Mitt Romney Standing on Things

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Aug. 8 2012 6:35 PM

Mitt Romney Takes a Stand

On top of a chair. And a picnic table. And a cooler. And another chair.

There was a time when Mitt Romney preferred to address the American electorate while standing on a good old-fashioned wooden soapbox.

 Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at Smokey Row Coffee House December atop a soapbox.

Eric Thayer/Getty Images.

But as the presidential campaign has worn on, the candidate has become more adventurous. Here, he demonstrates his folksiness—and agility—by delivering a stump speech from atop a picnic table outside the Jefferson County Fairgrounds building in Golden, Colo., last week.

Mitt Romney hops on a picnic table in colorado.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

When there’s no table available, Romney has proven his versatility by speaking to his followers while perched on a chair.

 Mitt Romney stands on chairin Sun Lakes, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin/AP.

… though when it’s a wobbly chair, Romney wisely enlists the assistance of a strong staffer, such as Garrett Jackson (below).

Mitt Romney stands in a chair as campaign staff member Garrett Jackson holds it steady

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Romney appears to live by the motto Any chair is fair game. Homely upholstered chairs, stately alumni chairs—they’ve all served as  pedestals for the former governor during his two presidential campaigns.

Mitt Romney stands on a chair as he speaks to an overflow crowd during a spaghetti dinner at Tilton School on January 6, 2012 in Tilton, New Hampshire

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Sometimes, Romney asks his wife, Ann, to join him for some chair-standing—but only after she’s taken off her heels. The campaign can’t be going around poking holes in people’s upholstery. 

Mitt Romney, left, helps his wife Ann onto a chair so they can be seen by the crowd gathered as he campaigns at Thursdays Too restaurant in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Andy Burriss/Rock Hill Herald via Newscom.

Romney’s gusto for standing on things allows him to show off a down-to-earth side of himself. It says, “Maybe I’m not the presidential contender you want to drink a beer with, but I’m not too rich to stand on your cooler.”

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stands on a cooler as he talks to supporters at the private home of Dr. Jed and Mary Tepper, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2008, in Florence, S.C.

Mary Ann Chastain/AP.

Is standing on things always a good idea? Take this speech at Happy Joe's in Clinton, Iowa. Even without the chair, Romney would be way taller than all of the diner’s seated patrons. Is it really necessary to elevate himself further? Does it give him an air of command—or just make him seem out of touch?  

itt Romney (C) speaks to a group of supporters while standing on a chair at Happy Joe's in Clinton, Iowa, USA

Larry W. Smith/EPA via Newscom.

Still, you have to hand it to Romney. Chair/table/cooler standing is no easy feat. Many politicians try it, but only a few succeed in pulling it off with dignity. Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s expression, as he joins Romney atop a Dave & Buster’s pool table back in 2008 during Romney’s first bid for president, suggests he’d have preferred to remain floor-bound. Romney, by contrast, looks like a man who is passionate about making his pitch to the American people from a table covered in felt.

Standing on a pool table along side of Mo. Gov. Matt Blunt, republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney (R) addresses supporters during a campaign stop at a Dave and Buster's Restaurant in Maryland Heights,

Bill Greenblatt UPI via Newscom.