As excitement builds for the Romney/Ryan ticket, an undercurrent of hope runs through the nation and I am completely caught in the rip-tide. That was not always the case--I am a Johnny-come-lately to the campaign, and so take a moment to reflect on the events which swayed my loyalties.
Last November the GOP presidential field included Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. My initial preference was either Herman Cain or Rick Perry: but then, following some scurrilous accusations, Cain withdrew and a couple months later, with leaden approval ratings following a couple subpar debate performances, Perry withdrew.
I was troubled, but decided to support Rick Santorum--a consistent, life-long conservative. Then on April 10th Santorum withdrew and I reluctantly moved my allegiance to Mitt Romney. Oh it wasn't that Mitt was a bad person--by all reports he had lived a good and moral life. But there were nagging questions concerning his validity as a true conservative: he had signed onto RomneyCare and he had supported Roe v. Wade prior to 2004. However, when faced with the abysmal failure of Obama to do anything but break promises and push America toward socialism, I was left with little choice.
Then came the pivotal moment: Hilary Rosen spoke a firestorm into being with the words "His wife [Ann Romney] has actually never worked a day in her life." I heard that one statement from an elitist MSMer and former HuffPo editor, and was immediately indignant.
As the daughter of a stay-at-home mom, I know first hand the hard work and tremendous sacrifice of such a choice. No one worked harder or deserved more praise than my mom, and the millions of other such homemaker-mothers. Raising children and balancing housework, meals, meetings, sports and of course, a marriage, is a 24/7/365 demanding proposition. Ann Romney had 5 boys between 1970 and 1981: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig. Mrs. Romney has also had the challenge of dealing with MS (diagnosed in 1998) and breast cancer (diagnosed, surgery and treatment in 2008). Come to think of it, if the tone-deaf, left-ward leaning mainstream media wants to target Ann Romney, go right ahead! Women across this nation will continue to defect the Democrat party to side with a true lady who has raised 5 good and productive sons, lives with MS, survived cancer and suffered a miscarriage--a less-frequently mentioned loss and heartache.
The next events that prodded my heart and convictions to side with Mitt were his excellent run of speeches: the July 11th speech at the NAACP Convention, the July 24th VFW speech, and the July 29th speech in Jerusalem. At the first venue Romney showed great poise and courage before a non-supportive audience. In the next speech, Mr. Romney resonated with veterans and stressed national security in an almost Reagan-like delivery. And in Jerusalem, Mitt re-affirmed America's commitment to our strongest Ally in the Middle East--Israel.
As if these speeches were not telling enough, Romney made time during his August 2nd visit to Denver to meet with Gary Bauer, Dr. James Dobson, Sen. William Armstrong and Lt. General William Boykin, all men of deep faith and firm convictions. CAIR was livid over the meeting, in particular to Lt. Gen. Boykin's attendance. CAIR's displeasure only confirms the rightness of such an event!
Finally, all hesitation was erased on Saturday, August 11th, when Mitt introduced his Veep pick: Paul Ryan. Ryan, who had long been my favorite, signaled that Romney was serious about the economy, serious about the sanctity of life, serious about foreign policy and peace through strength. This was a solid pick of a man of character and conservative values. At that moment I knew.
I knew my head and my heart were unwaveringly convinced Mitt Romney was a sound choice. I knew I was seeing the resurgence of hope amongst conservatives. And I knew that I was now whole-heartedly, enthusiastically on board Romney's Bandwagon.