Check back tonight as I live-blog here at "Political Intelligence" and tweet @globeglen about Republican Mitt Romney's speech at the Carroll County Lincoln Day Dinner in Bartlett, N.H.
8:54 p.m. - Wireless outage at hotel delayed me in reporting antler sold for $1,050.
Auction ending, but crowd at Red Parka in North Conway, N.H., expected to grow shortly.
Thanks for reading. Come back to "Political Intelligence" on Monday morning for my analysis for Mitt Romney's message tonight.
8:35 p.m. - Speech concluded, the live auction is now beginning.
First item for bid is ... the moose antler.
8:31 p.m. - The would-be candidate gets thick of voice and choked up in chest as he begins delivery of patriotic conclusion to remarks.
8:21 p.m. - Romney, rebutting some critics, also addresses the universal health care law he signed while governor of Massachusetts. Some of his prospective rivals complain, as Obama himself even notes, that the state plan was the model for the federal law the president enacted last year.
"You may have noticed that the president and his people spend more time talking about me and Massachusetts health care than 'Entertainment Tonight' spends talking about Charlie Sheen," he said to laughter.
"Now, our approach next door was a state plan, intended to address state problems, in ways that were in many ways unique to Massachusetts. What we did was what the Constitution intended for states to do we were one of the laboratories of democracy," he added.
"Now, our experiment wasnít perfect; some things worked, some didnít, some things Iíd change. One thing I would never do is to usurp the constitutional power of states with a one-size-fits-all federal takeover. I would repeal Obamacare.
"My experience has taught me that states are where health care programs for the uninsured should be crafted, just as the Constitution provides. Obamacare is bad law constitutionally, itís bad policy, and it is bad for Americaís families. And thatís one reason President Obama will be a one-term president," he said.
8:16 p.m. - The Republican says he likes President Obama, but he "doesn't have a clue how jobs are created."
In a bit of gender outreach, Romney adds: "He doesnít know what goes through an entrepreneurís mind when she borrows and scrapes to get the money to start a new company because heís never done it himself."
8:11 p.m. - Romney says by delaying recession recovery, president has added to "Obama Misery Index."
It will only be addressed "with a new president of the United States."
Then he recapped his work as a turnaround artist, in business, at the Salt Lake Olympics, and as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney complains that Obama delegated economic recovery to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while he pursued personal priorities like health care reform and cap-and-trade policy.
8:06 p.m. - Romney says he likes New Hampshire so much, he "may play a double-header" here, but the applause line falls strangely flat.
He's now getting into meat of anti-Obama attacks, saying president is unprepared to conduct foreign policy.
"Instead of leading the world, he's been tiptoeing behind the Europeans," Romney said.
8:03 p.m. - Someone looking suspiciously like a television commercial or campaign-announcement movie-maker was shooting video of Romney as he worked the room and, now, as the people are applauding.
7:59 p.m. - Mitt and Ann Romney introduced, and he sets to microphone. Immediately says the "Romney for President" signs lining the drive must have been old ones from the garage.
His wife, Ann, is speaking, saying she is the one encouraging him to think about running.
Recalling their 42 years together, she said he is a problem-solver and "actually quite selfless" as shown as a husband and father.
"I love him and I think he should really think about it," she said.
7:51 p.m. - Guinta told crowd of about 300 it was great to arrive in Washington as part of a Republican majority, but it can be even better.
"I cannot wait, I cannot wait, to be in Washington watching a Republican sworn in as president," he said.
7:48 p.m. - The speaking program has resumed with Representative Frank Guinta, former mayor of Manchester.
7:42 p.m. - I guessed wrong: Romney went for the pot roast and "cleaned the plate," crack staff assistant Will Ritter said.
7:37 p.m. - The dinner plates have just gone down. Some are getting glazed salmon. Some are getting chicken marsala. Others are getting Yankee pot roast, the smell of which dominates the air.
7:10 p.m. - The moose antler debate is resolved: Mitt Romney has signed it before the bidding has ended.
And to describe it as a mere moose antler is also to not do it justice; it is a moose antler bearing a painting of the Old Man of the Mountain and an autograph from Mitt Romney.
6:53 p.m. - The dining has commenced: again, the options are chicken marsala, glazed salmon, and Yankee pot roast.
My bet for Romney, who may spend the whole time shaking hands, is salmon. He's very careful about what he eats, and Zen a sushi place near the State House was a favorite haunt.
6:48 p.m. - Senator Kelly Ayotte is following party Chairman Jack Kimball at the microphone.
She says there is a battle in Washington between fiscal responsibility and "bigger government, bloated spending."
The senator complains that the spending freeze President Obama proposes would extend to only 12 percent of the budget.
"If we make a difference in 2012, ... we can make a difference across this country by passing things like a balanced-budget amendment,'' Ayotte said.
6:41p.m. - The most intriguing item in the silent auction to raise money for the Carroll County Republicans is a moose antler. The great debate is whether to have Romney sign it first to drive up bidding, or personalize it afterward for the winning bidder.
Two other auction items: a massage, and a hair cut.
New Hampshire's Republican senator, Kelly Ayotte, is also in attendance, but she has told reporters she has yet to endorse a candidate in the primary campaign.
6:36 p.m. - Mitt and Ann Romney have arrived, shaken hands around the room, and stood for the invocation.
The former governor is dressed casually, leaving the tie back in Massachusetts and appearing open-collared in a sport coat.
6:15 p.m. - Mitt Romney has yet to arrive in the ballroom.
Those Republicans who ridicule President Obama for speaking from a TelePrompTer won't take any solace from Romney: He's got one set up on the stage.
5:55 p.m. - The likely candidate is upstairs at a private reception, but the ballroom is filling up with guests and supporters.
Among those reporters joining Sue Page in making the trek from DC are Erin McPike of Real Clear Politics and Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom has also arrived.
5:12 p.m. - My Globe colleague Matt Viser and I have made it to the Grand Summit Hotel overlooking Attitash Mountain. It was a nice drive up from Boston, but it was foggy with the warmer weather melting some of the abundant snow.
Outside, you could allay any thought about whether Romney has decided to run for president for a second time: The driveway was lined with "Romney for President" signs (see the photo above I snapped).
As usual, the AP's New Hampshire photographer Jim Cole was staked out at the front door, awaiting the candidate. Just inside were Romney supporters Jim Merrill and Tom Rath, as well as Sue Page of "USA Today."
A bit of a rough reception walking in the door, though. We went into the ballroom to set up our equipment and make sure the wireless connection was good and, well, to start live-blogging, when a Romney aide asked us to leave the ballroom.
Apparently, the Romney folks aren't letting the media in until 5:30 p.m.
Harkens back to the days of Romney's velvet ropes outside the governor's office in the Massachusetts State House.
Organizers say the doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m.
For those interested, the menu includes a choice of chicken marsala, glazed salmon, and Yankee pot roast.
This will be Romney's public first speech in the lead primary state this year, and the former Massachusetts governor will continue to lay the groundwork for a second White House campaign beginning this spring.
I've just posted a preview of the remarks here.
The trip also offers a chance for Romney and his staff to work the locals and the local scene.
Longtime spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom tweeted earlier today that he's planning to hike Tuckerman Ravine on the southeast face of Mt. Washington tomorrow if it doesn't rain.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.