TAMPA — A day after she wowed the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney continued her traditional emotional appeal to voters at a fundraiser hosted by the campaign’s “Women for Mitt” group.
Introduced by her daughters-in-law, who argued over which had married the cutest son, and then by a video from her husband noting his wife’s humanizing presence, Romney charmed the audience with stories of raising her children.
“I used to feel sorry for myself raising five boys all by myself,” Romney joked, noting that her friends had daughters to help out around the house — or a least be less rowdy.
It was a celebration of sorts of Romney’s new role in the campaign — her national profile cemented with the speech last night, and her importance to her husband’s campaign has never been greater.
“She’s a really modern feminist,” said daughter-in-law Andelyne Romney. “She’s kind of the 21st century woman. She’s really comfortable in her own skin.”
Romney used her platform to vouch for her Mitt Romney’s caring nature and experience — continuing her efforts last night use her own credibility to boost her husband’s.
“Mitt will be a person, when he’s in the White House, that will be thinking about families, that will be thinking about women,” she said.
But in a change from last night’s speech, Romney reflected on the grueling nature of a presidential campaign, recognizing Cindy McCain’s presence, and her experience in 2008.
“Cindy will know better than anyone in this room how hard it is to go through a campaign like this,” she said. “It is not easy on the wives, the children, the family, the friends because you see someone that you love being maligned, lied about, mistreated, abused, criticized.”
In her brief remarks, Janna Ryan declared that “Ann’s story is an inspiration for millions of women across this country,” but appeared to struggle with the teleprompter.
Romney was empathetic about Ryan’s newfound turn in the spotlight. “I feel a little sorry for her, I feel a little responsible for her…she’s just been thrown into this,” Romney said.
At the end of the speech, she called her grandchildren on stage, who gave her a group-hug. She worked the rope-line after the event for 10 minutes — much of it while carrying a granddaughter at her shoulder.
Miriam Adelson, the wife of billionaire super-PAC donor Sheldon Adelson attended the event, telling BuzzFeed afterwards that she enjoyed it. “It was wonderful,” she said.
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