For the first time since becoming a candidate, Mitt Romney and his aides invited members of the media to accompany him to church services - specifically to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire yesterday.
Coupled as it does just eight days before the Republican National Convention convenes in Tampa, it appears to be part of the campaign where the presumptive nominee slowly begins to let the public in a little more about who he is.
Though Romney has a great chance of winning the election this fall, polling indicates that the American public as a whole don't really like the man, to the extent they know anything about him. Part of that has to be attributed to the fact that Romney has basically put his Mormonism off limits, even though reportedly it's a big part of who he is as a person. But the RNC in Tampa will be his greatest shot at portraying not just a man who is ready to become president, but also to introduce himself to the American public.
The New York Times reports this morning that a member of the Mormon Church will deliver the invocation at the convention next Thursday night, the same night that Romney delivers his acceptance speech. The story also reporters that the stage built inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum is "one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention" that has been designed to "convey warmth, approachability and openness." Reporters will get their first look at that stage later today.
On Saturday Paul Ryan made his first Bay area appearance since being named as the VP nominee, appearing at a fundraiser on Treasure Island that brought out supporters and critics in an entertaining protest.
Late Friday night Paul Ryan released his tax returns - all of two years worth, which is all the Romney people chose to make public. But the story about the GOP presidential candidate's returns refuses to die out, and yesterday Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace asked a surrogate for the Republicans when Romney will actually release the complete return for 2011.
And on Friday, Tampa area Congresswoman Kathy Castor talked up green jobs at an appearance heralding a solar powered electric vehicle charging station.