ANN ROMNEY: THE WORKING WOMEN ARE THE RIGHT HEIGHT
I'm reading the BuzzFeed and Politico stories about a speech Ann Romney gave last night to a Republican group in Connecticut, and, well, I get it. She got two standing ovations. She comes off as human and empathetic. She gives shout-outs to mothers in the workforce (and to stay-at-home dads). She's surviving cancer and MS.
And yet this little Freudian slip is rather, um, Romneyesque:
"My hats off to the men in this room too that are raising kids -- I love that, and I love the fact that there are also women out there that don't have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids," she said. "Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn't easy for any of us."
"I love the fact that there are also women out there that don't have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids"? Really?
Look, I know what she was trying to say, but to me it comes off as "Isn't it wonderful that there are all these poor suffering specimens out there for me to bathe in the glow of my love?"
And there's something off about the clip Politico chose to post:
So many women that I've never met before, and may never see ever again in my life, tell me how much they care for me and how much they're praying for me. And I so appreciate that.
(Tearing up:) And I can't tell you how much I appreciate that, because the days are long, the road is hard, the trials are there, and I never know when -- I have this little gray cloud that's over my head, when it's gonna start raining on me again. And I do need everyone's prayers.
On the one hand: Yes, she's a long-term survivor of two horrible major illnesses. On the other hand: Aren't even voters who approach Ann Romney with an open mind and an inclination to fellow-feeling going to hear some of this and wonder, "What about us?" Because, really, it isn't supposed to be all about her, is it? Even if she has genuinely suffered? And didn't she and her husband choose to run for president? Um, they weren't forced to, were they?
But I don't know if there'll really be any negative response to this, just as I don't if there'll be any negative response to this among voters who aren't already looking at these issues in political or economic terms:
"I know what's like to finish the laundry and to look in the basket five minutes later and it's full again. I know what's like to pull all the groceries in and see the teenagers run through and all of a sudden all the groceries you just bought are gone," Romney said to the crowd. "And I know what's like to get up early in the morning and to get them off to school. And I know what's like to get up in the middle of the night when they're sick. And I know what’s like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have."
What will the swing-voter response to that be? Nods of agreement? Or muttering along the lines of "Yeah, but you don't know what it's like to do all that and then have to go off to a shitty job that doesn't pay enough and has crap benefits"?
UPDATE: Apparently I'm not the only person who had a bad reaction to that Freudian slip.