Ann Romney usually remains in the background when her husband campaigns but Tuesday night's Republican National Convention was all about her and how her husband is prepared to do whatever is necessary to bring American back to more prosperous times. But her comments were met by some critics as being disingenuous and out of touch with mainstream America, especially women.
"But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next president," Ann Romney said from the podium. "No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!"
The former Massachusetts first lady's remarks were intended to introduce America to a side of her husband not often seen, most notably when he helps others outside of the limelight and with little or no attention or fanfare. There is the time he helped a co-worker locate a missing child and how he helped another person in his church find housing. What Ann Romney wanted to show was that her husband was ready to help everyone who is in need by leading the county to more prosperous times.
Part of her strategy centered on telling voters that although Gov. Romney has achieved a high degree to financial success in the private sector, he wasn't handed a blank check as a young man and made his personal wealth through hard work and a focused determination he intends to bring to the White House.
"Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work. He had the chance to get the education his father never had," Ann Romney said of her husband. "But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success. He built it."
But besides touting the success of her husband's long career in both business and government and how the harsh realities of the political arena has sometimes portrayed her husband as a ruthless, out-of-touch politician, Ann Romney showed a softer side by showcasing the main theme of her speech, which was "love."
"I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party. And while there are many important issues we'll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts," said the former Massachusetts first lady in her opening remarks.
"I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours. Tonight I want to talk to you about love."
But Ann Romney's remarks stuck out with some pundits who proclaimed her speech was more about style and less about substance.
In a column in Wednesday's U.S. News, Democrat Peter Fenn tried to counteract the grandmother of 18 by criticizing the realities of her comments, especially their less than humble upbringing.
"But for me, a bit too much of the cheerleader type, the woman who had it all in high school and beyond," Fenn wrote. "The basement apartment and eating tuna fish didn't quite work – come on, they were rich from the get-go and got richer. Why do the humble beginning bit when you always knew you were upper crust?"
Fox News analyst Juan Williams also took a shot at Ann Romney's remarks about the couple's early years of marriage and said she appeared more like a "corporate wife" as opposed to someone who understands the struggles of the average American woman.
"Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, on the other hand looked to me like a corporate wife," Williams said on Fox News. "And you know the stories she told about struggle, eh, it's hard for me to believe. She's a very rich woman, and I know that and America knows that."
And in another appearance on Wednesday's Fox News "Happening Now" segment, Williams defended his comments by saying he wasn't criticizing Ann Romney as a person because he could sympathize with her considering they both were cancer survivors.
"This was intended as an analysis of the speech," Williams said. "I think in the economic realm, from my mind, it was intended to appeal to American women, where the Romney campaign has a deficit right now. And it would've been smarter, in my mind, if she had been able to say: 'We know we're blessed, but let me tell you how much we are doing for others. … Americans know that the Romneys are extraordinarily rich people. And I don't know that you can say 'We've had the same struggles as everybody else,' because people go, 'Uh? I don't know if that's real.'"
However, the Romney campaign was not impressed with Williams' comments and issued a statement this morning expressing their disappointment. "We respect our colleagues in media and appreciate they too have invested a lot to be here to cover the convention," a Romney aide said in a statement to Politico. "But, Juan's comments are deeply disappointing: Not only were they unfair and personal, they were wrong."