Ann Romney, Others Hit Grand Slam Home Runs on 1st Night
What a great opening day for the Republican Convention. Impressive speaker after impressive speaker. I am known for being a tad critical from time to time. Picky. But today I watched on C-Span for hour after hour. What amazing speeches. What excites me most as a conservative Republican is how deep and diversified the conservative Republican bench is right now.
But let's start with the most important first. Ann Romney just wowed everyone. A new standard for the wive of the candidate. Confident. My lands, at times I found myself thinking - she should be the candidate. While not many specifics about Mitt's heart, she turned his weakness into a strength: he does not fail. A driven man, who wants to help others. I felt she also scored strong by stating that Mitt (and her) do not feel that giving to others less fortunate money and time is something to be bragged about: it is a privilege to have the ability to do it and should not be talked about. So there. Take that showy givers. Especially those who view compassion as spending other people's money. Her opening up about her struggles with breast cancer and ms (not to mention multiple miscarriages) was touching. She pointed out that neither of them had inherited money. She rides horses because they worked hard for their money. Her point on marriage was absolutely correct: they don't have a storybook marriage - they have a real one.
Rick Santorum delivered a great speech, stressing his background and pro-life principles. Governor Scott Walker was very good, as was Gov Kasich and Gov Sandoval of New Mexico. Others like McConnell of VA were good, but not as good.
Multiple congressional candidates spoke with Utah's African-American dynamo Mia Love topping them all.
Ted Cruz, our GOP nominee for Senate in Texas, was terrific and yet another emerging minority leader. Governor Chris Christie looked more like an old school Democrat, but he gave a great rousing finish. I wondered: how in the world was he going to compete with Ann Romney, but he sure held his own.
Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who was my pick for Veep (though also liked Ryan and Jindal), was just terrific. Calm, stage presence, and another "up from the bootstraps story." She will be a political force in the future. It was the American dream, one after another. The "we built it" theme worked well.
And I was also thrilled to see the Oak Ridge Boys.
It was an interesting breakthrough to not only have Mitt Romney come on stage to congratulate his wife (Presidential nominees traditionally only show up for inauguration speech after nomination, which was confused by nominating today) but then they sat in the crowd. I also thought it was interesting to see that Condoleezaa Rice sat through all of Ann Romney's speech, pretty much alone. She clearly wanted to be supportive.
My biggest concerns were two:
1) if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a noise? In this case, the answer is yes. Just not loud enough. Ann Romney will break through. Maybe some Chris Christie. But the mere fact that we have so many incredible rising stars just has me nearly beside myself. No whining tonight from me. I'm sure others feel that way too. The long run looks very good.
2) How in the world can Wednesday and Thursday build to a climax? Ryan will gather interest and be good. Rice will be interesting. So will Rubio introducing Romney. The mystery guest before Rubio better be at least Clint Eastwood because it would be a disaster if the convention goes downhill from Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday. Romney's speech is the biggest deal. Incredible pressure.
Overall, I do think the GOP will come out of the convention with Romney leading by at least 3 points. That was what we need.