"Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow," Romney said in Florida, his voice a bit hoarse as he spoke using a teleprompter to prevent mistakes borne of weariness. By the time he landed in New Hampshire, Romney had covered more than 15,000 miles in four days. Monday's five rallies are the most Romney has held in a single day during the general election campaign.
All told, he's been running for president for nearly six years.
If Romney wins, he would become the nation's 45th president, and spend the fall and winter preparing to move into the White House and take over the executive branch of the government. There would be Cabinet secretaries to select, news conferences to hold, intelligence briefings to attend. The pack of cameras that has surrounded Romney almost daily since he announced would still greet him nearly every morning.
"Forty-five! Forty-five!" chanted several people in the Florida audience.
But if he loses, all the trappings of the campaign — his charter airplane, the entourage of besuited Secret Service agents, the siren-filled motorcades down highways closed just for him — will disappear.
Supporters seem to know they're watching history. On the rope line after his Florida event, a man presented Romney with a bag of pins from his father George Romney's 1968 bid for president.
Romney is already further along; his father lost the Republican nomination, and Richard Nixon went on to be elected president.
The son hopes for a different outcome. "I need your vote," Romney said. "Walk with me. Walk with me together."
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