Last night belonged to Mitt Romney’s no-longer-secret weapon, Ann Romney. I don’t believe I have ever seen a nominee’s spouse deliver such a naturally joyful and energetic speech at a national convention. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a convention speaker having such obvious fun on stage as Mrs. Romney did. Chris Christie set a defiant, tough tone with the keynote speech that followed, but Ann Romney’s speech was the emotional highlight of the night.
A ‘corporate wife’? What exactly is a ‘corporate wife’? I guess it might make sense if Romney got remarried after his business success and one wanted to attack his spouse as a trophy wife, but the Romneys have been married for 43 years, long before the days of Bain Capital. And while the Romneys are indeed very wealthy now, and Mitt Romney was the son of a millionaire governor, he donated his inheritance and built his success on his own — with Ann Romney alongside him every step of the way.
Brit Hume, whose response got cut off in this clip, had the better sense of this speech. The Daily Caller has Hume’s entire answer:
“I think that was the single most effective political speech I’ve ever heard given by a political wife,” Hume said. “And I think to the extent that she could do it in terms of rendering her husband as someone who women who may have had doubts about him, could identify with him, warm up too — I think she did the job as well as she possibly could.”
Hume explained why it had such impact in aiding her husband’s presidential candidacy.
“And I think that a lot of women would look at her, a great many women — particularly mothers and married women and find her utterly admirable and utterly credible,” he added. “It was interesting to me tonight — it seems to me that the themes of tonight were two-fold. One was Ann Romney’s set-piece speech which stood by itself and did whatever it did for Mitt Romney. The rest of it was — you notice speakers, younger generations, new leaders, a number of them politically successful to say this is not your father’s, or even the most recent-generation’s Republican Party. This is a new Republican Party, populated by new, young leaders who have been successful, that these tasks before us can be done because we’re proof of that. We have, as Chris Christie said, we have done them.”
Maybe Juan Williams needs to start listening with his ears rather than his agenda.
Update: A reader sends me Williams’ May 2004 perpective on Teresa Heinz Kerry, a woman of rather extensive wealth, too. Did Williams have trouble believing that she had suffered in life? Not exactly:
The senator’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, also offers a strong link to independent older women, especially widows and divorcees. In her interview with Barbara Walters, Heinz Kerry revealed that a doctor once recommended she have an abortion because of medical problems, but a miscarriage ended the pregnancy. That personal revelation cut a clear path for her husband to the abortion rights position central to the concerns of so many single women voters.
Regardless of whether female voters are ultimately swayed by the women of the Bush or Kerry clans, one thing’s for sure: Their vote certainly isn’t being ignored.
Juan, your agenda is really showing.