IMAGINE IF MICHELLE OBAMA HAD SAID THAT
Mitt Romney appeared at a fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida, last night, and laid out a few budget ideas he might pursue as president (lowering rates while cutting second-home deductions for high earners, eliminating the deductibility of state and local income taxes, etc.). It still doesn't explain how he'd get the debt and deficit down, but it allows him to garner a few good "Romney gets specific" headlines.
But I wanted to make note of this:
Romney's wife Ann also spoke briefly, where she described her role in a controversy over women in the workplace and Republicans' efforts to make inroads with female voters.
Mrs. Romney acknowledged Republicans' deficit at present with female voters, and urged the women in attendance to talk to their friends, particularly about the economy. She also discussed the criticism she faced this week, and her pride in her role as a mother.
"It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," Mrs. Romney said.
Now, I haven't really followed Ann Romney that much. I thought she might be as genial and above-the-fray as her reputation suggests she is. I thought perhaps she simply wasn't the type to engage in this sort of nasty hauteur, a la Barbara Bush. But there it is.
Now, imagine if Michelle Obama had been insulted and responded with this sort of trash talk, even worded in this iron-fist-in-velvet-glove way. Imagine if she'd said she relished a fight. Instantly she'd be the "angry black woman" -- and also the angry imperious woman. (There's nothing more outrageous than being black and imperious.) I don't even want to think about the imagery that would be used in the more unsavory corners of the Internet and talk radio. I'm sure she'd be Photoshopped into various National Geographic-style photos, often wielding a spear (or a bone).
If you're a well-coiffed blond society matron, saying what Ann Romney said makes you feisty. Michelle Obama wouldn't have that privilege.