Romney on the Rise in Florida: The Land O’ Lakes Rally
by Barbara_Donnelly_Lane
October 29, 2012 10:53 AM | 3416 views | 5 5 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Jim Harrold is a Gulf War veteran and a public high school teacher who lives in Florida.  On Saturday night, he attended a political rally in Land O’ Lakes near Tampa with his girlfriend Brenda. 

After parking the car, they had to walk more than two miles to get to the high school football stadium where 15,000 other voters were gathering to hear Mitt Romney speak.  But Jim and Brenda thought the effort was worth making. 

After all, they had good company on their stroll.  They spoke with a girl who had just turned eighteen, a woman in her sixties walking with a cane.

No matter what anyone’s age, all around them seemed excited to be out sharing a special evening. 

Once inside the venue, Jim and Brenda stood on the football field, which was packed with a friendly crowd.  Jim found the number of young adults heartening, but he focused the most on the many families that had gathered, the young children laughing with their parents. 

At one point, a video played on a big screen and underscored how important family has always been to Mitt Romney.  Jim thought Romney’s love for his wife seemed very genuine.  Romney often told Ann that what she was doing with their kids was far more important than anything that Romney was doing with his work. 

While he wouldn’t say President Obama feels any differently about the importance of his wife and girls, Jim found himself thinking Romney’s values would be good values to take into the White House.

When the GOP’s candidate for president finally took center stage, the crowd “ignited with enthusiasm.”  In contrast to the wooden man the media has often tried to create, the real Romney was “very charismatic and funny.” 

Expressing what many at the rally thought, Romney proclaimed, “Obama didn’t inherit a bad economy.  He inherited the greatest nation in the world.” 

From where he was standing on the field, Jim “felt a feeling of hope that [he] had not felt in a while.”  Jim thought it was especially impressive how Romney talked about reaching across party lines, which is something Jim doesn’t think President Obama has ever done very well.

Furthermore, after what has felt like an interminable period of malaise for many Republicans, Romney had no problem tapping into a desire for actual change.  He said, “Obama says, ‘four more years,’ and we answer ‘ten more days.’” 

The crowd gleefully chanted back, “Ten more days!  Ten more days!” 

After a moment of listening to this, a smiling Romney lightly joked, “You know, we will have to change that tomorrow.”     

It is true that polls show a tight race remains in Florida, a serious battleground for voters.  As in other years, no one will be able to call the Sunshine State until the votes are actually counted. 

However, as the Land O’ Lakes rally illustrates, there’s plenty of red in Florida, and Romney has been steadily gaining ground.  Outside the media’s punditry, miles away from Washington, Romney’s supporters are enthusiastic and energized.  They recognize this is not 2008.  This time, the passion is all on their side.   

For his part, after the Land O’ Lakes rally, Jim said, “If I had any doubts, they disappeared last night.” 

If Mitt Romney keeps this up—if he continues to secure votes from people like Jim and Brenda in these final days, real representatives of what is middle class America—he’ll handily win this election. 

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Voter 37
November 01, 2012
I hope Romney wins this election. I hope every person that is able to go out and vote will go out and vote in this election. Also, I hope all the christian people out there will go out and vote. Christians, you all can make a difference in this election.
Kevin Foley
October 31, 2012
"Obama didn't inherit a bad economy."

Nuf said.
October 30, 2012
Romney should stay there. That way after he loses on election day he can go jump in a lake!!
LB Armstrong
October 30, 2012
BDL, your columns get better and better. Thank you for this one. We really appreciate it.
Concerned Citizen
October 29, 2012
This is a nice personal touch for the campaign. It is good to hear about families who want to be informed and who are seeing to it that their children grow up knowing about the political process. I think those children will remember the things their parents did perhaps more than what their parents said. It's also good to hear that people of all ages were at the event. I hope Romney will prevail.
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