Collage of Ann and Mitt at the 2012 Republican National Convention
Ann is a mixture of the exalted female, the hen-pecking wife (at a public, national convention!), an over-emotional presenter, the overwhelming wife ready to hug some sense into her husband, and the demure and pretty housewife.
Mitt isn't any better. Clutching at his wife in a prolonged hug is embarrassing for a world leader, and he seems to have a slightly apprehensive (frighted) look when next to his wife, as though he doesn't know what she'll do next. Holding hands has now become standard for politicians and their wives, but this is again a degradation of a public political event, where husbands clutch at their wives' hands at any occasion.
I liked Ann Romney at her first appearances. She looked pretty and reserved, and seemed to let her husband lead. I'm sure they had private discussions about his leadership (in business and in politics), but I didn't think she was the type of spouse who would take a prominent role in his work. I defended her in this post where nasty bloggers were tearing apart a shirt she wore for a CBS This Morning interview with her husband. I said that she looked supportive of her husband, and was wearing a silk shirt with the design of the American naturalist and painter James Aududon. But, I should have read the signs even then, where Ann is clutching at Mitt Romney, who looks a little overwhelmed by his wife in this photo from that interview.
interview in May 2012
I didn't watch her speech at the Republican National Convention last night, but I read the transcript this morning.
It is a painful jumble of many things. She comes off as a loving wife, yet her love she declares is better suited for their private interaction, rather than a public avowal at a political event (and for political gains).
I have broken down the speech and into these categories:
- "Soppy" love, better suited for private interaction
- A leftist comradeship with her "brothers and sisters" inclusion
- An aggressive feminist on single fathers, working mothers, and "stay-at-home moms" who wish to leave their homes and start their careers
- Sympathizing with the "career-house-keeper" mom, who generally chooses to have such a chaotic family life, and berating Romney by extension as a lounging dad, who doesn't help with household chores
- Demeaning her husband when they first started to go out, and yet disappointed that he didn't act "like a man"
Below are some direct quotes from her speech, and I have written short commentary on the quotes in bold:
- "Tonight I want to talk to you about love." Soppy love
- "Tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts." Soppy love
- "I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man." Soppy personal (private) love which doesn't need to be publicized
- "love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters" A leftist comradeship
- "the single dad who’s working extra hours tonight" An aggressive feminist outlook with sympathy for broken families. And how many single dads are there really out there?)
- "working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less." Again, an aggressive feminist outlook. Ann Romney stayed home to take care of her kids. So her secret dream was to have a job and a career?!
- "if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America. And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men." All these over-worked women, who love their jobs, and can't quit to take care of their families, feeling sorry for themselves!
- "It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right." Again, overworked (home and office) saintly career women/mother
-"You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done." Yes, again the overworked mother who is the one who helps with the kids' homework, while the husband lounges around.
- "I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy." Ditto as above
- "he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous -- girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated" Yes, anything for the female power
- "I know this good and decent man for what he is — warm and loving and patient."
This is not what political conventions are about, to say what a lovely person the competitor is. This is about competition, and this kind of "niceness" doesn't cut it.
- "He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance." Ditto as above, plus back to her personal story, which cannot be extrapolated into political life
- "As a mom of five boys" Back to the "female power" again and the power of being a mom!
-He built it. An aggressive jab at Obama