"How's everybody doing?" the president called out to about 40 supporters. He walked up to 93-year-old Josie Scholtus, whose white, curly hair brushed against the collar of her coat.
"Hello! How are you?" Obama said, and then informed her, "I'm going to give you a kiss now," practically making Mrs. Scholtus blush. "Thank you so much. I appreciate you."
Few people get the opportunity. Back in Florida, Dale Shack, 67, and his wife, Joan, left their home in Coral Springs, Fla., at 6:30 a.m. to attend the midmorning rally here. Shack said he's been close to other candidates in the past — he cut his teeth as a campaign coordinator for Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972 in Monmouth County, N.J., and volunteered for Al Gore and John Kerry.
Shack said most of the people who pack these rallies are out in their neighborhoods every day, doing the daily door-to-door grunt work that makes a difference. So a presidential handshake can mean a lot.
"It's an historical moment in time. If I get a chance to shake hands and say hi, it means something," Shack said.
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