Thoughts on Ann Romney's big speech
Here's what the Mitt-Ann post-speech embrace looked like from the convention floor:
My assorted thoughts:
- All in all, a great speech. Ann seemed like a nice, kinda-funny, normal-enough person, which is, for a Romney, something. And she made the best Case for Mitt of any convention speaker so far. Though that's not saying much.
- The speech's first half - in which she made an oddly explicit appeal to America's women - was far weaker than the second half, in which she made an implicit appeal to America's women by talking about the virtues of her husband. There's a reason salespeople don't say "I am trying to sell you something" when they're selling something: the pitch is more effective when it doesn't seem like a pitch. One of her few ad-libbed lines, "I love you, women," sounded transparently phony; so did this maudlin section: "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 said the word Mormon! ("When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.") Wary of alarming the Christian right, Republicans usually refer simply to Mitt Romney's "faith" without reminding anyone of what he actually believes.
- Michelle Obama would've been roasted by the right for uttering two of Romney's lines about women. 1) "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." 2) "You'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it?"
- Some viewers thought Romney took a veiled shot at gay marriage when she said, "A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage." Didn't seem like one to me.
- Ann made six - six! - references to the high school dance where they met. Is this an especially impressive place to meet one's spouse? She didn't have to convince anyone that Mitt is a faithful dude who has liked her for a long time.
- The most ridiculous of her hubby-praising lines: "At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up." They were going to cancel the 2002 Games until Mitt Romney told them that would be a bad idea?
- It must be said again: the Romneys are an impossibly handsome couple.
- Does any of this matter? Not if Mitt himself is unimpressive on Thursday night. If there is a Convention Bounce, it will be because of him, not his impressive wife.