How Mitt's Mom Shaped Him

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

Mitt Romney is often compared to his hard-driving father George, the businessman turned governor turned unsuccessful presidential candidate. But the real political influence on him may well be his demure and gracious mother Lenore, whose failed 1970 race in Michigan for the U.S. Senate seems to have been etched into the son's psyche. Whereas George welcomed and was energized by political combat, Lenore sought to turn aside conflict with finesse and compromise. The son watched and learned.

TIME contributing editor-at-large Bart Gellman has written a cover story that will become the template for understanding why Mitt is his mother's son. Together...

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