Those high expectations for Ann Romney’s speech? She shattered them all to bits. As Seth tweeted afterward, “Never thought I’d say this, but Christie actually has a tough act to follow here.” Chris Christie was fantastic as usual, but Ann Romney’s speech was the pinnacle of the night.
There’s plenty to say about Ann’s remarks, but I just want to briefly highlight what I think was one of the most important lines of the evening:
“Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others, because he sees it as privilege, not a political talking point.”
That may be the closest answer we’ll get to the question that’s left pundits scratching their heads for over a year: what drives Mitt Romney, and why is he running for president?
The prevailing theory about Romney — that he’s an ultra-ambitious, calculating, insincere politician — has always had one major flaw. He rarely ever talks about his own acts of kindness; from closing down Bain Capital to search for the missing daughter of a coworker, to rescuing a drowning family, to lending a couple he barely knew the money to buy their first house. If Joe Biden even did a single one of these things, we’d never hear the end of it.
Politicians brag and self-promote, and Romney has done plenty of that when it comes to his business successes. But it’s surprising that a presidential candidate with personal stories like the ones above would shy away from mentioning them — and it certainly contradicts the idea that Romney will say anything to get elected. Ann Romney’s comment offers something of an explanation for her husband’s reluctance to brag, and some insight into what drives his political ambitions.