“Anyone else find it odd that Mitt’s pollster put out a state-of-the race memo this morning that was almost entirely devoid of polling data?” – David Axelrod
ANN ROMNEY DESERVED better.
But after what happened with Sarah Palin, who made plenty of mistakes on her own in a campaign that began her debut by throwing her into the spotlight unprepared, it seems we’re watching another dismal handling operation of a formidable female who’s being served very poorly by Team Romney.
Ann Romney has turned into the perfect picture of a defensive, angry woman reacting to Team Obama’s campaign against her husband. No happy warrior here.
On the way to Ann Romney “humanizing” Mitt Romney, the conventional political wisdom of what her most important role was for her husband, instead something stark and depressing has unfolded.
Yesterday on Meet the Press was Ann Romney’s worst moment yet for a variety of reasons. Not only was she on the defensive yet again, but in her struggle to make the case for Romney, her monologue sounded not only discordant, but was clearly defensive, as she made a classic amateur mistake in attempting to explain away what she sees as misperceptions of how her husband’s character is being portrayed. Mrs. Romney’s answer came off as one big whine.
Our life has always been devoted to those that are struggling more than we are and I was grateful for the opportunity that we had at the convention for others to speak up and talk about the kind of lives we’ve led– we’ve led. And in particular for Mitt who really has been demonized in many ways as being heartless. – Ann Romney
For people who believe in golden parachutes over pensions, I’m sure this sounds very reasonable. If you’re a middle class or working class family it just sounds sour.
No taxes, no transparency on policy, no sale.
Transcript From Mrs. Romney in the Meet the Press interview:
MS. ROMNEY: Well, I think the– the thing that I want to communicate to people, and that it’s so important that people understand, is that Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives. But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in– in different things in life. And one thing that I– that I again like to remind people is that multiple sclerosis has been my teacher. It has been at times a cruel teacher. But it has also been a great gift in my life because what it has done it has taught me to be more compassionate and caring for others that are suffering. And I know that people are suffering right now. And for people to think that we don’t have empathy just because we’re not suffering like they’re suffering is– is ridiculous. It’s– it’s ridiculous to think that you can’t have empathy for somebody that’s struggling.
Our life has always been devoted to those that are struggling more than we are and I was grateful for the opportunity that we had at the convention for others to speak up and talk about the kind of lives we’ve led– we’ve led. And in particular for Mitt who really has been demonized in many ways as being heartless. And for people to stand up and say, excuse me, he was there when my son was dying of leukemia. He came to my son’s bedside. He did all of these things for my son. And then another woman saying how Mitt was there for her. So there’re hundreds of those stories that haven’t been told. And it was refreshing to me for the American people to finally be able to see the lens through which I see my husband and the perspective in which I understand how he operates.
Now, very few people who write about politics look at the style of the women married to the men running for president. It is, however, a signature element of their persona, especially given the continued role of first ladies as supporters, not women working in a career outside her husband’s profession.
Throughout this piece you see the shifting styles of Ann Romney, as well as Michelle Obama just last week at the DNC. Nothing has been as obvious as Ann Romney’s style shift on Meet the Press on Sunday. Opting for glamour makeup, which she can easily pull off, Ann Romney also ditched the baggy matronly attire for tighter pants as well as a shirt opened up, with a t-shirt of some sort underneath.
When you look at the style factor of First Lady Michelle Obama’s dress during the Democratic National Convention, the shift immediately by Ann Romney to move to glamour makeup and a more sleek style that shows off her figure, seems like another reaction to the Obama campaign, this time their total confidence to let Michelle be Michelle, a woman who has always set her own style regardless of the negative reviews she’s gotten, which has been intense at times.
Being authentic isn’t hard, unless you’re being managed by a team trying to craft an image that requires manipulation, because it doesn’t resonate with the truth.
This is the entire Mitt Romney campaign problem from top to bottom. They’re even managing to ruin Paul Ryan’s brand by sandwiching him in between a botched Sister Soljah moment by Mitt Romney on sequestration. It’s all so hapless.
The style, clothing and makeup edition of how Michelle ad Ann are being pictured in a campaign that is courting women hard is certainly not as important as the substance of what Michelle Obama and Ann Romney bring to the race in issues and outreach.
The continual reactions by Team Romney reveals a campaign whose efforts to make Romney into a regular guy appear tortured at a time their messaging is planned to reveal nothing of substance as they try to get along on sheer marketing.
Another problem comes when you compare the speeches of Mrs. Obama to Mrs. Romney (see videos below). The first was an opened-hearted appeal to voters to give Barack Obama a chance, as she revealed her deep love for the man that was a deeply personal account in a convention that sold Obama-Biden hard. Team Romney had Ann Romney squealing “We love women!”, which was one of the oddest moments in a well delivered speech that was totally forgettable, made moreso by First Lady Michelle Obama’s tour de force performance.
That the Republican convention was filled with auditions for 2016, but didn’t do anything to move the meter much on Mitt Romney’s case for becoming president, as Clint Eastwood stole the buzz, was yet another blown moment for Team Mitt. This has become the norm and is further evidence of Romney’s ineffectual campaign team and the continuing struggles this late to get a grip on an election that the economy has set up for Republicans to win.
At this rate, the chances of President Obama pulling away from his challenger, because the basic details of running a campaign seem too much for Team Romney to handle, is becoming an increasing possibility.