Ann Romney charmed an adoring crowd at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, on the night in which her husband, Mitt, clinched the Republican nomination for President, the fulfilling a quest that reached back years.
Her role was to make America fall in love with Mitt, the way she fell in love with him the night they met at a high school dance more than 43 years ago.
More precisely, her role was to make American women fall in love with Mitt – and disregard the Republican platform, adopted earlier in the day, which would render women second class citizens without the ability to make their own health care decisions.
“It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together,” she said.. “You know it’s true, don’t you?
“I love you women!,” she declared.
“You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.
“You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.
“You are the best of America.
“You are the hope of America.
“There would not be an America without you.
“Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.”
She added, “I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!”
One could argue that men also don’t really understand what it is to be raped and be forced to bare the child, but that did not come up.
But she did shift the focus of women away from their right to choose, to what Republican strategists hope will be the greater concern over the economy,
Ann Romney continued, “And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.
“We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.”
And that’s where Mitt steps in, a man who she reminded has been successful at whatever he has touched.
Her role also was to show Americans that the Romneys are just like your family, or at least, empathize.
She spoke about humble beginnings – a narrative that also fits into the mythology of a self-made man- but left out the part how they lived on cashing in stock from George Romney’s car company.
“We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days….”
She continued, “I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage.’ Well, 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.”
On the other hand, she had to attach the theme of the evening, “We Built It,” to Romney, whose noble success as an entrepreneur made others prosperous so they could fulfill their American dream, and he can do the same for America.
“It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on,” she said. “It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want 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? Of course not.
“Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work. He had the chance to get the education his father never had.
“But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.
“He built it.”
She continued, “You may not agree with Mitt’s positions on issues or his politics.
“But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President:
“No one will work harder.
“No one will care more.
“No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!
“This is the man America needs.
“This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t 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, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:
“This man will not fail.
“This man will not let us down.
“This man will lift up America!”
She received thunderous applause, a standing ovation, and Mitt Romney came out, warmly embraced her.
Karen Rubin, Long Island Populist Examiner
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