There's nothing like a stop in a small town to give a campaign that down-to-earth, real-people feel that candidates are desperate for in an an-incumbent election year. Day 2 of U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio's bus tour started off not far from Ocala in Belleview, population 4,000, where the motto is "the city with small town charm.''
The lawn behind city hall, under trees draped with Spanish moss, provided the perfect tableau.
"The reason I'm running today is no different than when I started 12 months ago,'' Rubio told the crowd of about 75 people on a stage draped with the American flag. "I believe this is the greatest country in the history of mankind."
With the exception of the massive retirement community Rubio visited last night, the crowds on his bus tour have been enthusiastic, but not overwhelming.
"I like his sincerity,'' said Bobby Dobkowski, a local radio talk show host, who came to hear Rubio with two of his kids. "I think he truly believes what he says."