Mitt Romney’s Secret Weapon In Election Is: His Wife Ann?
Some on the right view Ann Romney, Mitt Romney‘s wife of 43 years, as the presidential hopeful’s secret weapon in his campaign. Mittens can be plenty awkward, and some things he says fall pretty flat, but Ann’s warmth and humor sometimes help Mitt come across as “less corporate and more human.”
In an interview with USA Today, Ann Romney proved she was Mitt’s “better half” and talked about her own life. The interview is hardly a campaign speech in favor of her husband, but it does help round out the de facto Republican nominee. She talks about her own life, particularly her 14-year struggle with multiple sclerosis, and how the experience shaped her. “It’s really chiseled and shaped me, almost like a wine press would, or an olive press,” she said.
She details her struggle with the illness, and how it has sometimes affected her husband’s presidential ambitions. Recalling his primary loss four years ago, she told him that she didn’t want to go through the difficulties of a presidential campaign again. “He kind of paused and looked at me,” she recalls. “And then he goes, ‘That’s what you said after every pregnancy.’ ”
“This is an economic crisis that we’re facing,” she says now. “Mitt brings unique skills, especially economic advantages, having rescued companies, having turned companies around, having been a governor. All those things have been terrific, just to be prepared from Day One to really take charge.”
She feels more up tot he challenge now, saying, “I feel tougher,” also noting that she won’t let criticism get to her now, “You’ve got to learn how to stand up for yourself and you learn to be a little defiant about some things.” Things like Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen’s dismissal of Romney’s efforts to cultivate the support of female voters for her husband back in April, saying the stay-at-home mom had “actually never worked a day in her life.” Rosen later apologized, with Ann Romney responding, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” via Twitter.
“My challenges aren’t financial, and I’ll give that to anybody,” she said in the interview. “I do not have financial challenges, but I do have challenges, and all of us have challenges in life. For me, having this kind of serious health challenge has made me more compassionate, more understanding of those who are struggling.”
“MS was my teacher and there were hard lessons that I learned from that tough teacher,” Romney said. “I learned that we don’t escape this life without a little bit of tragedy and chaos and difficulty.”
Though humanizing Ann Romney may bolster the presidential hopeful’s chances of success, some in media circles still aren’t buying it. “Sickeningly glowing piece on this woman who has never earned a penny in her life from working, who has lived a life almost unimaginably privileged, who has really suffered no great tragedy such as losing a child. Yes, she has MS and I’m not saying that that can’t be a challenge but this woman can in no way relate to those who suffer an illness with no financial resources,” wrote a poster on the Democratic Underground of the article.
What do you think of Ann Romney? Humanizing aspect of the Republican campaign or does she further alienate bases Romney has no traction in?