Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ann Romney - Delivers – To Women, To the GOP, to the Nation - Touches the World


Ann Romney during Convention Speech - image KasasCity.com

Ann Romney delivered one of the most energizing and charged political convention speeches in the last four general election conventions – from either major political party. The full transcript of Ann Romney’s speech is available at the Indianapolis Star. What one might have anticipated was a “get to know Mitt” speech, or as pundits suggested, a speech that ”humanized” her husband, the GOP Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney”. (New York Times: “In speech Ann Romney Plays to the Heart) That was, of course, the point made by pundits across the nation – that somehow this woman would be charged to transform the man into someone who is “relatable” in a world that has a focus on the personality rather than the deeds of the individual. However, her speech changed the narrative in ways that were not anticipated, she hit home the fact that women are the backbone, and the force behind the nation – and have the ability to stand up and move mountains: The most compelling line in the speech: “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.” Followed a litany of what women go through, regardless of socio-economic background, regardless of party – we do recognize that groceries are more expensive, we do understand that we have the major burden of the home and hearth, if there are children to care for, then the tasks multiple. We work and we worry – we see the passage of time as far too fast, and we are often disheartened and tired lately. She reiterated what we know, and she justified how we feel.

Perhaps that’s because she wrote the speech, spending the hours before the convention, “fiddling with turns of phrase” and reminding reporters that ““You have been covering me long enough and you know I’ve never gone off a written text.” (WSJ “Ann Romney Finalizes Speech Words & Wardrobe) Prior to last night’s convention speech, she spoke on the campaign trail “unscripted”. It is often that a campaign will write a script that a candidate or candidates spouse will deliver verbatim, and to be sure, there had to have been the usual campaign speechwriter that handed Ann Romney a text to deliver, which she changed to make it her own. It is a streak of independence rather than dependence that is what struck a chord. The personal narrative, the call to believe in “Mitt”, was, of course, part of the package, but the fact that Mitt Romney will carry the votes of even those who maligned him most; those who are not comfortable with his religion, or who might even resent the fact that he has “millions of dollar to hire political consultants”. Those are the women who, for what-ever reason, may not like him personally, or even not like his family all that much, but – and here is the but – the man who was not the first choice for those voters who supported other candidates in the primary – has their vote. They are the hard core base that stayed home in 2008, and they are driven by other factors. Ann Romney was not going to touch the base, although the base is broadly defined, Ann Romney was speaking to the rest of the nation, as well as the world, and the reviews are in – she nailed it.

From Germany: “Ann Romney Opens Hearts, From France: “Mitt Romney's wife made the show at the convention of his party. Energetic and emotional, Ann Romney will be a support rider for her husband, despite multiple sclerosis.” From Spain: “Ann Romney: "Mitt will move heaven and earth for this country” The Republican candidate's wife has requested an opportunity for her husband and has defended the role of women in society, and the list goes on, including the skeptical British Press who have noticed she has Welsh Origins (humble-noted). All of the articles are carrying the video of her speech – using translators as necessary.

Ann Romney did more than “humanize Mitt” (a term this blogger finds ridiculous to the extreme but will go along with the program), Ann Romney “humanized” the Republican Party, she also “humanized America” in the worlds eyes. If one is reading the headlines daily from Europe, Asia, South and Central America and so on, one understands we are still not well liked – period. Ann Romney accomplished more than perhaps she intended.

Unrelated to Ann Romney – in a way

It is not without a little pride in the State of Massachusetts, that this resident is feeling at the notion of the opportunity to put forth yet another candidate for the Presidency of these United States. From John Adams, to Calvin Coolidge, to John F. Kennedy, and those in between who are not mentioned or may have been “also rans”, the State from which the “Shot Heard Round the World” emanated, where the first Tea Party was held, and which has produced great thinkers, and politico’s from all facets of the political spectrum – has produced a candidate for the Presidency –with the odds in his favor, given the economy – Perhaps he gets extra points today - he was smart enough to wed Ann Romney.

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