The New York Times has an article up on Mitt Romney’s campaign style when out meeting voters. I couldn’t see anything odd about it. Maybe because the kinds of questions he asks are exactly the kind of thing I ask and am asked whenever I meet new people at church. What are your family connections to the folks with you? What are your genealogical roots?

These Mormon-style icebreakers sound a lot more interesting than the normal American approach of asking someone what they do for a living. Especially when you’re a candidate pressing the flesh at a factory. But then I’m Mormon, so I would think that.

Mitt Romney has a reputation as a stiff. I don’t know if that’s true or not. He does act a little stiff in the debates, though that’s hardly a normal social setting. Folks do report that he’s just a little awkward in person until you get to know him.

Which, coincidentally, is what folks often say about Mormons. I’ve seen lots of explanations for this, but one I’ve never seen before is simply that we Mormons have a subculture with its own little habits and queues that don’t quite mesh with the larger culture, and neither group quite realizes it. So when we interact, something seems a little off, though we don’t know what.

Full disclosure: Romney may or may not be like my 12th cousin thrice removed. My last name comes from England.

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