As part of Romney's 2002 gubernatorial campaign, he went on various "work days," attempting to cultivate an average Joe image, in which he participated in jobs like sorting lobsters, and working as an auto mechanic and a garbage man. The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi wrote a column at the time imagining Romney's then-consultant Mike Murphy saying to himself, "Memo to Mitt: Next time, wear jeans without a crease when you are pretending to check the oil." Those jeans were memorable enough that four years later, in a 2006 story on Romney in Boston Magazine, Jon Keller wrote that Romney, at a family dinner, was still wearing the "ironed jeans he wore on those ubiquitous campaign 'work days.'" And last October, while in Iowa to campaign for now-Gov. Terry Branstad (R), the Des Moines Register observed that Romney "stood out" in his jeans and open-collared shirt next to Branstad and the other candidates dressed in suits. Of course, Romney isn't the only politician who's endured criticism over his choice of denim. President Obama wore what some considered to be "mom jeans" while throwing the first ceremonial pitch at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game. Obama admitted he was "a little frumpy" and shared his jeans philosophy -- one that contrasts with Romney's new skinny jean-wearing ways. "For people who want a president to look great in tight jeans, I'm sorry," he told NBC at the time.
Romney's Jeans Problem
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