Mitt Romney, whose life so far has epitomized the American Dream — in spades — experienced a triumph that fewer than 100 other Americans have enjoyed when he accepted the Republican Party's nomination to become president of the United States.
Romney recalled the "fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president" four years ago and said that President Obama's "promises gave way to disappointment and division."
"The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness," Romney said. "If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future."
In what is likely the most important speech of his campaign, he called on fellow Americans to make an important decision at the polls in November.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," he said. "But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something."
For much of his White House bid, the former Massachusetts governor appeared uncomfortable in his own skin and has avoided talking about himself in personal terms. He's left that to wife Ann, whose job it has been to humanize the man who famously said that corporations are people, too. Since teaming up with running mate Paul Ryan, he has seemed much more at ease, but still has work to do to put the American public at ease with the idea of four years of him on their television screens.
Romney also has been curiously vague about his policy prescriptions for the economy and other issues on which he has persistently argued that Obama has failed to lead. It is not enough to hammer his belief that the president hasn't done enough. Voters want to hear a plan.
Getting to the nomination has forced Romney to lurch from moderate to "severely conservative" to win support for his nomination from the Republican Party's extreme right wing. But, in doing so, he may have sacrificed some of his credibility, leading pundits and even other politicians to question whether he has a core. His acceptance speech offered an opportunity for Romney to show Americans what he really believes in and erase an unflattering Etch-A-Sketch rap.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)