Campaign partisans scour every word from the opposition in search of openings to exploit. Most of that turns out to be wasted effort. But no one knows what one sentence could veer off-message and end up becoming a Moment that will reverberate in the political echo chamber.
"Any change in direction is something that we can grasp on to and then use to get into the news cycle and get into the narrative," says Republican National Committee spokesman Kirsten Kukowski, whose emails fly at all hours.
Both incidents have become threads in the ongoing campaign narrative.
Other moments just pass by, quickly forgotten in the daily blur of a campaign.
—Romney's road team scrambles to set up an impromptu meet-and-greet when his plane lands in Ohio at about the same time as an honor flight of aging veterans just back from visiting Washington memorials.
"I'm drunk!" one vet announces as he carefully makes his way down the ramp. "Better now," he says when he reaches the ground.
"Better now!" Romney repeats.
Everyone poses for the camera.
—Obama's handlers let a muscular Florida pizzamaker hoist the president off the ground in a big bear hug during a drop-by at the man's restaurant.