Ann Romney, relying on a teleprompter for the first time in her life, occasionally had a nervous giggle—but she was terrific.
She was sunny and likeable—and adult. When she said she wanted to talk about love, it sounded as if we might be in for a gag-me-with-a-spoon speech. She took a risky approach, but she delivered:
“I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,'" she said. "Well let me tell you something – in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.
"A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage."
I kept waiting for the catalogue of Mitt’s good works and many kindnesses—but she spoke effectively of this aspect of Romney without a laundry list. She dealt adeptly with the smearing of her husband: :
It's true — it's true that Mitt's been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. You know what, it actually amazes me to see his history of success being attacked. Are
those really the values that made our country great?
As a mom of five boys, do we want to to raise our children to be afraid of success?
And let's be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney's success?
Gotcha—but in such a ladylike way.
Mrs. Romney spoke to the women of this country, especially mothers, making a point that she was including single mothers, a tough demographic for her husband. This, too, was risky. Ann Romney is not going to appeal to the Sandra Fluke demographic. Whoever advised her on her speech was gambling on being able to reach a larger segment of women, ones who have little in common with the brittle womenfolk of the Democratic Party who will be speaking in Charlotte.
Mrs. Romney got raves, but there were naysayers. Juan Williams on Fox said she was “a corporate wife.” I feel certain that he has a less difficult time relating to, say, Elizabeth Warren. But there are a lot of women out there who will relate to Mrs. Romney, even if she has money. After all, there are still Americans who would rather applaud success in business than knocking it. She had a great ending:
This is a man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say cannot be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair, this is the man
who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.
I can't tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight as a wife and a mother and a
grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment.
This man will not fail.
This evoked a contrast to a man who has failed–without even mentioning his name.
"My Guy," which would have been popular when the Romneys were in high school, was played as Mitt walked on stage–just perfect way to end Mrs. Romney's talking about her guy.