As a reporter who has covered two presidential campaigns on the road almost full time, it never ceases to amaze me that people are willing to stand in line for hours, in heat, rain and cold, to hear political candidates speak. On Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla., people waited for more than three hours on what was a very steamy late afternoon/evening to see Mitt Romney—and that doesn’t count the time they spent standing in line waiting for doors to the event to open.
Not unlike President Obama, Romney makes the same speech at almost every stop—which means it’s sometimes a lot more interesting to watch the crowd and how they react to the candidate. My friend Justin Sullivan, a Getty Images photographer covering Romney, always seems to find magic in shooting crowds (as I’ve noted here before), and his photos from Friday are pretty great.
Romney distanced himself from Ampad and other Bain-controlled companies by insisting he had no day-to-day role in what Bain was doing. Yet in an interview with the Boston Globe a few weeks after his loss in November 1994, Romney admitted that he was haunted by his failure to respond to the attacks on his record at Bain. He often woke up at night thinking about his missed opportunities in the campaign, he said.
He said his biggest mistake was failing to quickly respond to Kennedy’s attacks over Ampad. “It left in the minds of voters I was a bad guy, a corporate downsizer and raider, and I should have responded more vehemently,” Romney told the Globe. “I am a big boy and I know how politics is played. But I thought it would play more to the facts.”
"You know what’s funny? I met him in an airport, Reagan National Airport, and we said hello. It was, like, two, three years ago. I was just in D.C. and he was there and he said, “What’s up, Spike?” and I said, “What’s happening, Mitt?” We were in line getting something to eat. So I said what’s up and shook hands. I think it is going to be very, very, very close."