Janna Ryan makes debut along Ann Romney at warm, fuzzy Republican women's breakfast


Ann Romney at a breakfast event Wednesday morning. See more Republican National Convention photos on The Grid. (Instagram / @costa909 with permission)

“Life is coming at me right now like a fire hose,” she told a couple hundred adoring fans at the Women for Romney gathering. Glowing in pink and pearls, the new first lady of the GOP performed all the key soften-up-the-candidate’s-image duties — sharing baby pics and home movies, and introducing the ladies of Team Romney.

“I’m married to the cutest one,” said daughter-in-law Jen Romney, wife of Josh.

“One thing I really love about Ann,” said Andelyne Romney, wife of Ben, “is that she’s really a modern feminist —kind of a 21st-century woman. She is so comfortable in her own skin.”

The breakfast was also a debut of sorts for Janna Ryan, who emerged hand-in-hand with Ann Romney. The transition from obscure congressional wife to National Ticket Spouse isn’t easy: The former tax attorney smiled a lot in her short remarks but stumbled over a few words and looked slightly overwhelmed.


Janna Ryan at another event in Tampa Wednesday. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Mitt showed up via video (“The truth is, I don’t even think I was invited to this party.”) But it was Ann Romney who was center stage at the breakfast, attended by VIPs including Cindy McCain, Meg Whitman, Janine Turner, Anita McBride and Catherine Reynolds. Mary Hart, the former “Entertainment Tonight” host-turned-GOP emcee, hailed her as “a rock star now. She is a rock for others — most importantly, for her husband.”

Romney, who used a teleprompter for the first time Tuesday night, spoke for 20 minutes without notes Wednesday morning, an expanded take on her floor speech. On life as a young mom with five rowdy boys: “Oh, my gosh, they fought all the time.” On her battles against multiple sclerosis and breast cancer: “It was wonderful to have a husband that stood by my side, reminding me that what’s most important in life is our love.”

After his brutal primary loss four years ago, Romney said, she warned her husband, “I’m never doing that again.” His response: “You know, you say that after every pregnancy.”

7 p.m. This post has been updated

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