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updated 8/10/2007 9:35:39 PM ET 2007-08-11T01:35:39

It feels like a family reunion here at the pre-straw poll rally for Mitt Romney. Oh wait, that’s because it is.

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Some 96 members of the Romney clan have descended upon Iowa for Saturday’s Republican straw poll.

“I’m looking out at the crowd and half of you guys are related to us,” said Ann, Mr. Romney’s wife, to whoops from the audience.

Mr. Romney took the stage with his wife, their five sons and their wives and children. He kept his remarks brief and joked about the possibility that the Iowa caucuses will be moved up to December.

“What the heck,” he said. “Let’s have it in September. We’re ready. We don’t need a lot of warming up.”

Afterward, he visited with relatives. They are gathering at a nearby golf club for a reunion tonight.

Among those in attendance were Stewart Peay and his wife, Misha, from Salt Lake City. Mr. Romney has mentioned Mr. Peay on the trail because he is a member of the National Guard and served a yearlong tour in Iraq.

“It’s a reunion of the cousins,” Mrs. Peay said.

Brian Spencer and his wife, Heidi, one of Mr. Romney’s nieces, drove with their children in an R.V. from Mission Viejo, Calif. It took them 24 hours of driving time because they took the “scenic route,” they said, adding they only ran out of gas once and got pulled over once.

Mr. Spencer is the owner of a pogo stick company called Vurtego, www.vurtego.com, and was recently on the David Letterman Show hopping over a New York City taxicab. He said he brought some pogo sticks and promised to try to get Mr. Romney to get on one on Saturday at the straw poll. They are apparently larger than regular pogosticks and allow jumpers to go six to sive feet in the air,

Stay tuned for that visual.

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times

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