TAMPA — Top Romney campaign officials knew Ann Romney faced a tough job addressing the first night of the Republican convention. Even though she has played an increasingly prominent role on the campaign trail, Mrs. Romney has never given a speech like her convention address, never under such pressure and never before so many people.
Facing that challenge, Romney advisers did everything they could to prepare Mrs. Romney and make her comfortable. Not only did they create a stage, a podium, and a prompter for her rehearsals, they even had her practice the speech with pre-recorded audience applause and sounds, to familiarize her with the rhythms of a major speech.
The result was a big success. Mrs. Romney succeeded in conveying to the audience in the hall — and, the campaign hopes, to the millions watching on television — her love for her husband, her belief in his essential goodness, and, perhaps most importantly, her implicit faith in his abilities. “This man will not fail,” she assured the audience near the end of her speech. “This man will not let us down.”
Mrs. Romney clearly believes that if she were flying in a plane, and the pilot died from a heart attack, Mitt Romney would find a way to land the plane safely. She wanted to communicate that faith to the audience, and she did.
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