With Mitt's In-Laws: Seeing the Man They Know Come Through
Sherrine and Phillip Thomas join neighbors to cheer Mitt Romney on his big night.
Sherrine and Phillip Thomas were doing what grandparents do best, happy to babysit their youngest grandchildren – the nearly four-month-old twin boys – while their daughter and son-in-law took the oldest grand kids to Florida for a couple days.
But the reason for the trip was not a vacation but rather a celebration. And despite being 1,350 miles away, the Thomas' were able to join the nation watching the family in Tampa.
The Thomas' are the in-laws of Greensbrook Way's Tagg Romney, Mitt and Ann's oldest son, who is married to Sherrine and Phillips' daughter, Jennifer.
And last night, the Thomas' saw Tagg's dad deliver the acceptance speech as the Republican Party's nominee for the US Presidency.
Rather then view the speech at their house, neighbors Lalig and John Messarian opened their Greybrich Circle house to the Thomas' and friends to make a party of the big event.
And the night also turned into a night of being proud grandparents.
"Oh, look, there's Allie!" said Sherrine Thomas, pointing out their oldest granddaughter as she come on the stage after the speech, then noting her daughter, in-laws and lots of cousins.
"It's really amazing to have known Mitt and Ann for 20 years, watch how Mitt has built such a great life for himself and his family," said Phillip Thomas, as he watched the Romneys on the big-screen television in the kitchen.
"Most people don't see Mitt around the house, just the genuine person that he is," said his in-law. "He does the dishes, he's very cordial and just very genuine. That is the real Mitt, no pretentiousness at all," said Thomas.
While Belmont has a well-earned reputation for being a community with a large progressive population, at least for this part of Belmont Hill, the GOP was going to party for a man that many know as a neighbor.
"I know that Mitt really, really prepares for these kind of moments. His whole life has been to prepare for just this moment," said Thomas, who lived in San Diego for 15 years before moving to New Jersey and then Belmont five years ago to both become the CEO of a Wakefield-based security and defense company and to live next door to Tagg and Jennifer.
"He will electrify the convention as well as the people at home. He'll come in fully prepared and the speech will be well thought out. He'll do a great job," said Thomas.
Angelo Firenze, the former Selectmen who was known for promoting conservative fiscal principles, said that Romney needs to present to the national audience "the individual that I got to know in my relationship with him which doesn't come through in campaign events. It must be incredibly frustrating."
"In the final analysis, people want to vote for people they like. It's that simple," said Firenze.
For Firenze and those in attendance, Romney did not disappoint, receiving cheers and applause throughout the speech, hitting high notes with the Greybrich Circle viewers when he noted that while President Obama “has promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”
After the speech, Thomas said the nation finally got a view of the man he's known for "now the longest of time."
"He's successful in business and with his family and it is important because that shows that he will likely be a success as president," said Phillip.
"(Mitt) spoke about fixing the economy and that is what people want from the next president," said Sherrine.