Democrats often claim to be the party of women, but the GOP tonight made a strong case that it is the party of moms. Both the marquee speeches of the night featured themes that have strong resonance with mothers across America.
Very effectively, Ann Romney directly appealed to women -- and proudly claimed the title of mother and wife. Perhaps her most effective political point was her observation that we're not stupid; we know there are no easy answers . . . but we're smart enough to know that there are better answers than the ones we're getting. To me, that had great intuitive appeal.
But above all, she talked about love . . . the capacity to use the eyes of the heart to see what's really going on. That's a theme that should have great appeal with moms, as that's what they do every day, in a different way, with each child. They understand Mrs. Romney's ultimate point: That in the end, love's what actually makes a real life. (It's also worth pointing out that Mrs. Romney presents a stark contrast in almost every way to the current First Lady.)
After Mrs. Romney's softer speech focused on love, Governor Christie's address centered on truth -- perhaps the other most important responsibility of a good mother. Just as a mom's foremost responsibility to a child is to love him/her, her other primary responsibility is to be honest -- to tell (and teach him/her to tell) the truth. If you don't, you're not doing your job. Key moments of the governor's talk -- especially his expressed wish that his children get to live in a second American century and his affirmation that we care more about future generations than our own current, creature comforts -- were perfectly calibrated to resonate with a mother's heart.
Whether consciously or not, both speeches were well positioned to speak to the responsibilities and concerns of moms -- Mrs. Romney in a soft way, Governor Christie a little more toughly. No, it wasn't the overt pander fest to which both parties sometimes stoop in an effort to woo the female vote . . . but perhaps because of this, it was -- to my mind -- highly effective.