At the Republican National Convention tonight, Governor Chris Christie said that his mother, a Sicilian, always told him it was more important to be respected than to be loved — which can be translated as “when a hungry person approaches you and stretches out an empty hand, be sure you’re carrying a baseball bat and not a loaf of bread”.


Ann Romney gave one of the best political convention speeches ever tonight. All the commentators, mostly men, missed its quality and power, but it was powerful. The sneering liberals mocked her for claiming to empathize with “ordinary women”, when she was so rich and privileged, but she talked more about the issues that apply to women in all stations of life, especially mothers.

A rich mother doesn’t worry less about her kids than a poor mother does, even though a poor mother may have more to worry about in a practical sense. All mothers worry about their kids — it’s what mothers do. Motherhood, practiced with this sort of intensity, was once celebrated in the culture — now it’s criticized, if it seems too obsessive, or seen as one more role to be fitted into a full and busy life.

In truth, as Los Lobos once sang, “A mother’s love is like a story never told” — at least now in our culture — but Ann Romney spoke as a mother to other mothers, and it was startling. She’s a woman who “has it all” if there ever was one, but she made it clear that having it all isn’t everything. The kids, and by extension the marriage, are everything.

It’s too bad that the convention planners wheeled out an animatronic figure of Mitt Romney to awkwardly embrace Ann after her speech.  Or was that robotic thing actually Mitt himself?  I don’t even want to go there — the thought is too terrible to contemplate.

It was, however, a brilliant idea to have John Candy deliver the keynote address after Ann’s speech.  Many, like myself, who thought that Candy was dead must have been delighted to see him alive and well, robust and animated, and doing such a spot-on impersonation of Winston Churchill as a New Jersey thug.