Ann Romney's speech was good but not great. She isn't a professional speaker, and the campaign did not serve her well by raising expectations. Her speech had several nervous laughs and forced lines. The hall had a hollow sound that made her seem far removed from the crowd. She connected when she said, "A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage." She missed when she said, "I love you, women!" Still, the networks gushed.
On the other hand, Gov. Chris Christie is a pro who can feel the room and deliver what the crowd wants. His timing is perfect and his voice filled the cavernous arena. Christie was very good for Romney; he was great for the assembled delegates and the party faithful who tuned in. And there's no way he riled independents since he didn't mention President Obama by name. To start the convention, rallying the base and keeping independents friendly was critical.
Some of the best shots on TV were of Mitt Romney sitting in the stands. I swear he looked a little shy or embarrassed by the forceful praise he got from Christie. That says something about Romney's sincerity and humility, and it offers a vivid contrast to Obama.
Ed Rogers is a co-host of The Insiders blog, offering commentary from a Republican perspective on Election 2012. He is also chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with Haley Barbour in 1991.