Having watched former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for over eight years on television running for President, I thought he was fake and stiff.

Well, maybe the cameras didn’t do him justice.

Gov. Romney came to Sioux Falls Thursday to help campaign for Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former fellow Gov. Mike Rounds. Romney spent about an hour downtown, walking up and down Phillips Avenue, stopping in businesses and chatting with surprised people on the street.

While covering or working on campaigns, I’ve seen this a bunch of times. But this time it was clearly different. Even on a short schedule, Romney would not be rushed. He talked with people for as long as they wanted to talk. In fact, he was the chatty one, asking womenswear boutique owner Chelsea Tracy, formerly from Chamberlain, a number of thoughtful questions about her business.

It was an actual conversation, where Mitt didn’t interrupt, didn’t seem impatient and really listened. He repeated this all up and down Phillips Avenue, on the sidewalk and in Shriver Square with the downtown lunch rush and the eateries’ staffs. For servers and cooks who had on plastic gloves, he gladly gave playful elbow bumps.

Romney had an easy way about him, was casually but nicely dressed in a faded—but not too faded--pair of Levi’s 501 jeans, a crisp dress shirt and slip-on loafers. He’s tall, but not as tall as Sen. John Thune, who was also on the stump with him, and not as tan as he appears on TV. He’s a good-looking guy.

Anyway, on this Thursday noon hour in late October, Mitt happened in Sioux Falls—and it was good. Maybe if the relaxed and jovial Mitt I saw today runs again in 2016, he might just be our next President.