Ann Romney Tells Us Exactly Why We Should Vote for Mitt
Around the State
Ann Romney? Put me in the "she hit it out of the park" column -- but maybe not for the reason you think.
I never needed to hear the wife of the Republican presidential nominee defend her marriage or her station.
She and Mitt had five kids together, she raised them without a work escape, she suffered through breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. That's good enough for me. Why would she need to prove she and her husband got on the elevator at the same floor as my husband and I? I don't think a presidential couple in the whole of my lifetime knew what struggle was like at our level.
More comforting than anything else for me and I'll bet for thousands of others who watched: Her speech promised -- and with overwhelming believability -- that Mitt Romney was the man for the job.
That's how she knocked it clear into the lights.
Ann Romney's job was to humanize her husband, to make him seem more warm and lovable -- the kind of guy we might like to invite over for a beer. But what a silly idea. George W. Bush is that kind of guy, not Mitt Romney.
Nevertheless, through Ann's eyes, Mitt came over as the very person he is -- himself -- just as The New York Times' Ross Douthat described him: "The last of the WASP aristocrats, the latter-day heir of the Cabots and Saltonstalls and pre-Texas Bushes, offering himself up to serve a country where his species long ago ceased to rule."
I'm from New England, I've lived in England, I recognize Mitt Romney and the flinty work ethic and core values he represents. This is not a bad thing.
Until Ann's speech Tuesday night, this kind of elitism got cynical partisans poking at him through the bars with sticks.
But naturally, perhaps not trying at all, she took ownership of Mitt's throwback, aristocratic qualities. She used them to plead her case. She used them to show that Mitt is a man not of the people but for the people.
"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 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."
If Ann Romney's words aren't stirring your soul still, these 30-or-so hours after she spoke them, reread the complete address.
Douthat said it better than I could: "You don't have to love him, the more effective parts of her speech implied, or relate to him, or even always necessarily agree with him. But you can trust him with the presidency because he's suited to public service, and he was born and raised and trained to do this job."
Ann Romney has class to burn. What she and Mitt have is a love match and more: a perfect partnership.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.