You’ll usually find the Leffler Chapel and Performing Arts Center filled with the sounds of an academic lecture or classical music, but that certainly wasn’t the case on Monday, Oct. 15, when Ann Romney came to speak at a Victory Rally on her husband, presidential GOP candidate, Mitt Romney’s, behalf. The “Women for Mitt” Rally was packed with community members and local press alike, all present to hear Ann Romney and local politicians such as Attorney General candidate David Freed, U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith, Congressman Charlie Dent and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, speak about the upcoming election.
The event was opened by the Chester County Sheriff, Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh and famed country singer Jett Williams (daughter of the late Hank Williams, a famous country musician himself). Welsh and Williams expressed their support for the Romney campaign and Williams rallied for the crowd’s agreement that Romney was the most attractive candidate. She followed the notion by singing her father’s popular song from the early 1950’s, “Hey Good Lookin.” Country music has become a staple for the Romney campaign, as many country stars are backing the GOP candidate. During intermissions at the Rally, country songs like Rodney Atkins’ “It’s America,” Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” and Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” were blaring along with staples such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
Governor Tom Corbett spoke about the importance of participation in the upcoming election. “If you’ve been listening to the debates and campaigns, you can see that there couldn’t be a bigger difference between these two candidates … We need to turn out to vote,” said Corbett. He also spoke about alternative forms of energy and how they are essential to the future of expanding the economy, saying that “energy equals jobs.” As someone familiar with the area, Corbett stated that the Republican members of the community are “the keystone” of this presidential election, that their support is vital to the Romney campaign. Corbett also mentioned his connection with Lebanon Valley College.
“You’re not going to take it against me that I’m from Lebanon Valley, right?” he joked, referring to Etown students. “There’s a great rivalry between these colleges.”
Corbett spoke about the importance of his own first lady, Sue Corbett, before introducing Ann Romney.
“As a first lady, she is the first advisor, the one who whispers in your ear and keeps you grounded,” Corbett said. “No one has my state’s interest at heart more than she does.”
As Ann Romney took the stage, she was surrounded by supportive signs such as “Pennsylvania Loves Ann” on the floor of the stage, and the rally’s slogan, “Women for Mitt” in the background. Romney spoke about the election, describing her experiences over the past two times that Mitt Romney has run for the presidency as “an amazing adventure” and that she “knows what the campaign and politics are like” for a family.” Her love and admiration for her husband and five sons is adamant.
She spoke about her sons and their families, praising each of them for supporting their father on the campaign trail. “I can’t keep track of my five boys on the campaign trail,” Romney joked. “They’re probably in Ohio or Florida. Maybe Wisconsin. I’ll Google it later.”
Romney also spoke about her family’s history in Wales, England, particularly her grandfather’s history as a coal miner.
“And look where his granddaughter is now,” she said, speaking about the potential for all generations of Americans. “This country has so much promise,” said Romney. “It needs to be a promise to our children.”
Education is important to Romney and, according to her, her husband’s campaign. She relayed stories about Mitt Romney’s past experiences with children, particularly a story about one boy with cancer and his wish for fireworks, that Mitt granted.
“This is a man who cares,” said Romney. “Mitt’s running because he believes in America.”
Romney talked about public appearances, raving about her husband’s performance in the last presidential debate. She stated that over 70 million Americans got to see Mitt “unfiltered.”
“It was just Mitt,” Romney said. “They saw a man ready and prepared to lead this country.”
Romney ended her speech by saying that her entire family would come together again for the next presidential debate on Oct. 16, and that all that attended the rally should look for them. When asked where Mitt Romney was, she said that he was “at home, preparing and studying hard” for the debate.