Of all the speeches at the first full night of the Republican National Convention, three stood out. And their common theme was love — or in one case, antipathy towards it.

Mia Love is the Haitian-American Mormon running for Congress in Utah. If elected she would be the first black woman to go to Capitol Hill under the Republican banner. Love’s speech to the party faithful was a crisp recitation of her biography with plenty of sharp elbows for President Obama. Mark my words, if Love wins, she’s going places.

Ann Romney came to the stage radiant in a red dress. An outfit befitting a woman who told the assembled “I want to talk to you about love.” The former first lady of Massachusetts used her time to talk about the man she met at a high school dance and fell in love with. The same man who had trouble working the same magic on fellow Republicans and who is still having a time of it doing the same with potential American voters.

But leave it to Chris Christie to dispense with all the mushy talk about love.

[T]he greatest lesson that mom ever taught me though was this one. She told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. Now she said to always pick being respected. She told me that love without respect was always fleeting, but that respect could grow into real and lasting love....

You see, I believe we have become paralyzed, paralyzed by our desire to be loved....

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down and work together to take action on the big things facing America. Tonight, we will do what my mother taught me. Tonight, we are going to choose respect over love.

With that, Christie destroyed the entire foundation of Ann Romney’s address. Like a bull in a china shop, the Garden State governor tore through his remarks with his trademark unsmiling combativeness. And, you know what? The delegates loved it.