"My mom, she was tough as nails and didn't suffer fools at all -- and truth was, she couldn't afford to. She spoke the truth, bluntly directly and without much varnish. I am her son."
Truth-telling as a brand has its limitations, especially when the truths close to Christie's heart are so gloomy.
"Paralyzed by our desire to be loved," he said, too many politicians think it's "more important to be popular, to say and do what's easy and say 'yes' rather than to say 'no' when 'no' is what is required."
We all have to share the sacrifice, he lectured. And on Medicare, he claimed Granny is willing.
"Seniors are not selfish. They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election."
Ann Romney that Tuesday night may have wanted to talk about love, but Christie was having none of it: "Tonight, we choose respect over love."
I don't think that's the speech of a winning presidential candidate. Not while women have the vote, anyway.
The breakout speaker of this convention may well have been the mayor of tiny Saratoga Springs, Utah -- ironically, a woman named Mia Love. She is a black Mormon convert, an articulate and attractive woman's voice for our shared American story:
"Our story has been told for over 200 years, with small steps and giant leaps, from a woman on the bus to a man with a dream, from the bravery of the greatest generation to the innovators and entrepreneurs of today," she said. "This is our story, this is our America, this is the America we know because we built it."
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.