Blog by Amy Maciejowski
The Republican National Convention was taught a lesson tonight: how to stand up and be Jersey strong! New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s keynote address to the audience at 10:30 p.m. did not make the crowd fall asleep, but standing beside the New Jersey Delegation, there was a definite excitement in the air.
Christie exemplified the need for leaders not to be concerned with popularity and always saying yes, but to be able to say no. The strategies of Christie’s speech were carefully in line with the overall parties’ aims: to highlight the underrepresented groups. His commentary on growing up spoke to the personal side of the governor, and he presented the crowd with an anecdote about his parents. He said, “In the automobile sense, my father was the passenger, and my mother the driver.” Christie not only emphasized the strength in leadership, but the strength in women (a demographic that needed to be reached for the Republican Party).
Coupled with Ann Romney’s quips on her family life, the opening speeches were a good mixture of applause and laughter (and plenty of “We Built Its”). Ann Romney was welcomed on stage by a plethora of “We Love You, Ann” signs and took her spot in front of a backdrop of old family photos. When she lamented that “a storybook marriage we did not have, we had a real marriage,” a chorus of agreements greeted her.
Regardless that these two speeches were the opening speeches of the convention, they will undoubtedly have the most overwhelmingly positive response of the week. There was a heightened excitement in the air to see Ann Romney and to gauge if she could accomplish bringing a personal (not business) face to the name of Mitt Romney, and the New Jersey Delegation was pumped to listen to Christie as they held their “Strong Leadership: Chris Christie” signs.
It was strength in numbers at the Convention as New Jersey gave all 50 votes to Mitt Romney to put him “Over the Top” as the official Republican nominee, and it was with strength that Chris Christie closed the Convention.