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Romney: The 'Romney Olympics'

Romney is celebrating this holiday week with his family in New Hampshire. The Washington Post’s Rucker reports on the Romney’s vacation traditions. “The Romneys, 30 in all these days, spend their time away from the stresses of everyday life — like, say, wrapping up the Republican nomination for president — by following a highly orchestrated, highly competitive regimen of sports and games known as the ‘Romney Olympics,’” the Post writes. “The Romney Olympics have long included a mini-triathlon of biking, swimming and running that pits Mitt and his five sons and their wives against one another. But after Mitt once nearly finished last, behind a daughter-in-law who had given birth to her second child a couple of months earlier, the ultra-competitive and self-described unathletic patriarch expanded the games to give himself a better shot.

Now they also compete to see who can hang onto a pole the longest, who can throw a football the farthest and who can hammer the most nails into a board in two minutes — not exactly the kind of events they’ll be giving out gold medals for in London this month.”

AP’s Kasie Hunt went along to a Mormon church in Wolfeboro that Romney attended: “The family's devotion to the Mormon faith is a part of Romney's life that the electorate rarely sees. Romney himself almost never mentions it in public. And his campaign typically bars the media from seeing him participate in a religion with which many Americans are unfamiliar. But it's a part of his life that could help him connect with an American public that's only just now starting to get to know him -- one that includes many church-goers. Romney's campaign doesn't tell reporters when Romney is going to church. But the Wolfeboro branch is open to visitors and an Associated Press reporter attended the same sacrament service the Romney family attended.

“It featured bread with water instead of wine, a variation on communion that allows for the Mormon prohibition on drinking alcohol. And it provided a rare glimpse into his practice of a faith that has permeated every aspect of Romney's life: his childhood, his college years and time as a missionary, his marriage, his life in Boston, even his business career. … As the first section of the service concluded, Romney and the congregation sang all the verses of "America the Beautiful," a song the candidate often quotes on the campaign trail. Many attendees departed while others prepared for the second portion of the service, a Sunday school for adults.”

Good luck with that… “[F]or now, Mitt Romney remains the least liked challenger since Bill Clinton at this point in 1992,” the Wall Street Journal writes. "But by late October 1992, just weeks before the election, Mr. Clinton had pulled off an extraordinary transformation. His favorable ratings had skyrocketed. Over half of Americans viewed him positively, while just over a third viewed him negatively... So how did Mr. Clinton do it? He started his abrupt climb in June with a round of extended town halls and by yucking it up on late-night TV, including a saxophone solo on the Arsenio Hall show. That July he got the biggest convention bounce in modern political history, followed by a five -day bus tour with his new vice-presidential pick, Al Gore." (H/t: Political Wire.)

Fair and balanced… “News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch used Twitter on Sunday to share some advice with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: Drop the “old friends” from your campaign and hire ‘some real pros,’” the Boston Globe reports.