Romney beats Christie

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

The national launch of Chris Christie's presidential campaign got swamped in Tampa on Tuesday by a hurricane named Ann.

To use one of the overused phrases in Christie's convention keynoter, the "hard truth" is that Mrs. Romney's fresh air was a tough act for the New Jersey governor's familiar bluster to follow.

She seemed down-to-earth, engaging, and believable; he looked like he was trying too hard. Chris wanted to rock, but Ann ruled.

The governor made a bombastic entrance after a campaign commercial (his, not Mitt's) that set the tone of his too-long speech: Platitudinous self-aggrandizement wrapped up in supposedly authentic Jersey drag. 

To be sure, Mrs. Romney had a few awkward moments and more than a few platitudes. She didn't really tell us much we haven't already heard about her husband, either. And her script worked a bit too strenuously to repair the damage some boorish/clueless male Republicans have done to her party's standing among women.

But Ann Romney utterly upstaged Chris Christie -- the man who once suggested that journalists  "take a bat out" on one of his female political opponents.