By Robert Costa –
Tampa, Fla. — He may be a YouTube sensation, best known for arguing with lefty hecklers, but Governor Chris Christie’s keynote speech late Tuesday was a temperate oration, forceful yet muted.
“Frankly, that is the Chris Christie I know,” says Pennsylvania congressman Pat Meehan, a former United States attorney who has been friends with the New Jersey governor for years. “The attack-dog part is what the media covers, but he has been a positive, forward-thinking, aggressive guy since the first time I met him.”
In front of a raucous crowd of delegates and conservative activists, Christie weaved personal anecdotes, including a moving tribute to his mother’s inspiration, with thoughts about his experience in the Garden State, where he has brokered bipartisan legislative reforms. Since Ann Romney spoke earlier Monday, one GOP official says it was critical to stay close to the night’s warm but serious theme.