Buying 'Hardware Stuff': Day One of the Press' 24-Hour Surveillance of Mitt Romney
It's a fresh, hellishly dystopian day for Mitt Romney and Co., collectively referred to as "Boston." Until now, the press could only cover our fair non-incumbent at scheduled events or when summoned to transcribe amateurish spin. Starting today, a small herd of nosey scribes known as the "protective press pool" will follow Romney wherever he goes, always, until the end of time, but probably just until November. What is a day in the life of a Mitt like? We'll never know. But we do now have some sense of what apretend day in the life of a Mitt is like. He does simple-folk things, like run errands to the grocery and hardware stores. His advisers surely gave him a thorough briefing on what one is supposed to do at these retail institutions, because he nailed it: At the hardware store, for example, he exchanged United States legal tender for market goods and services he described as "hardware stuff" -- just as he was told to do, and in the terse lingo of the proletariat.
Hopefully the pool reports will all stay this hilarious, and we can have one sure-thing post each day until the election. First, to the village merchant of hard-wares, shortly after sunrise:
Gov. Romney arrived at Bradley's Hardware in downtown Wolfeboro, N.H., at 8:45 a.m., after a short drive down Main Street.
Romney was wearing a casual salmon checkered button-down shirt, his sleeves rolled up his forearm. He wore jeans and black New Balance shoes. As he walked into the store, he was carrying what appeared to be a shopping list. He said hello to a local woman, "Hi, there, how are you doing?" When your pool asked her if she planned to vote for Romney, she said, "Of course."
Romney is inside the store shopping and your pool is holding on the street outside.
The pool coverage of Mitt Romney's Typical, Unspectacular Day Doing Errands continued at the cookery's supply market, and then the dispensary of medicines:
Gov. Romney left Bradley's Hardware at 8:54 a.m. with a beige bucket of goods. Asked what he bought, Romney told your pooler, "Hardware stuff." Then, he said, "Going to the grocery store now," and climbed into his Suburban.
At 8:57 a.m., Romney arrived at Hunters Shop 'n Save, a nearby grocery store. Before entering the store, he stopped to get two ears of "native sweet corn" from an outside display. They were on sale for two for $1.00.
When your pool asked if he was cooking tonight, Romney said, "Absolutely." At that, Romney grabbed a shopping cart and went inside the store. Your pool remained outside in the parking lot.
At 9:09 a.m., Romney exited the store with a shopping cart full of groceries. He loaded up the trunk of the Suburban himself, without help of agents. He had 12-packs of Caffeine Free Diet Coke and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi, as well as a 24-pack of Poland Spring bottled water. He also had two plastic bags of groceries. Your pooler spotted Greek yogurt.
When your pool asked whether he was cooking tonight, Romney said, "I'll make my own dinner. That's not exactly cooking."
Romney said, "I've got some folks coming over today." When one reporter asked if they were Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty, Romney laughed, "Ha, ha, ha, ha," but did not answer.
At 9:11 a.m., Romney walked across the parking lot to Rite Aid pharmacy. Your pool stayed outside. At 9:16 a.m., Romney emerged from the store with a plastic bag of goods. He held his iPhone with his left hand up to his ear, but then had a conversation with one lady whose car was blocked in by his motorcade.
"I'm sorry for blocking you in there. I don't know about these guys," Romney told her, motioning at the Secret Service agents.
"It's because you're a very special person," she told Romney, giving him a thumbs up.
"Have a nice day," he said.
Romney arrived back at his residence at 9:22 a.m. and your pool is holding.
At what unspectacular destinations will he perform unspectacular tasks this afternoon? Perhaps a clothery, a haberdasher, some other bullshit...