CHARLESTON, S.C. Rudy Giuliani will hold your baby, hug your dog, autograph your t-shirt and blow you a kiss.
All in the space of 15 minutes.
I watch him do these things as he makes his way down Market Street in Charleston's famed Historic District, which on this bright and warm spring day is packed with tourists.
They call his name "Rudy! Rudy! Over here, Rudy!" and take his picture and, though often lacking both paper and pen (he will provide both), they ask for his autograph.
He is glad to oblige. He is delighted to oblige. Thus far in the 2008 presidential race, Giuliani has opened up a clear enthusiasm gap. He actually seems to enjoy campaigning. (Even if he is faking it, most of the other candidates aren't even bothering to do that.)
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" he leans over and asks a little boy.
"Autograph," the boy says.
"You want to be an autograph?" Giuliani says.
The boy looks at him with one of those can-adults-really-be-this-stupid looks and says, "I want an autograph. I want to be a baseball player."
"Baseball player! Great job!" Giuliani says. And then he sees a man in the crowd wearing a Boston Red Sox cap.
"I have great respect for Red Sox fans," Giuliani says to him with utter solemnity. "But I support the Yankees."
And speaking of Yankees, isn't this the town where the Civil War started? And a state where Yankee politicians are often viewed with some suspicion?
Not to Jane Bolston, 64, who comes from Williston, S.C., which the Yankees (the army, not the baseball team) burned in 1865. But, hey, she is not one to hold a grudge. She stands in the middle of the street talking to me as Rudy and the crowd around him swirls by.
"You just get discouraged with everybody else in the race but him," she tells me. "We are ready for a change and OH, MY GOSH!"
These last words are uttered as a horse tries to eat her head. Horse-drawn carriages are popular here. We both jump to the sidewalk, and the horse clip-clops by.
"I believe in Giuliani," she says. "It was 9-11 that made me think he is the one. Do I care that some people think he is not conservative enough? No, that doesn't bother me."
Giuliani is selling competence, not ideology. He ran America's largest city for eight years, and now he is ready to run America. That is his message.
So I asked him earlier in the day if being mayor of New York really qualifies him to be president of the United States.
"Being mayor of New York is often said to be the second toughest job in America," he said. "The short answer is yes: I think being mayor of New York gives you a great deal of preparation for being president."
Not that he thinks it is going to be easy.
"It is the most difficult job in the world," he told me. "And running for it is almost as difficult as the job itself."
But not today. Today, running seems pretty painless.
Giuliani drops to one knee on the sidewalk and hugs a mixed collie named Maya, as her owner snaps a picture of the two of them.
Then a young woman comes up to Giuliani and asks him to autograph the t-shirt she is wearing, and he turns her around and signs the back of it. (He is no fool.)
Larry Khert, 36, of Long Island, N.Y., his wife, Marsha, and their three children, Larry III, Jake and Paige, stand on Market Street and watch Giuliani pass by.
"He is great," says Khert, a registered Republican. "I don't think the Democrats have anybody to run against him. He is really good in a crisis, and we are kind of in a crisis, aren't we?"
But do you think he is a real conservative? I ask him.
"I don't think we are looking for a real conservative Republican president," Khert says. "We got one now. And how is that working out?"