Ann Romney left to loving applause hand-in-hand with her sweetheart Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention Tuesday as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took the stage preaching a different message: "respect over love."
The juxtaposition of good cop, bad cop wasn't lost on the critics.
But the full house at the Tampa Bay Times Forum responded to both narratives with open arms, enthusiatic cheers and numerous standing ovations.
Chris Christie Images: © Harry E. Walker/Mct/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)
For every endearing personal story about the man Ann Romney knows as her high school sweetheart, husband, father to her five sons and life partner, Christie preached the value of hard work, stern leadership and getting tough to solve the nation's problems.
The pressure to fit a full day of scrapped Monday speeches into the remaining three days meant Ann Romney would not have a day to herself to humanize her husband.
Despite the mash up, the Romney for President War Room resisted sliding Ann to an earlier time slot or making the back-to-back speeches flow easier by toning down Christie's strong medicine.
Case in point: heart vs head.
"Tonight I want to talk to you about love," Ann Romney said. "I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.
"I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it -- the love we have for our children and our children's children.
And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done."
Moments later, the same audience caught fire from Christie's vision of America:
"Tonight, we are doing what's necessary to make America great again," he said, to thunderous applause. "Tonight, we're going to do what my mother taught me: we're going to choose respect over love.
"We are not afraid. We are taking our country back...
"We are the United States of America.
"Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.
We cannot afford to do anything less."
As two parents heading the Republican Party family, we can tell which one will let us sneak a little dessert even if we don't clean our plates.
A little heart mixed in with tough love might just be what the nation will want on November 6.
Follow BlogHer Contributing Editor Erica Holloway @erica_holloway.
More from entertainment