Ann Romney Set For Speech of a Lifetime - ABC News
In what could be the most important speech of her life, Ann Romneyhttp://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/exclusive-ann-romney-preparing-rnc-speech-17097626, wife of the Republican nomineeMitt Romney, will tell Americans this evening of a marriage she says is not one that can be found in storybooks, but instead a "real marriage" that has suffered real hardships.
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,'" Ann will say, according to excerpts released early by the campaign. "Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer."
"A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage," she will say.
Mrs. Romney's speech is meant to offer unique insights into her husband's life and personality that voters may not be familiar with -- especially voters who have still not made their mind up about the candidate. The campaign hopes Mrs. Romney, in words they sometimes use, will be their "secret weapon," their best bet at humanizing Romney before the November election.
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Hours before taking the stage, Mrs. Romney told ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she was feeling "a little shaky."
"You know, I was a little shaky when I first came out. I'm like, oh, -- this is a pretty big auditorium, this will obviously be the biggest speech of my life. And -- but as soon as I settled in I'm like I felt good, felt really good," Mrs. Romney said.
Asked if her husband had any advice for her, Mrs. Romney said that he advised her to "just look as though someone's face is there, as though you are talking to someone."
Offering a softer, more emotional side than her husband ever has, Mrs. Romney will say that tonight that she wants to talk to Americans, from her heart, "about our hearts."
"I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family," she will say. "I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours."
"Tonight I want to talk to you about love," she will say.
Her husband's biggest cheerleader, Mrs. Romney will offer her own experiences with her husband as evidence that he's ready to lead the country.
"I can't tell you what will happen over the next four years," she will say. "But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: This man will not fail. This man will not let us down."
Earlier today, aboard a charter flight from Massachusetts to Tampa, Mrs. Romney offered reporters a little preview of her speech, saying that it would be "heartfelt," and talking about the time she's had to put into practicing.
"I've never given a speech like this before, but I'm excited," she said.
But reading off a teleprompter -- something she has rarely done -- isn't her strong suit, Mrs. Romney admitted.
"I don't like it," she said. "It's hard. We'll see how I do."