COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Mitt Romney cruises down two-lane blacktops, past combines churning up clouds of dust harvesting corn, on his way to one more gathering, one more step on a long journey.
Four years ago, he thought these farm fields would lead to the White House. Iowa, instead, turned out to be the beginning of the end. Weeks after an embarrassing loss here, his campaign folded before the snow had even melted. Romney’s now back, more casual but still cautious, making his sales pitch: In these hard times, America needs a leader who understands balance sheets and budgets.