Photo Credit: Chris Maddaloni, Getty Images
I'm an independent conservative, and in watching Ann Romney's speech last night, I felt her message resonated with me on on many levels. Here's a quick look at my five favorite themes in her speech. Watch now:
1. A Wife and Mother
Ann started out by talking about love. The love she has for her children, and her love for her husband. Though the "Mommy Wars" have tried to divide us, who among us, regardless of your political philosophy, cannot relate to a mother's love for her family?
She spoke fondly of her days as a young wife, in a small studio apartment, and I recalled my days in a garden in-law in San Francisco's Mission District, many years ago when my husband and I first married.
Mrs. Romney's eyes lit up as she described "that boy from the dance" that she fell in love with, and in so doing, I got a glimpse of Mitt Romney: The Man versus Mitt Romney: The Candidate.
She also, frequently spoke with pride of her five sons and eighteen grandchildren. As the mom of three pretty amazing kids, I understood that pride, and it resonated with me.
2. Shared Concerns
Mrs. Romney discussed how hard mothers work to provide for their families, and how prices at the pump and the check out counter have made that job much harder.
Juan Williams, political correspondent, made an off-hand remark that is causing waves, much like Hillary Rosen's "she never worked a day in her life" comment. Williams called Romney a "corporate wife" who has always had "her husband to take care of her." As a stay-at-home mom, comments like that are decisive and hurtful, as I consider my work a team effort and a division of labor. My husband works outside of our home, but I work in it, and as such, I try to be a good steward of our resources because we have voluntarily sacrificed a full time income to have me be at home and homeschool our children. So, yes, prices at the pump and the counter do concern me, as I continue to try my best for my family, and I felt Ann understood those concerns.
3. Partaker of the American Dream
Though much as been made of the Romney wealth, Ann's description of herself as the daughter of an immigrant -- similar to her husband -- and the struggle they went through to build their dream resonated with me.
Though I come from a family that has established many generations here, I could relate to building a better life and being proud of that success. I came from very humble beginnings in public housing in the inner city, and now enjoy the life of a suburban mother. I think we all want to better our situation and work hard to do so. I cannot begrudge the Romney's their success, for I think it's representative of what we all hope for. I think it's one of the reasons we were captivated by then-Senator Obama. A man from humble beginnings himself, who wanted to work to make things better for his family. I may not agree with him politically, but I can appreciate the fact that two lawyers were able to parlay their hard work into an American success story, and I see the Romney's as yet another statistic in achieving that dream we all aspire to.
4. Champion of Business People
Ann stated that she was there when her husband began his business and was privvy to the many meetings held to see if things would work out or not. Having owned a small business with my husband in past, and now with my fledgling consultancy, I felt Ann got where I am coming from. Small businesses are the backbone of this nation, and having someone who understands what it takes to make it succeed makes me feel hopeful.
5. Being a Survivor
Ann talked about her struggles with MS and cancer. How she survived and how her husband supported her through it all. Having watched my mother succumb to cancer four years ago, I could relate. All of us know someone struggling with a chronic or life-threatening condition, and Mrs. Romney's remarks as a survivor were empowering. Despite all the money many focus on, at the end of the day, Ann is mortal, as we all are, and all we have and work for is done in light of that sobering fact.
Overall, in watching the speech, I felt like I was hearing from a girlfriend who understood my role as a woman, and the unique challenges I face.