Like an insistently friendly sorority house mother trying to convince a freshman from old money to pledge her house, Ann Romney has hit the campaign trail on behalf of her husband. Unlike her husband, people seem to actually like her. And, in yet another complete miscalculation of how women think or vote, this has some strategists hopeful that she is the key to convincing women to vote for Mitt Romney.
Ann Romney's spent most of the Romneys' 43-year marriage staying at home and raising the couple's five sons and driving some Cadillacs around. But, according to Politico, on the campaign trail, her role has been much more business, especially as Mitt has spent much of the primary season acting like a robot programmed by a five-year-old to act how the five-year-old thinks mean rich people act. Big crowds have been showing up to see her speak from Alabama to Wisconsin, and at a recent campaign event, more people seemed interested in meeting her than in meeting the guy who was running for President.
This has Republican operatives enthusiastic about her future role in the campaign, hopeful that her presence can help convince women that Mitt Romney isn't an out-of-touch jerk who will blithely offer to take away their rights in an attempt to pander to conservatives. But Ann's campaign speeches have been far from the meaty policy pieces you'd expect from someone hoping to convince an entire bloc of voters why they should vote for a candidate. They're mostly stories about how Mitt is totally a nice, cool guy who Ann loves very much. And their marriage is famously strong — the two are inseparable besties. Mitt stuck with her during her breast cancer and MS diagnoses, and reportedly shuts down a little when she's not around. During a recent TV interview, she said, "I wish more people knew him. … Women voters in particular would vote for him if they knew him like I know him."
Yes, if only we were all married to Mitt Romney. Then maybe we'd vote for him.
The Romneys' relationship sounds sweet and loving, and Ann Romney seems like a nice enough lady, and her unRomneylike ability to speak without making an ass of herself certainly can't hurt the Romney campaign. But the fact that some Republicans seem to hope that her presence will lock down the ladyvote is a testament to a profound inability to understand or connect with women. We saw it in 2008 when some speculated that Sarah Palin would attract disenfranchised Hillary Clinton voters, completely ignoring the fact that the only thing Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin had in common was their gender. We're seeing it now with irrational Ann Romney exuberance. Women are not stupid, and they're certainly capable of understanding that being a good husband and father is not the same as being a good President. No matter how romantic Mitt Romney was on his last anniversary, he's still the guy who wants to defund Planned Parenthood and says he supports a "personhood" amendment that would all abortion and many forms of birth control.
Quixotic Romney voters must also face the reality that Ann Romney, for as likable and popular as she is, will still face a powerful lady counterpunch from the Democratic side — Michelle Obama.
The Romney Democrats Fear Most [Politico]