Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tampa: Ann Romney: A love story

We come to one of the two main events. Ann Romney, wife of the Republican nominee, speaks, in glowing terms about her husband. “Tonight, I want to talk to you about love.” We’ve been led to believe Ann Romney will conjure soothing images of Mitt as accessible pipe & slippers family man, less Thurston Howell, more Ozzie Nelson or Ward Cleaver.

But first, let us now praise anonymous women. Ann champions women everywhere in what’s likely to be a pivotal year for their place at the ballot boxes on Nov. 6. “You are the best of America, you are the hope of America ... tonight we salute you and sing your praises.”

She may protesteth too much: “The last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It's all the little things — the price at the pump you just can't believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger ...”

And what would she really know about any of those things today?

Ann Romney offers what’s essentially a filmstrip tour of her life with Mitt — their early time together as young marrieds in a basement apartment — Ann as a young mother, all thumbs at first — Mitt chasing a law and business degree at the same time. In Ann’s rhetorical hands, Mitt comes off like Horatio Alger.

Theirs is no “storybook” marriage: Personal challenges for Ann Romney included breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, trials that the candidate endured alongside his wife with patience and commitment. Theirs truly is a love story.

Her ads for Mitt unabashed: Candidate is “warm, loving and patient.” “No one will work harder, no one will care more, and no one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this a better place to live ...”

“This, man, will, not, fail,” she says. But for many people — including women rightly concerned about the Romney agenda vis-à-vis women’s reproductive rights — that pledge is a worrying thing.

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