Just a Regular Guy

In the heartland, Obama tries for small-town charm

Tony Dejak/AP

President Barack Obama speaks at James Day Park Thursday, July 5, 2012, in Parma, Ohio. Obama is traveling through Ohio and Pennsylvania on a two-day "Betting on America" bus tour to highlight commitment to invest in American workers and creating jobs.

On the campaign trail, it's good to be President and not just because your bus gets to run red lights and has everything you need to launch a war. It's good because Americans respond almost instinctively to the importance of the office. "I've been coming here my whole life," said Julia Konieczny, a 19-year-old sitting in the Kozy Corners diner in Oak Harbor, Ohio, on July 5. "But this is the coolest thing that has ever happened--ever."

She was talking about the fact that Barack Obama was about to walk in, say, "Everybody just pretend like I'm not here," and eat...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!