Then Christie bounded onto the stage. A day after he hit California Gov. Jerry Brown for wanting to raise taxes -- before the California delegation -- Christie asserted that Republicans have the stuff to "choose respect over love." (Yes, after Ann Romney gave a speech about love.)
Yes, it was a red meat speech for the party faithful, but Christie also told seniors that the entitlement system is "overburdened" and that someone has to fix it. The problems are too big for us not to act. One party sells the lie; the other side is ready to do unpopular things. Christie fired up the base.
Christie didn't mention Obama by name. Nor did he mention Vice President Joe Biden. But then, he didn't have to.
Sometimes the best way to make a hard point is with a kinder, gentler tone. After Christie's stemwinder was over, the words of Ann Romney lingered.
"Everything has become harder," she sighed. And: "Do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?"