Before Beto O’Rourke’s visit Thursday to Popovers on the Square, a bakery and café in the heart of downtown Portsmouth, I spoke to two women who were intrigued by his candidacy — but also a tad skeptical.

“If he could calm down a little?” Katie Miller, who’s a Portsmouth resident, suggested hopefully. “Maybe be a bit more … thoughtful?”

Kimberly Mills, who drove to Portsmouth from Boston, had a different concern.

“I’m a little bit worried because he’s just, for lack of a better term, just another white guy,” Mills said — adding that, in a political moment in which representation has become a prized commodity, that particular demographic profile might not be an asset.

Neither Miller nor Mills got into the event. But they both caught the speech O’Rourke gave to the overflow crowd outside, standing on a milk crate and speaking with the sort of hoarseness that comes from visiting every New Hampshire county in two days.

“[Whether] you can trace your family tree back ten generations, or if you just got here ten days ago — who you love, to whom you pray, whatever your differences are — do net let them divide us at this moment,” O’Rourke said to applause.

Afterward, Miller and Mills’ doubts hadn’t disappeared, but they’d diminished considerably.

“Dynamic, you know,” Miller said, when asked what she’d thought of O’Rourke’s speech. “A lot of it is that impression, and he really comes across as caring.”

“I liked the ending about, no matter who you are or what you are, we’re all united against one goal here,” Mills said. “Hopefully, he can be the candidate who brings us together.”

Which brings me to my first big takeaway from O’Rourke’s New Hampshire swing:

His charm — equal parts earnestness, idealism, and looking a lot like Bobby Kennedy — is going to convert plenty of doubters between now and the New Hampshire primary.

And here’s a second takeaway:

O’Rourke’s moderation might actually be a plus.

As many readers will know, O’Rouke is actually pretty conservative in comparison with the rest of the Democratic field. Speaking in Manchester at another packed event, this one in a downtown taqueria, he wore his willingness to work with Republicans as a badge of honor.

“Thank you all for welcoming us, showing some hospitality and kindness to a stranger from far West Texas,” he said. “Someone who wants to work with you, wants to work with everyone regardless of the differences of party.”

Those comments were a stark contrast with, say, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who pans the GOP almost as much as she pans President Trump. And for voters who see unseating Trump as the absolute top priority in 2020, O’Rourke’s approach may end up being more appealing.

“He’s not saying, ‘I’m the one who’s going to change everything,’ Dennis Kleinman of Newcastle said in Portsmouth. “I think it’s good to have … one foot on the left and one foot in the middle right now.”

That mindset, in turn, might help insulate O’Rourke from ideologically focused critiques by his Democratic rivals — though perhaps not when it comes to the tension between his soaring climate-change rhetoric and the votes he cast in Congress.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out another potential O’Rourke weakness, one highlighted by remarks he made while taking questions from the press in Manchester.

“I’m getting better along the way,” O’Rourke said, explaining that he embraces the criticism and pushback he’s already encountered on the campaign trail. “I have a long way to go. And that’s very clear to me, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

While some might find those comments refreshing, they also highlight a distinctive tic of O’Rourke’s that we’ll call takeaway number three:

He is always eager and well intentioned, to the point where it can get kind of boring.

After a while, you find yourself craving a change of rhetorical pace — some snark, a hint of frustration, anything to take the Enthusiasm-o-Meter out of the red zone.

Still, judging from the adoring crowds that surrounded O’Rourke in his maiden New Hampshire voyage, he’s got some time before that becomes a serious concern.