Romney Launches General Election Campaign in Manchester

Mitt Romney’s been a familiar presence in New Hampshire, having conducted literally hundreds of events here over the past six years.

But New Hampshire hadn’t seen a Romney event like his appearance before an energetic crowd of 800 at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire armory Tuesday night. Romney events are always professional – start on time, end on time, no surprises in between – but primary season events still usually had an easy informality to them. Those days of playing it by ear are clearly over, replaced by a fully polished, leave nothing to chance operation designed to project the candidate to a national audience.

If Mitt Romney’s hair was perfect before, it was more perfect tonight. The checkered casual Friday shirt was gone, replaced by a suit and tie. The staging was more elaborate, the platform lit up like Fenway. The well-rehearsed new speech was delivered with the help of a teleprompter. Secret Service agents were plentiful, and the crowd was screened by magnetometers. Campaign film crews recorded the event for use in commercials.

The theme of Romney’s speech was, “a better America begins tonight.” As his campaign conducted mop-up primary operations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Rhode Island, Romney spoke of accepting “a great honor and solemn responsibility” of being his party’s nominee.

For those affected by the weak economy, Romney asked them to “hold on a little longer,” saying he knows “how to lead us out of the stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery.”

“It’s still about the economy – and we’re not stupid,” he said to sustained applause.

State Sen. Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro, where a future Summer White House might be, emceed the event. Ann Romney delivered an equally well rehearsed three minute intro. Romney’s remarks, delivered carefully and deliberately, lasted fifteen minutes.

Both Romneys worked the barricade line for 18 minutes, and pretty much anyone who wanted a quick handshake, and was patient about it, was able to get one. In a throwback to the less structured campaign days of yore, the Romneys greeted faces they obviously recognized, often doing so by name.

Fergus@ferguscullen.com, April 24, 2012

Mrs. Romney signs an autograph. Both Romneys slowly worked the rope line, greeting anyone patient enough who wanted a quick handshake.

Mommas for Mitt in Manchester

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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  • C. dog e. doG

    Why look!  Another citing of the Plastic RINO in his native habitat.  Now be wery, wery careful.  They’ve been known to spook when confronted with questions about freedom.
    – C. dog rhetorically blasts RINO’s out of boredom

  • don

    last night you heard the next great president.

  • Marijack

    The Romneys are genuinely nice people. They enjoy meeting others and shaking hands. They answer questions and converse freely during that part of the campaign. They have the ability to make the whole country feel better about itself, as did the Reagans. Mitt’s managerial ability, and his history of assembling competent staff members, are in sharp contrast to what we have now. If you have a chance, get out and meet Mitt and Ann the next time they are in New Hampshire. You’ll be glad you did.

    • C. dog e. doG

      Based on this very important criterion, we should have elected Mr. Rogers el Presidenté of the Neighborhood.  Noticeably absent from the usual claptrap endorsement of malleable plastic candidates are any shiny examples of how the RINO’s have pushed any legislations forward that noticeably moves us toward freedom.  But, of course, that was never part of their agenda.  Rather, they wish to preside over the incremental manipulation of ingredients to alter what comes out of the soft-serve from French Vanilla to Vanilla Bean.
      – C. dog heads for Rocky Roads