The night after her father addressed the Republican National Convention, Jeanine McDonnell delivered her own brief, roughly 2-minute speech before her largest audience.
She introduced herself as an Iraq War veteran who is “proud to be one of the 212,000 servicewomen who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.”
Just before Sen. John McCain took the stage, McDonnell, 31, the governor’s oldest daughter, appeared on stage with Chris Devlin-Young, a former Coast Guardsman and gold medal winner in the Paralympics.
McDonnell said that as a 24-year-old in Iraq, “I worked with some of the most courageous men and women this nation has to offer and we were united in a singular cause: to protect the nation that we loved.”
“Defending this nation and its citizens is not without sacrifice for service members and the families that support them,” she said, adding that is why “we need leaders who don’t play chicken with our nation’s defense.”
In an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch before her speech, McDonnell said she found out she would speak at the convention on the day that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.
She said she was excited about the opportunity and that yes — she asked her dad for some pointers.
“I’ve been asking my dad for advice for 31 years,” she said, “that’ll never stop.”