The testimony of fellow church members about the Romneys' service and caring was genuinely moving, recounted by people who are the opposite of slick. The convention floor was almost silent as they spoke, and we'll see them again in TV ads.
The point is that the Romneys contributed something that is in short supply even among the very rich: time.
The convention also addressed concerns that have undoubtedly surfaced in focus groups. Yes, the candidate is open to women taking a lead role, as they have on his staff.
Yes, the candidate did help create businesses that employ tens of thousands and provide goods and services that people found they needed. Yes, Republicans care about education, and education choice, so that disadvantaged children have a chance to move upward.
Romney made that point in his speech, and it was underlined earlier in the evening by Jeb Bush, an extraordinarily successful governor and a politician whose behind-the-scenes support at crucial moments made possible the national career of the man who introduced Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio.
Coming off the convention floor, I heard raves about Romney's speech from rank-and-file delegates and limited praise from those more experienced. Not spectacular, they said, but good enough.
That's actually high praise. Democrats like their presidential candidates to be philosopher kings. They must be not only competent, but intellectually dazzling and oratorically thrilling.
Republicans have more modest ambitions. They see politicians as tools -- and are satisfied if they are good enough to do the job.
Mitt Romney in selecting Paul Ryan, in staging an inspiring rather than slick convention and in delivering his acceptance speech, convinced Republicans in the hall and around the nation, and probably many undecideds, that he is a more than sufficient tool to do the job.
Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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