We have heard great speeches from many accomplished men and women. We’ve heard from various governors, senators and representatives, and from other elected officials and citizens. We've heard numerous stories of small business owners who've built successful businesses through risk, hard work and sacrifice--but their uniform complaint is that the federal government is stifling their ability to hire people. Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico told of her parents starting a security business with no savings, putting everything on the line. As an 18-year old she patrolled parking lots at Catholic parish bingo games...complete with her Smith & Wesson .357 magnum. The delegates almost raised the roof on hearing that. Sher Valenzuela, Lt. Governor of Delaware, was particularly eloquent about the federal government's interference with small business through over-regulation. She has a business making protective gear for sports and military applications. Again and again we heard the refrain "We did build this", and that the feds have become a major inhibitor of job creation.
There is a uniformity of feeling here that our republic is threatened by fiscal prodigality and refusal to deal with the budget and the deficit.
Ann Romney spoke compassionately about what her fellow mothers and grandmothers are going through right now, about the burdens this economy has put on single moms and families struggling to get work and pay their bills. She opened a window into their family and into Mitt's soul, his goodness, stellar ability, and incredible capacity to work and succeed. She promised he would not fail. We believed her.
Paul Ryan's speech was electric. He pounded on the economy and the administration's failure to put forward workable budgets and proposals to deal with entitlements and the deficit. He portrayed the White House as paralyzed and irrelevant, with no solutions, only excuses. Rep. Ryan was especially compelling because he knows the budget so well and has put forth credible proposals to meet our fiscal challenges. He hammered on the fact that 26 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. He turned us to a future full of hope.
Charlie Cook, the astute political observer, told a group of us today that people respect Mitt's intelligence and business ability, and they don't think the president is doing a great job on the economy. But Mitt has not sold himself as caring and likeable. Voters make up their minds based on these intangibles. Mitt's speech is extraordinarily important to his success.
It is a rare privilege to attend a convention. This election presents the American people with a clear choice of philosophies, both politically and in personal approach. This election will define our future for many years to come.