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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ann Romney offers the human side of Mitt Romney

By Caroline May

TAMPA, Fla. — In a bright red outfit, Ann Romney greeted the Republican National Convention delegates and attendees Tuesday night.

   To a smattering shouts of “We love you Ann,” the aspiring first lady spoke of the love she has for her husband, family, and country.
“Tonight I want to talk to you about love,” Romney said.
“I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country,” she continued. “I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.”
   Romney quickly got to her central point. Women make the country run and it is women who feel the brunt of the pain when times are hard. As a woman, Romney relayed her understanding.
   “Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they’ll make it through another one tomorrow,” she said. “But in that end of the day moment, they just aren’t sure how.”
   “And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it? It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right,” she said.
   To Romney — who suffered criticism earlier this year by an Obama surrogate for “never work[ing] a day in her life,” as a mother — it is moms, sisters, daughters, grandmothers who keep America together.
   “It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters,” she said. “You know it’s true, don’t you?”
“You’re the ones who always have to do a little more,” she said.
Noting that it is women who are the caregivers, homework helpers, problem solvers, and nostalgia sufferers.
   “You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you,” she said. “Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises. I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!”
From her focus on women on a macro level, Romney transitioned to her own story with Mitt Romney.
   “I could tell you why I fell in love with him — he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous — girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated — and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren’t around,” she said noting he made her laugh.
   To Romney, who detailed briefly her upbringing as the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner and daughter of an immigrant who started his own business — “one he built himself, by the way” — Romney touched of her husband’s father’s success from carpenter to Michigan governor and her courtship with Mitt Romney.
   “When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon,” she said. “We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.”
NEXT: 'Still in love with that boy'
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