Convention diary, Part 5: Mitt’s moment |

Convention diary, Part 5: Mitt’s moment

Frieda Wallison
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

TAMPA, Fla. – In his acceptance speech Friday night for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney asked – in so many words -the quintessential political question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Or, as he phrased it, “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job (Barack Obama’s) done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”

Judging by the resounding applause that followed, these sentiments hit their mark with the people attending the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

After months of negative ads about Romney from the Obama campaign and its supporters, and unexpected and unprovoked confrontations from some of our counterparts at the Democratic voter registration table at the previous weekend’s Aspen Saturday Market, it was refreshing and inspiring to hear the testimonials about our presidential nominee and finally, his acceptance speech last night.

Like most of the speakers at the convention, last night’s group delivered an uplifting message, demonstrating the depth and diversity of the Republican Party. The focus on this final day of the convention was, of course, our nominee.

Many speakers recounted their personal encounters with him and the positive impact of knowing him. Speakers ranged from a retired firefighter and his wife, whose son died of cancer at age 14, to employees and managers of businesses that had achieved success with the guidance and financial support of Romney’s Bain Capital, to an array of Olympic medalists who testified to the critical role Romney played in saving the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics.

Many of these moving testimonials brought me to tears, and they were, needless to say, very different from the ugly picture of the man painted by the other party.

An important theme of the convention, and one to which I particularly relate, was the role women have played in Romney’s life and political career, as well as the significant place women occupy in Republican politics. Looking around the convention hall, I observed that at least half the convention delegates were women. About 40 percent of the convention speakers were women.

In his speech, Romney spoke about his record in recruiting women for his administration as governor of Massachusetts, citing his female lieutenant governor and his female chief of staff, as well as the fact that half the members of his gubernatorial Cabinet were women. He recalled his mother, Lenore, who ran for the U.S. Senate from Michigan at a time when few women were involved in politics at that level.

As I participated in this year’s convention, I could not help comparing it to the two previous conventions I attended, the most recent in 2008 as an alternate delegate from Colorado. This one seemed to me far more interesting and inspirational and I left energized by what I heard and saw.

It was an honor and privilege to be a delegate, and I am forever grateful to my fellow Pitkin County Republicans and other supporters in the Third Congressional District of Colorado who gave me the opportunity to represent them.

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