By Gary P Jackson
Mit Romney and Newt Gingrich may have been the headliners at the Hispanic Leadership Network event, but it was Ann Romney who stole the show.
I don’t care what you think of Mitt, Ann is a truly inspirational person.
I first learned of Ann Romney during the 2008 election. I was moved by her personal story. Ann suffers from MS and is also a cancer survivor. My favorite cousin suffers from MS, has since she was in her teens. I know how tough this disease is on someone.
I admire anyone who can face MS with courage and determination.
It says something that Ann, not Mitt or Newt was the headline story from the event. She may end up being Mitt’s secret weapon as the campaign moves forward.
Here’s a report of the event from the Palm Beach Post:
DORAL – Before Feliciano Ramirez heard Mitt Romney speak today, he was all-but certain he was going to vote for Newt Gingrich.
“He can really debate Obama on all of the issues because he’s a Washington insider,” Ramirez said, echoing the sentiments of many recent converts to the Gingrich camp.
However, after hearing the two candidates deliver back-to-back speeches at the Hispanic Leadership Network, Ramirez’s vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary wasn’t so certain.
“I’m going to have to pray on it,” he said with a laugh after the Massachusetts governor gave a rousing speech to roughly 500 Latin American leaders.
And, he said, it wasn’t just Romney’s enthusiastic rhetoric or Gingrich’s more professorial speech. Ramirez said he was impressed with the candidate’s wife, Ann.
Romney was introduced to the crowd in Spanish by the couple’s youngest son, who spent several years in Chile. After a quick “Ola!” from one of their 16 grandkids, Ann Romney delivered what appeared to be a heartfelt, funny and down home assessment of the rigors of being a candidate’s wife and raising five children while her husband traveled on business and why she agreed, once again, to join him on the campaign trail.
“Four years ago, I was definite about one thing: I would never do it again,” she said of her husband’s failed 2008 campaign. “Mitt said, you say that after every pregnancy. All the women out there know what I’m talking about.”
When he broached the subject again, she said she was reluctant. Before she was going to endure another campaign, she asked him to answer one question: “Can you fix it?” When he answered yes, she was in.
“He has the ability to find the core of the problem and then figure out how to fix it,” said Ann Romney, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and is a breast cancer survivor.
Ramirez was impressed with her moxie. “His wife pulled it off,” he said.
Gingrich, who speaks what he calls “pigeon Spanish” but didn’t try it out on the Hispanic audience, was also accompanied by his wife, Callista. She didn’t speak, but stood by his side, smiling, clapping and nodding her support.
Here’s what Ann, their son Parker, and Mitt had to say:Vodpod videos no longer available.