Convention diary, Part 4: Awakening the American Dream | AspenTimes.com

Convention diary, Part 4: Awakening the American Dream

Frieda Wallison
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

TAMPA, Fla. – Last night’s program at the Republican National Convention in Tampa had a profound effect on me. Speaker after speaker, no matter how well known or obscure, recounted humble beginnings and the hard work and belief in themselves that led them to succeed. They all personified the American Dream.

Each of the Republican governors who spoke – Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Chris Christie of New Jersey – recounted the hardscrabble and mostly immigrant backgrounds of their parents or grandparents and their own ascendancy to the top office in their respective states. They each introduced small-business owners in their states who spoke about their own success in building businesses.

There were so many inspiring presentations last night that it’s difficult to single out the best, but there were four who particularly impressed me.

Mia Love, an African-American whose grandparents arrived in the United States from Haiti with $10 in their pockets and who is now the Republican candidate for Congress in her congressional district in Utah, spoke with passion about how her grandparents and parents succeeded in the United States through their own enterprise and who taught her to rely on her personal ability and not on the government.

Artur Davis, a former Democratic congressman from Alabama and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, forcefully described why he is now a registered Republican supporting the election of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. He brought the delegates to their feet numerous times during his speech with his message of the importance of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in lifting Americans out of poverty.

The highlights of the evening were the speech by Ann Romney and the keynote speech by Gov. Christie. Mrs. Romney described in a very personal way why voters should trust her husband to lead the country out of our current economic difficulties. She talked about her marriage of over 40 years, saying it was not without challenges – the early years in which the future was far from certain, her breast cancer and multiple sclerosis – and how fortunate she and her husband were to face these difficulties together and to be able to give back to their community and the country. She spoke directly to the economic concerns of women and the critical role that women play in our society as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters. During her speech the audience in the huge convention hall sat rapt in contrast to the buzz of conversation that accompanied many other speakers.

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Gov. Christie followed with a dynamic and rousing keynote speech, making the case for the election of the Romney-Ryan ticket. He addressed the importance of telling the hard truths to voters about the dangers in the growth of the federal government and in the budget deficits that keep feeding that growth. He asked people to understand that government cannot continue spending at the current pace without jeopardizing the futures of the next generation, using his success in New Jersey in bringing the state budget under control while lowering taxes as an example of how reform can be achieved. Delegates left the convention hall last night exhilarated and inspired.

This morning at the Colorado delegation breakfast (mercifully starting at 9:30 after a night that had most of us returning to our hotel rooms around 2:30 am) we were fortunate to have former governors Mike Leavitt of Utah and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota among our guest speakers. Leavitt’s remarks focused particularly on the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah while he was governor and on Romney’s role in turning that event around and making it a success.

The governors’ remarks were followed by inspiring presentations from three athletes who won medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics, describing their uplifting personal stories about Romney during that period. They also passed around their gold and silver Olympic medals. The medals were surprisingly heavy.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s convention speech by Paul Ryan and to our delegation breakfast tomorrow with Condi Rice. What an amazing privilege to be here in Tampa! Paul Ryan. He brought the delegates to their feet numerous times during his speech with his message of the importance of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in lifting Americans out of poverty.

The highlights of the evening were the speech by Ann Romney and the keynote speech by

Christie. Ann Romney described in a very personal way why

voters should trust her

husband to lead the country

out of our current economic

difficulties. She talked about

her marriage of more than 40 years, saying it was not without challenges – the early years in which the future was far from certain, her breast cancer and her multiple sclerosis – and how fortunate she and her husband were to face these difficulties together and to be able to give back to their community and the country. She spoke directly to the economic concerns of women and the critical role that women play in our society as mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. During her speech the audience in the huge convention hall sat rapt in contrast to the buzz of conversation that accompanied many other speakers.

Christie followed with a

dynamic and rousing keynote speech, making the case for the election of the Romney-Ryan

ticket. He addressed the importance of telling the hard truths to voters about the dangers in the growth of the federal government and in the budget deficits that keep feeding that growth. He asked people to understand that government cannot continue spending at the current pace without jeopardizing the futures of the next generation, using his success in New Jersey in bringing the state budget under control while lowering taxes as an example of how reform can be achieved. Delegates left the convention hall exhilarated and inspired.

This morning at the Colorado delegation breakfast (mercifully starting at 9:30 after a night that had most of us returning to our hotel rooms around 2:30 a.m.) we were fortunate to have former Govs. Mike Leavitt, of Utah, and Tim Pawlenty, of Minnesota, among our guest speakers. Leavitt’s remarks focused particularly on the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah while he was governor and on Romney’s role in turning that event around and making it a success.

The governors’ remarks were followed by inspiring presentations from three athletes who won medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics, describing their uplifting personal stories about Romney during that period. They

also passed around their gold

and silver Olympic medals.

The medals were surprisingly heavy.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s convention speech by Ryan and to our delegation breakfast tomorrow with Condoleezza Rice. What an amazing privilege to be here in Tampa!

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