Romney beats Christie

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.