Pleasant surprise for Romney

Philip Rucker, The Washington Post via Instagram

SWANTON, Ohio -- Just when you thought Mitt Romney couldn't catch a break, he got  one.

It came in the form of a Boeing 737 named Ely, which flew in loaded with Ohio veterans returning from a day-long tourist trip to Washington.

Just minutes before Romney was scheduled to leave town on his campaign plane Wednesday, to the pleasant surprise of campaign aides, Ely touched down at Toledo's airport and parked a few hundred yards from Romney's plane.

The Republican presidential nominee, who polls show is trailing President Obama in Ohio,  sensed an opportunity to show his support for military veterans. So shortly after 8 p.m., Romney walked across the tarmac to greet the returning World War II and Korean War veterans. He shook their hands, one by one, as they deplaned on a ramp from their Miami Air charter jet.

"Thank you for your service," Romney said, over and over again. "Welcome home."

The press corps dutifully recorded the moment and beamed the images across Ohio and the country. And with that, Romney may have won over a few more voters.

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