Romney opens up on campaign trail
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. _Mitt Romney, his friends often say, is a private man in a public world. But with just one month left until the election, he has calculated that to win the presidency he must do what for years he has been loath to: share intimate stories about his life.
So it was that as the sun set on his rally here Friday night, the Republican nominee, buoyed by his successful turn on the debate stage, for the first time publicly related emotionally powerful anecdotes. Romney told of ministering to the needy in his Mormon church, including a 14-year-old who was dying of leukemia and summoned "Brother Romney" to his bedside. He also spoke of an old friend who ended up a quadriplegic after an accident, came to see Romney recently and died the next day.
At a waterfront park in downtown St. Petersburg, Romney's crowd of more than 5,500 stood rapt listening to him speak, many with tears welling in their eyes. "Ohhhhh," they gasped. And with that, the Romney campaign's all-out effort to convince voters of the nominee's character and compassion received a boost: a politician with an aversion to telling personal stories was, at long last, telling them.
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