I thought Ann Romney’s speech started too slow and unsure but the second half was simply terrific and very effective. Christie’s speech, however, I thought was a mild disappointment. It was clearly rushed at the end and felt undisciplined and self-indulgent throughout (it took a very long time to mention the nominee). I loved the themes of Christie’s speech, however, and I think that the Romney campaign wanted different things from these speeches than I was looking for. Both Ann Romney and Christie seemed to be working harder at bolstering the Republican brand than the Mitt brand. Perhaps the target audiences they’re going after need to be seduced into feeling okay to vote Republican before they can be convinced to vote for Romney. That’s a good ambition, it seems to me, and if these speeches worked to that end that’s great. Mildly disappointing those — like me — looking for more red meat is a small price to pay.