New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent a large chunk of his keynote speech touting his own accomplishments, referring only later to Romney (who appeared unenthusiastic if not uncomfortable as he watched). So did former Sen. Rick Santorum, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
Many speakers recounted their family roots in working-class struggle – immigrant parents and grandparents (Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, US Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Senator Rubio of Florida) – or in Jim Crow racism (Ms. Rice).
Such stories may have humanized the speakers and the general impression of Republicans. But did it do much for Romney, who had a privileged upbringing as the son of an auto executive and governor?
Delegates were enthusiastic about Ann Romney, who tried to add humanizing brushstrokes to the portrait of her husband – their life as young newly-weds in a basement apartment eating tuna casseroles and raising their passel of boys. But it’s unclear whether that does much to attract undecided voters – especially those struggling economically who’ve already heard many times about the Romneys' extraordinary wealth, many homes, and Mrs. Romney’s “couple of Cadillacs.”
Their Mormon religion has been an issue in the campaign, with a substantial minority of evangelicals saying they would not vote for someone of Romney’s faith.