In choosing the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., to launch his run for the White House, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney selected a backdrop that had deep personal and symbolic meaning.
Romney is a native Michigander. It is where he met Ann, his wife of 37 years, and it is where his father George served as a popular governor for six years.
That explains the Michigan part. Now for the Ford Museum.
Romney explained that as a child he and his father would talk about cars and how much that cemented their relationship. Indeed, the Ford Museum is an awe-inspiring house of car worship -- with machines that moved us physically and emotionally.
Romney's love for cars is in his blood. His father was president of AMC, the company that created the Rambler (the shiny beige-colored car to his left on the stage this morning). The elder Romney is often credited with having coined the phrase "compact car," and was said to have hoped the little Rambler would one day move America beyond the "gas guzzling dinosaurs of the past."
You may have also noticed a huge airplane above Romney during the speech. That was a DC-3, the plane that changed transportation as we know it today - taking flight from the fancy of the wealthy to the masses.
Like their creators, each machine here personifies an idea, an endless possibility. An innovation that transformed.
"That's really what it's all about," says Romney political consultant Katie Packer. "The belief that if you can dream it you can do it. The Governor knows that well."
As he begins his dream of one day leading the United States, Romney's greatest inspiration for innovation may have to come from within.
Photo caption: Romney announces his candidacy for president at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. Behind him are a Ford Escape Hybrid, his father's Rambler and a Douglas DC-3. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)