Let's start with their names. How many people, besides Mitt, do you know with the name of Mitt? How many people, besides Barack, do you know with the name of Barack? Don't even get me started on Newt!
Then, there's education. Mitt went to Harvard and got a JD. Barack went to Harvard and got a JD.
On top of that, there's policy initiatives. Mitt is known for RomneyCare and Barack for ObamaCare, which takes many of its basic concepts from the Massachusetts policy.
I know. I know. Health care is an incendiary topic. I'm not really going there, so settle down.
The point is, even though we're going to spend the next five-plus months watching these two gentlemen bicker, they have a lot in common, as well.
For example, they both have iPads.
I wrote, way, waaaay back in 2009 when President Obama first took office, about his fight to keep his BlackBerry. You know that was a long time ago, because back then, someone actually wanted to have a BlackBerry.
See also: Who falls first: RIM or Nokia?
That was back when I was pontificating for CNN, before I moved here to CBS.
See also: What if Barack kept his BlackBerry
See also: Barack gets a superduper BlackBerry
President Obama got his iPad directly from Steve Jobs. In fact, iPads are so popular at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that you can barely get through a meeting without at least two or three people whipping out their iPads.
So, it was nice to learn that Governor Romney also uses an iPad. Last week, Peggy Noonan had the opportunity to interview Mitt Romney while on the campaign trail.
I always like Peggy Noonan's columns, even if I don't agree with them all. I like her columns, because unlike most of our modern political pundits, she has real perspective that comes from actual experience. She was both President Reagan's and Vice President George H.W. Bush's speechwriter. She wrote some of the best presidential speeches ever given, and is credited for coining the phrase, "a kinder, gentler nation."
As her interview progressed, she happened to touch on the one issue everyone in America is curious about: the MittPad. Noonan reports:
He keeps a campaign journal on his iPad: "Now this is going to make my iPad a subject of potential theft!"
He used to speak his entries, but now he types them on an attached keyboard. "I've kept up pretty well, actually."
He writes every two or three days, so that 10 years from now he can "remember what it was like," but also to capture "the feelings -- the ups the downs, the people I meet and the sense I have about what's going to happen. It's kind of fun to go back and read, as Ann and I do from time to time." Personal journals have proven invaluable in understanding American history, whether written by presidents or privates in the Army. It's through those journals, years later, that we've had the opportunity to see, through the eyes of a single individual, incidents as they happened, from the perspective of someone there at the time.
Obviously, there's a whole lot of miles between now and either Mitt Romney, failed candidate, or Mitt Romney, 45th President of the United States. Either way, those journal entries should prove interesting to historians and wonks alike.
Yes, I know that candidates' personal diaries (on an iPad or not) are not subject to the Presidential Records Act the way notes by a president would be, but the historian in me always hopes for more insight into the minds of our leaders and wannabe leaders, so I always encourage candidates to donate their papers to appropriate libraries, universities, archives, or museums.
Now we can finally rest assured that no matter which party wins the White House, our leaders will benefit daily from outsourcing American manufacturing jobs to underpaid Chinese workers.
Since Mr. Romney uses a keyboard with his iPad, I wanted to share with some reviews by ZDNet's own maestro of the iPad keyboards, James Kendrick:
- Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad: No sun required (review)
- Hands-on with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (video)
- iLuv Professional Workstation Portfolio for the new iPad
- Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2: Hands-on review
- Logitech Fold-up Keyboard for iPad 2: Full-sized, full featured (review)
- ZAGGfolio keyboard for iPad 2: form and function refined (review)