TAMPA -- Ann Romney will tell Republican National Convention delegates on Tuesday night that her husband, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, will "lift up America" in an emotional speech that campaign strategists hope will go far to show voters a more personal side of the candidate.
According to excerpts of the speech released to the press in advance, Ann Romney will tell voters, "Tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts. I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family ... Tonight I want to talk to you about love."
Ann Romney will go on to discuss her husband's upbringing and the couple's often reported "love story," which began when they started dating as teenagers.
Campaign advisers told reporters this week that the speech will last approximately 30 minutes. On Monday, Mrs. Romney admitted it will be her first time using a teleprompter for a major address. She said she has been practicing for weeks, and that she hopes the speech will convey to voters "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."
But it won't all be warm and fuzzy. Romney, who is one of her husband's most effective advocates, will address her multiple sclerosis diagnosis and her 2008 treatment for breast cancer.
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,'” she will say. "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."
It's lines like these, lines which offer voters a peek into the personal life of the highly private Mitt Romney, that Ann Romney delivers so well. And it's this honest, familiar tone that campaign organizers hope will make her unequivocal endorsement of her husband especially effective.
"This is the man America needs," Romney will say.
"This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard."
Viewers watching at home can expect thunderous applause to build up to a crescendo of "This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America!"
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