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Ann Romney's GOP convention night dress -- no decision yet

August 28, 2012|By Maeve Reston
  • Ann Romney passes out Welsh cakes to reporters during Tuesday morning's flight to the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.
Ann Romney passes out Welsh cakes to reporters during Tuesday morning's… (Maeve Reston / Los Angeles…)

ABOARD THE ROMNEY PLANE — Ann Romney’s speech is set, but the would-be first lady admitted that she’s still deciding on the dress for her debut Tuesday evening at the Republican National Convention.

During Tuesday morning’s flight from Bedford, Mass., to Tampa, Fla., with her husband, Romney made an appearance at the back of the plane to pass out her now famous Welsh cakes — a recipe from her Welsh grandmother — to reporters, aides and members of the crew. While working on her speech at the family’s vacation retreat in Lake Winnipesaukee over the past few days, Romney joked that after she and chief strategist Stuart Stevens reduced her speech to “a tweet,” she decided she was “so excited to be home” that she did what “I love to do, which is bake.”

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“I’ve never given a speech like this before, but I’m excited,” she told reporters. “But I haven’t decided; the verdict is still out on what I’m going to wear -- which is amazing,” she said. One worrisome sign: She said Stevens, who she noted “wears his shirts inside-out,” was giving her advice on what dress she should wear.

“I didn’t realize that Stuart had to weigh in on this -- or my husband. It was going to be like my wedding night; I wasn’t going to let him know what I was going to wear. But now they have opinions,” Romney said. After this reporter advised that she ignore Stevens’ advice on her wardrobe, Romney said she was considering previewing the dress options for the female reporters on the Romney plane — who often outnumber the men — “because, frankly, I trust you guys’ opinion more than Stuart’s.”

Romney said it was going to be fun to have her husband in Tampa for the speech, which the campaign hopes will show the compassionate side of the former Massachusetts governor.

“I think you will see that my speech is heartfelt,” she said. While preparing, she said felt it was “going to be pretty tough to actually write a speech that I feel like I can actually give, and so I had a lot of input in this, I must say,” she said. “And a lot of tweaking where I felt like I was getting what I really wanted to say from my heart.”

For those watching at home, she said she hoped to convey “how important this election’s going to be and how important it’s going to be for them to consider the right things to make their right decisions.”

One major hurdle is the teleprompter, which she said she had never used before.

“I think a lot of you have been covering me long enough and you know I've never gone off a written text. So this is a unique experience for me to actually have something written .… No one has ever written a speech for me .… I've never given anything off a sheet.”

And as for the teleprompter: “I don't like it,” she admitted. “It's hard. We'll see how I do.”

And with that, Romney tried to clear the aisle, which was filled was filled with photographers and reporters clutching recorders.

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“I think that’s it, guys,” she said, after her five-minute impromptu press scrum. “I’m just going to pass out the Welsh cakes now.”

Romney follows her grandmother’s recipe for the cakes, which are small round biscuit-like cakes about three-eighths of an inch thick with currants and a dusting of sugar on all sides.  

In January, The Telegraph in the U.K. reported that the cakes are made on a pancake grill and that the recipe includes butter, an egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and a little bit of salt.

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maeve.reston@latimes.com

Twitter: @maevereston

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