, and the Beave whether he should challenge Vice President Nixon for the Republican nomination.
Individually, the Romney boys are as dull and wrinkle-free as their father. But put all five of them in one living room with their five wives and 10 children, and the Five Brothers’ very sameness is hypnotic. The odds against having five boys in a row are 31 to 1. Five boys even more frighteningly wholesome—and shallow—than their father must be the result of extraterrestrial intervention or human cloning.