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Politics

Romney, Obama Make Final Pitches In Swing States

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

After months of campaigning, it all comes down to this, one final frantic day of travel. By the end of the day, Mitt Romney will have held rallies in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire. Speaking in Sanford, Florida this morning, he focused on the future.

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BLOCK: President Obama is touching down in three states today, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. Earlier in Madison, Wisconsin, the president asked for four more years.

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: Springsteen's not only written a lot of songs about cars, but he mentioned that his dad used to work in a Ford assembly plant.

BLOCK: Scott and Ari, you've been traveling with these campaigns for so long, for more than a year now, final thoughts, any turning points that really stick in your mind or a most telling moment of the campaign that you're left with? Ari, why don't you go first?

: You know, one thing that sticks out to me is that there is a side of Mitt Romney that people rarely see that is human and funny and self-effacing that his aides talk about. And it's really only by spending a year and a half with the guy that I've had a few glimpses of it. And I think the big struggle for this campaign has been trying to overcome the sort of robotic persona that he so often presents to the camera and find that sort of authenticity, human side that you get in glimpses, but he's had a hard time brining out 100 percent of the time.

BLOCK: Well, Scott Horsley, what about you?

: Well, you know, Melissa, it's easy to get to get cynical when you cover a very long and often bitter campaign like this, but both Ari and I have been watching these rallies in the last few days as the crowds get bigger and bigger as they do this time of year. And, you know, you can't stand outside on a cold evening in Colorado or Iowa and look out at 20,000 people who've braved the weather because they feel like there's something at stake for their country.

And those passions, of course, are what make this such a difficult country to govern for three years and 11 months out of the cycle. But in these waning weeks of the campaign, it is sort of heartening to see. And I know Ari and I are both - just been grateful to just be witness to that.

BLOCK: Scott and Ari, thanks so much. And, of course, we'll be talking to you throughout the evening tomorrow night.

: Good to be with you.

: Thanks, Melissa.

BLOCK: NPR's Scott Horsley traveling with the Obama campaign and Ari Shapiro with the Romney campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.