I mostly agree with Juan Williams, who thought that Ann Romney looked like a “corporate wife”; I’d say, not that this is an original criticism, that she sounded like a typical Stepford wife.
David Frum saw a different speech:
I can’t remember a better convention speech by a would-be First Lady than Ann Romney delivered tonight. She was herself warm and charming – and she was thus utterly convincing when she argued for her husband’s character and capacity for empathy. She is so human — a splendid survivor of two terrible diseases — that when she speaks for her husband’s humanity, she carries all before her.
Kevin Drum, on the other hand, thought that “Ann Romney was almost entirely unable to humanize Mitt”:
She talked about the things he had done, but hardly at all about the kind of person he is. There was a brief reference to Mitt being “warm and loving and patient” — and helpful to friends in trouble — but after that it was all about Mitt being hardworking and successful. In other words, pretty much the corporate drone we all think he is. I doubt very much that this really helped the Republican cause with women much.
Elspeth Reeve examines one of Ann Romney’s anecdotes:
Ann Romney talked about living in a basement apartment while Mitt Romney was in grad school, but as David Shuster notes, they were living off stock options. Christie just mentioned moving into a “studio apartment” with his wife when they were first married. I hope one day I can look back on my young person’s middle class real estate experience as stark poverty.
Tomasky’s reaction to the speech:
She was, to give her some credit, the first speaker of the night who tried to reach out to non-conservative voters. She wasn’t bad by any means, but it won’t be remembered in two or four years, even if he does win.
Will Wilkinson gives the GOP high marks in general:
A few members of the GOP junior-varsity squad were a bit rough, and did not manage to distinguish themselves, but overall I think it was a successful night of conventioneering. The Republicans’ attempt to make their party appear not to be entirely one of white men did not seem to me to descend into mere tokenism. Ann Romney’s case for her husband as a man you can trust – a man who does not fail – was heartfelt and emotionally compelling, even if the man himself rarely is.
Howard Kurtz thought Christie’s speech subpar:
It was an odd approach for a keynote speech. Yes, it contained the requisite praise, but Romney was almost an afterthought. There wasn’t a personal line about Mitt. It was as though the two had never met.
Jonah Goldberg is on the same page:
I thought Ann Romney’s speech started too slow and unsure but the second half was simply terrific and very effective. Christie’s speech, however, I thought was a mild disappointment. It was clearly rushed at the end and felt undisciplined and self-indulgent throughout (it took a very long time to mention the nominee).
Josh Barro fact checks Christie’s “hard truths”:
[A] hard truth Christie absolutely will not tell is that every one of his budgets has been unbalanced by more than $2.5 billion. When Christie said tonight he has signed “three balanced budgets,” he wasn’t telling a hard truth — he was using bad accounting to hide a hard truth.
And Jonathan Chait calls Christie’s speech “an awfully strange way to attack President Obama” but “a decent way to tout the record of Chris Christie”:
Why Romney would give Christie the best speaking slot of the convention to lay out such a self-serving argument, I cannot fathom.