On night one of the abbreviated Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney was formally nominated for president and Paul Ryan for vice-president.
That was a foregone conclusion.
So what drama, if any, was there to have?
Well, two very important people had to make the speeches of their lives and they came through with flying colors.
Ann Romney, Mitt Romney's wife of 42 years made a very strong impression on those in the Tampa Bay Times Forum and I think to the largest audience of her life. No, she did not have to go on about having a tough life. She has not and neither has Mr. Romney. But their parents did. And she spoke about that. About her Welsh grandfather who came to the United States when her father was 15 years old. She talked about the man that she knows and loves, Willard Mitt Romney. She spoke about everyday challenges of all Americans. Especially American women. But mostly, she talked about what it is like being with the man she loves and his relationship with her and their five children together. And she was the soft side of Mr. Romney that many Americans want to see.
As a side note, I find it somewhat off putting that a "soft side" has to be shown of the people that are politically fighting to be the president of the United States and leader of the free world. There is something about the way it was, many a moon ago it seems, when we did not know all this stuff. I think it made leaders stronger. But the United States has changed and it is a necessary evil if you will in today's political landscape.
While Mrs. Romney was the soft side of Mitt Romney, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brought with him the hammer and fired up a crowd that is waiting to get out there and take the fight to the Dear Leader, President Obama.
Gov. Christie spoke of the three-plus years as governor of one of the Bluest of Blue states and rattled off a stellar list of accomplishment. But it was not so much a pat on his back, and yup, it is a big back, but to make a point. And he said it quite well here:
We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey.
It's time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.
America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.
There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.
These feelings are real.
This moment is real.
It's a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.
How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge.
Not to look around and say "not me," but to say, "YES, ME."
I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo.
I have faith in us.
I really like the beginning of this. Addressing the lack of leadership in Washington. From The Dear Leader, President Obama on down to the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Dingy Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to the House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). To the lack of truly working with the Republican majority in congress. To try to find any common ground on anything.
And he also addresses that fact that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are ready to not only tell the truth about things but lead. To make choices that will not be popular at first. But will have long-term benefit for the United States.
I had my doubts about Gov. Christie being the keynote speaker at this convention, but all doubt was washed away with a rousing speech that got the party faithful ready.
And that is what the Republican party needs.
To be ready. To be ready to show the United States and yes the world that it will not be business as usual in Washington, D. C. if Team Romney & Ryan win the election in November.
To be ready to make the unpopular choices that lay ahead.
To be ready to reaffirm the United States unique role in the world. Not the cowardice and delegitimizing of that role by the current occupant of the White House.
To be ready to stand by our friends and to be respected, not loved, by our foes.
It will be a tough campaign, but Willard Mitt Romney in the past several weeks has shown that he has that fire. That he wants to be be the president of the United States. The commander-in-chief. Since asking Rep. Ryan to be his nominee for vice-president, Mr. Romney has become absolutely energized at a level I never saw in 2008. Even in stages of this current campaign. But now, he is electric on the campaign trail.
Tonight, Ann Romney gave us a more personal look at Mitt Romney. Chris Christie gave us the look and determination of a strong leader that Mitt Romney is and will need to be if so fortunate to be elected the 45th president of the United States.