Party Gets Started: Ann Romney’s Personal Appeal on Husband-in-Chief

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  August 28, 2012 at 8:21 AM EDT

The Morning Line


You can watch it all in our 24-hour livestream.

TAMPA || The show goes on here at the Republican National Convention, where much of the focus Tuesday will be on the speeches given by Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The one-two punch of Mrs. Romney and Christie have very different tasks this evening. The candidate’s wife will look to humanize her husband for Americans, a crucial hurdle for the campaign as most polls show voters seeing Mitt Romney as unlikable.

John McCormick previews Ann Romney’s speech for Bloomberg News:

Ann Romney’s speech probably will be the least political of any delivered at the convention and will touch on personal stories about her husband and family, according to a Romney adviser not authorized to discuss it in advance. Mitt Romney is scheduled to appear at the convention tonight, two days earlier than initially planned, according to a person who wasn’t authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

For the New Jersey governor, who is giving the high-profile keynote address, the assignment is two-fold: go on the offensive against President Obama, but also make the case for why the Romney-Ryan ticket should win in November.

Rich Schapiro and Jonathan Lemire of the New York Daily News note that Christie’s national ambitions are also on the line with his speech Tuesday:

The keynote address is the high-profile convention slot that famously launched President Obama’s career. It’s Christie’s chance to have voters across the country see him as more than a Sopranos look-alike who recently got into a shouting match over ice cream on the Jersey Shore.

Also on the agenda, the man who came close to knocking Romney off the fast track to the nomination. The Romney team pointedly told reporters Monday they are pleased with former Sen. Rick Santorum’s prepared remarks. Can the social conservative galvanize his coalition and get voters who aren’t sold on Romney excited about this election beyond simple anti-Obama sentiment?

Another question casting a shadow over the festivities is how severe Tropical Storm Issac will be once the cameras begin rolling on the convention. Officials have said they will announce a charitable effort for victims of the storm, but you can bet they will be watching it closely as it nears Louisiana.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT …

So, who are the Republicans, and how do the disparate factions unite for Nov. 6?

That’s the question the NewsHour set out to answer Monday. We’re exploring our own themes each evening as the parties present their vision for governing to the nation. (Up Tuesday – the economy.)

NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown took a look Monday night at how the social and fiscal conservatives see themselves fitting into the GOP, and what supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul could do to the proceedings with Romney set to cross the threshold and achieve the nomination in the 6 p.m. EST hour.

Watch that here or below.

And the NewsHour’s Saskia de Melker and Katelyn Polantz spent most of Sunday at the SunDome in Tampa, talking with Paul-ites about their devotion to the man and his movement.

Watch that here or below.

Gwen Ifill talked with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Judy Woodruff talked with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in the skybox about the policy issues outlined in the Republican platform and how the convention will play out this week. Watch those interviews here.

CONVENTION CRUSH

Watch for these features in our livestream Tuesday.

  • Judy’s breakfast panel with former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Delaware’s Sher Valenzuela, who is running for lieutenant governor. Also speaking with Judy at the panel is Alex Schriver of the College Republicans.
  • Hari Sreenivasan with Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks around noon.
  • The Political Checklist with Gwen, Judy and Christina in the late morning.
  • The Doubleheader with Hari, Mark Shields and David Brooks around 5 p.m., done Tuesday in the Google plus studio at the convention workstation.
  • Dispatches from our team on the floor as delegates officially get to business.
  • GoPro hat cam!
  • The evening wrap up with Christina and Hari around 11:30 p.m.

Check out this awesome slideshow of the protest scene from Team NewsHour, including photographer Mallory Benedict.

And keep an eye on our Flickr feed.

NEWSHOUR ROUNDUP

  • Here’s the analysis you expect from Mark Shields and David Brooks.

  • Jeff talked with Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center about what Americans say they want from the political conventions. Watch that here.

  • Christina joined Gwen and Judy on the set to launch the “Daily Buzz” feature we’ll have every day on the NewsHour during the conventions. Watch that here.

  • Hari and Christina kicked off your All Access Pass to the conventions Monday on our livestream. Watch that here.

  • And Hari returns to the Doubleheader after a long summer hiatus, talking with Mark and David about the sport of politics and the politics of sport. Watch that here.

  • Watch Jeff’s floor report from Day One.

  • Here is the Political Checklist with Christina, Gwen and Judy. They outlined how Romney advisors view what needs to happen during the convention this week.

Don’t forget, we’ll be doing this live every single day.

TOP TWEETS

BEST OF THE WEB

  • The president holds a 50 to 46 percent advantage over Romney among likely voters in Florida according to a CNN/Time Magazine/ORC poll released Monday. In North Carolina the race is a dead heat with Romney holding a slim 48 to 47 percent lead, within the survey’s margin of error.

  • Huffington Post’s Jon Ward talks with former Democrat Artur Davis, who says he won’t mention race in his speech Tuesday.

  • Bill Moyers put together a great side-by-side comparison of six proposed federal budgets.

  • The Republican National Convention Committee threw everyone in the media a knuckleball Monday evening when they released the [full convention schedule]http://www.gopconvention2012.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Temp-Order-of-Business1.pdf). On Thursday in prime time there is an unnamed speaker taking the podium. No word yet on who it could be.

  • David Brooks has a must-read column out this morning in the New York Times asking, and answering (?), who is the “real Romney.”

TONIGHT’S HEADLINE SPEAKERS

7 p.m. hour: House Speaker John Boehner, Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, Utah) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum

8 p.m. hour: New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

9 p.m. hour: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

10 p.m. hour: Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

  • Are you an undecided voter in Virginia? Here’s your chance to weigh in on the convention and help us with our reporting. If you’re willing to talk to the NewsHour after each nomination speech, fill out this form.

Alex Bruns contributed to this report.

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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz, @indiefilmfan, @tiffanymullon, @dePeystah, @meenaganesan and @abbruns.