Tuesday night America's voters watched and listened as an impassioned case was made in the court of national television. Standing before a panoramic wall of family photos, an ingenuous Ann Romney testified to the motives and character of her husband and sweetheart of 42 years, Mitt Romney.
Millions viewed as the possible next first lady, lovely in a red dress before a backdrop of black and white photos, assuredly spoke a portrait of her partner and best friend. Ann began, "I want to talk to you tonight not about politics, and not about party...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."
For months the electorate jury had been tainted with reports from mainstream media of a wealthy, out of touch candidate--unsympathetic to their plight and daily struggles. The case had been made on a regular and relentless basis, that Mitt Romney's phenomenal success had immunized him against the worries and heartaches of everyday, small-town folks. The print and television prosecutors had a strategy: convince the citizenry that a man of great wealth was bereft of empathy and understanding. The left mounted the case that a rich man was somehow, by his very nature of being rich, bad and suspect of at least callous indifference.
Incumbent upon Mrs. Romney was the task of refuting the Democrats' characterization of her husband: she must nullify weeks and weeks of skewed messaging and replace the false image with a true likeness. Ann acknowledged the audience's acuity with, "I've heard your voices! ...We're too smart to know there aren't easy answers, but we're not dumb enough to accept there aren't better answers!"
Ann recounted the story of marrying young and having 5 boys and summarizes with, "I'm still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance. And he still makes me laugh!" Anticipating and answering the unspoken assumption of millions that money eradicates trials, she adds, "I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a storybook marriage...those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer."
By this point in her statement, Mrs. Romney has the rapt attention of every women, every citizen juror and speaks to her spouse's core character, "I know this good and decent man for what he is...he has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one's fellow man." Another fact of Mitt's integrity was given, "Mitt doesn't like to talk about how he has helped others, because he sees it as a privilege--not a political talking point."
Ann became more intense, her voice rose as if daring us to discount what she spoke next, "I can't tell you what will happen over the next 4 years, but I can only stand here tonight as a wife and a mother and a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: this man will not fail!"
Once Mrs. Romney concluded her heartfelt speech, her husband strode from backstage and gave her a hug as applause and The Temptation's "My Girl" filled the auditorium. Ann had done it: she had courageously addressed and discounted the accusations of disconnectedness and unsuitability. Ann had brilliantly voiced her testimony of love on Mitt's behalf...let's hope the nation heard every word.