Having formally nominated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to face off against President Obama in November, delegates at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday turned their attention to the more important items on their agenda: selling their party and their nominee to the general public.
The latter job will be entrusted to Romney's wife Ann, whom the campaign has relied upon increasingly to humanize the guarded candidate and provide a window into his personality. As for selling the party, that will fall mainly to the Republican "reform" governors who will take the podium. The lineup includes Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Ohio's John Kasich, both of whom championed efforts to roll back public-employee bargaining rights, cut spending and lower taxes; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a tea-party darling who evidently isn't as popular with that crowd as she used to be; and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the party's platform committee.
But the governor getting the highest-wattage spotlight, metaphorically speaking, will be New Jersey's Chris Christie, whose name once graced many Republicans' short list for president. The sharp-tongued Christie isn't expected to make the case for Romney as much as he is to press the one against Obama, devoting much of his time on stage to cataloguing the president's failures. But he also represents the GOP vanguard on education reform, an issue that Romney has embraced.