Call it the In-Before-Iowa box

August 28, 2012

There's a special box with two rows of seats just steps up from the convention floor, draped in blue velvet with red velvet trim, and on Tuesday night the special guests all have one thing in common: they backed Mitt Romney before Mitt Romney was cool.

Joining Romney's sons, Matt and Craig, were a handful of early Romney endorsers: former senator Norm Coleman (Minn.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Rep. Aaron Schock (Ill.), Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) as well as the husband of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

The group all stood to applaud former Senator Rick Santorun (Pa.) when he mentioned the right to life.

After Santorum's speech, as the clock ticket toward Ann Romney's address, many of the other guests left the box. The three other Romney sons -- Tagg, Josh and Ben -- arrived with their wives, as did former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and his wife, Mary.

And one more friend of Mitt arrived: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She sat down and chatted with Haley's husband to her right and Tagg Romney's wife, Jen, to her left.

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Rosalind S. Helderman | August 28, 2012