Mitt Romney stood in a closet-sized room just before taking the stage where an old sawdust mill once sat, the nearby Endless Mountains framing his silhouette.

“I don’t want to make anyone wait,” he told a staffer before speaking on a gravel-covered ridge surrounded by shale-gas tankers and other 18-wheelers. “People work hard all day. They don’t need to stand out in the cold.”

Later, nearing the end of his speech, he paused, looked at the surrounding ridge of mountains, and declared: “I guess I don’t need to tell you guys but, wow, this is beautiful country!”

The crowd applauded in agreement.

It seems a long time since anyone running for president told voters how exceptional our country’s landscape and people really are. It is a moment many voters have waited for.

Romney has a rare opportunity to beat an incumbent president but it won’t be easy — not because of conservative disunity (which the media largely exaggerate) but because Barack Obama, like every sitting president, has advantages over any challenger.

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