TAMPA, FLA.—It is now clear why, some months ago, the Democrats tried to make an issue out of Ann Romney. As she revealed on the platform of the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, she is her husband's secret weapon.
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,'" Mrs. Romney said. "Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer."
The last sentiment was a particularly pointed one given that the Democrats have inferred that Mitt Romney is to blame for a woman's death from the same disease. It also underscores that, no matter what level of material success the couple might have achieved, they still face the same kind of problems that many of the rest of us do. But it also shows that her liberal critics were wrong for suggesting she "never worked a day in her life."
Raising kids, running a home, remaining committed to what she called "a real marriage" takes work. The choices the Romneys made in life may not be the same others can or choose to make, but they did not, she made clear, remove from them the burdens of responsibility that we all face.
There are those who have been critical of former Governor Romney's unwillingness to put a face on his own success, to tell his own story convincingly and inspiringly. His work at Bain Capital, say many involved in the financial industry, established a "gold standard" for other companies to follow. Some political professionals have, up to now, been at a loss to understand why he cannot talk about his experiences convincingly, in the kind of personal terms that politicians like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even Ronald Reagan seemed to do effortlessly. Mrs. Romney put all that into perspective when, speaking of her family's achievements, said, "Mitt doesn't like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we're no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches, and their communities."
"They don't do it so that others will think more of them," she said. "They do it because there is no greater joy."
Ann Romney's address was as powerful as it was moving. It focused on love, home, and hearth—on the responsibilities neighbors have for neighbors, parents for children, and all of us have to make America a better, more prosperous, more generous place. In her remarks she did what no one has yet been able convincingly to do: put a human face on her husband and his accomplishments. As she elated their experiences over the course of a marriage that has lasted more than four decades, the walls the Democrats and the media have tried to erect between the Republican presidential nominee and the voting public began first to shake and then to tumble. She is a powerful weapon in the GOP's campaign arsenal. The party would do well to make full use of her