It was a case of the velvet laced glove as the first punches of the 2012 Republican National Convention were thrown tonight inTampa. The convention officially got underway following a suspension yesterday due to Hurricane Isaac.
Earlier in the day the convention officially nominated Mitt Romney as their Presidential candidate by going through the roll call vote. The final tally was Romney with 2,061 delegates to the other candidates collective 202. Speakers included former Romney competitor Rick Santorum, as well as House Speaker John Beohner, and a whole host of newly elected Republican Governors. They touted their early successes in the wake of President Obama’s failure.
Later in the night, the convention featured former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) who tore into President Obama after being one of the men who helped nominate Barack Obama in 2008. He said he had been at “the wrong convention”. He also indicted today’s Democratic Party as being more extreme and too reliant on government programs. He said, “John Kennedy asked us what we can do for America. This Democratic party asks what can government give you.”
The highlights of the night, however, were the back to back speeches by Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Mrs. Romney spoke of a more personal side to her husband. She vowed, “You may not like all of Mitt Romney policies but no one will work harder to make America a better place to live.” She also emphasized all the good works Mitt does often go unnoticed due to his viewing the help as “a privilege, not a political talking point.” Mrs. Romney did make reference to the President, as she concluded, “We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.”
The finale of the evening was the keynote address by Chris Christie. His speech focused on some broad leadership principles he used in New Jersey. Foremost among these is his conviction to rather be respected than loved. He said, “Our current leaders say yes, even when no is what’s required.” He reiterated his focus on being supportive of teachers, just not their union. He attacked President Obama for a lack of leadership and a cow towing of his agenda to polls and interest groups. In his most stinging critique, he said, “Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls, real leaders change polls.”
As was mentioned above, the combination of Ann Romney and Chris Christie was that of a velvet outer layer covering an iron core. If Mitt Romney can himself show these same qualities on Thursday and throughout the next couple months, he may very well win this election.