After he had spoken — an address could range from six minutes to as many as 20 — Romney would shake hands with the people who lined up along the metal barriers in front of the stage. Grinning widely the whole time, he'd sign posters and memorabilia. But he didn't really stop to chat.
"Appreciate your help today!" he told voters as he shook hands in Brunswick, Ohio. "Thanks for being here!" he would say. Or he'd offer just a word: "Wow!"
His crowds were more excited than ever. And in interviews throughout the tour, voters said they found him unexpectedly personable. "He showed his humanity," said Marge Sowa, 69, a retired secretary who stood in the rain to hear Romney's speech in Brunswick, Ohio. "I thought he really showed a warm side."
Romney was eager to engage on a friendly, personal level with the reporters who covered him. He twice walked to the back of his campaign plane to talk, the first time bringing three of his grandchildren to chat with the press. Flying to Michigan, Romney poked fun at himself.
"I just want to tell you that we're about to go to Michigan," he said, before repeating a line that earned him ridicule during the primary campaign. "When we land, look around, and you'll see the trees are the right height."
Amid laughter, he added, "That's all I got."
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