The Struggles of Ann Romney

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Mittens, Women's Issues

Desperate to distract the nation from the fact that their presidential candidate is an upper-crust twit with less personality than Saran Wrap, righties have seized upon an alleged insult to womanhood on the part of a Democratic operative and are struggling mightily to make a controversy out of it.

Good luck with that, chumps.

Mittens, you might recall, has been trying to pass as a friend to women by telling the world he is married to one. And Mrs. Mittens tells him what women really are concerned about, which is the economy, and not all that stuff about their lady parts.

So a guest on CNN named Hilary Rosen called bullshit.

“What you have is, Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what: his wife has never really worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kind of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

Mrs. Mittens took to twitter to let the world know that she was a stay-at-home mom with five boys, which means she worked plenty. After all, she’s also got three mansions to manage, plus all those swimming pools and stables to clean. Shoveling out the stables alone must be a full-time job. I can’t imagine how she does it. (/snark)

Exactly what Hilary Rosen’s connection is to the Democratic Party, or consulting, is a bit murky. But never fear; now that she’s a target, a large part of the rightie blogosphere is busy playing Six Degrees of the White House and finding all the many ways she must be a BFF of the first family.

Plus, OMG, she’s a lesbian who has raised children with two mommies! Just watch; she’s about to become the new Ward Churchill.

The Right is trying to make Rosen out to be an enemy of stay-at-home moms and not, in fact, a woman who has walked the walk, so to speak, which privileged and protected Ann Romney has not. But Mrs. Mittens got on Fox News to tell us that she has struggled, oh lawsy sakes, you do not know how she has struggled …

Ann Romney on Fox News Thursday morning said, “I know what it’s like to struggle.” She admitted that she may not have struggled financially as much as others in the U.S. “I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling,” Ann Romney said. “We care about those people that are struggling.”

Seriously. I bet for Christmas she gives lovely fruit baskets to all the hired help, too.

I’m not saying the rich are immune from suffering. They have sorrows and sickness and losses and fears like the rest of us. Ann Romney has been diagnosed with MS and breast cancer, which can’t have been easy. But … struggling? Give me a break. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

And with her health conditions, in the U.S. if she weren’t wealthy she’d be dead. That’s a sad fact.

The famous perpetual rivalry between career moms and stay-at-home moms is mostly limited to the 1 percent these days, since most women with children don’t have the luxury of choosing to stay home. This is a point obviously lost on the Mittens family, though.

Republicans tried to make hay with stay-at-home moms back in 1992, when Marilyn Quayle addressed the Republican National Convention and proudly let the world know that she gave up her law practice when she had children, unlike that harridan Hillary Clinton, because of her superior values. The fact that her husband was wealthy and the family didn’t need her income had nothing to do with it.

Moneyed Republican women didn’t get it then, and it appears they don’t get it now.

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30 Comments

  1. The Bobs  •  Apr 12, 2012 @4:17 pm

    Someone should just ask Ann if she can remember the last time she scrubbed a toilet, if ever. This question would no doubt result in a long pause before the bullshit response.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 12, 2012 @5:33 pm

    Oh, Ann knows hard work, and tough decisions!
    You betcha!!!

    My guess is that if the 5 boys didn’t have their own nannies – like Mary Poppins, and their own maids – like Hazel (minus the NY accent), then they had at least one Mr. French-type butler/jack-of-all-trades. If not one each, the at least one for the five of them.
    And poor Ann – it took hard work interviewing “The Help” – reading their recommendations, and checking and cross-checking them.
    Ok – someone else went through all that. But it’s not as if she could trust her secretary to make the final decision! NO! SHE had to make it. That decision was hers alone! With Mitt’s input, of course, I’m sure.

    I’m sure Ann had some very,, very tough decisions to make, like what color riding-outfit to wear with what color dressage horse while riding?
    And what the chef should make for dinner?
    And what, oh what, to wear to that evenings soiree? Which color and style Balanciaga, which Chanel, which Cardin? And then, what was the appropriate jewelry to wear with the outfit. And the SHOES! Oh, decisions!!!

    And nothing teaches a woman what teenage and young women want and need, and their trials and tribulations, more that “raising” 5 sons like Ben, Craig, Josh, Matt, & Tagg. Why, having a boy with more than one syllable might have made it tougher to get good, cheap, help – so keep it to one syllable, and keep it simple.

    Ann Romney grew-up in a very well-off family. I’m not going to say she was spoiled when she was a child, but she DID go to a private school – which speaks volumes to me. Then she married a guy who had some Daddy-problems of his own, and was determined to be richer than him.

    If Mitt was his Daddy, I might like him. He earned what he made, and he earned his place in history.
    Mitt’s trying to buy his.

    But to say that Ann has any clue about what women who aren’t a part of the 1% want and need, is like saying that Mitt knows what Joe Six-pack is thinking because he knows the Coors family, and the former owners of Budweiser – the Busch family.

    So, yeah, Ann knows working women!
    About to the same extent as her husband knows working men.
    They know as much about their lives, as I do about the lives of the beings on the planet WEALTHDAR!

    Mitt, just keep on keepin’ on!
    In an election year when an “Old-School Republican” could win in a landslide – you offer a “Home-Schooled” choice!
    And we Liberals and Democrats want to thank you!

    That doesn’t, however, mean that we can take a break – it means we need to redouble our efforts to win in November.

  3. Bill B.  •  Apr 12, 2012 @5:55 pm

    After all the attacks on Michelle Obama, the righties need to think over their appropriate level of indignation re: Ann Romney.

    I wish Rosen had managed to phrase it “had a job outside the home.” That would have avoided the absolutist phrasing that opened her up to all the “raising children is a real job” business

    Her health problems, too, have doubtless been eased by money, and her present-day life style of Cadillacs and horses and tearing down beach houses to rebuilld them with car elevators is fully the product of money. Mitt is just as phoney as ever in his “understanding” of the needs of women. And my wife wants her two Cadillacs right now, she says.

  4. Daphne Chyprious  •  Apr 12, 2012 @6:05 pm

    Good point, Bill B. Though if Rosen had phrased it “has never earned an income” I’m sure the righties would have had a field day with pretending that has nothing to do with Rosen’s statement, when of course it was at the heart of the statement.

  5. Kyle  •  Apr 12, 2012 @7:50 pm

    “I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling…to open that large tin of Beluga caviar. We’ve been there, believe me.”

  6. biggerbox  •  Apr 12, 2012 @9:37 pm

    As a cancer survivor who struggles with a chronic illness, I sympathize for Ann Romney’s health challenges and fully credit that she has struggled with them. (Though never having to worry if you could afford the treatments or doctors you might need, or having your insurance company dump you, etc, would make those easier than for many similarly suffering people in our country.)

    And I’m willing to believe that she does, in her own way, “care about” people who are struggling, and of course she would love it if people believed nice things about her and her husband’s compassion. (Who wouldn’t want people to think nicely of them?)

    But despite all that, there is no frickin’ way she can really understand what it is like to struggle financially. The number of people in our country who have been vulnerable to less financial suffering than the Romney family is what, a few hundred? A couple thousand at most?

    So, maybe she does “care about” American women who are struggling financially, but at best it’s sort of the way I “care about” the suffering in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro – I know it’s bad, but I don’t really have a clue about the details, and I’ve certainly never experienced anything like it myself, viscerally, in person.

    Of course, my shorter, snarky and pithy response to the whole “Ann Romney has worked” thing is “Oh, yeah? When is she going to release her 1040 forms?”

  7. muldoon  •  Apr 12, 2012 @10:00 pm

    Have you noticed how hard the Republicans are pushing the meme, “The primary concern of women is the economy?” Nikki Haley(R) on The View: “Women aren’t concerned about contraception; they are concerned about the economy.” Kathy McMorris-Rogers (R) and another (R) congresswoman, whose name I forget–both of whom voted against ACA–were pushed out front and center to proclaim that the greatest concern of women is the economy. And now Mittens claims that women are telling his wife that their greatest concern is the economy. I don’t know what genius (and I use the term loosely) thought this one up, but I’d bet a boatload of money I don’t have that a bunch of men thought this was a most excellent way to divert attention from the Party’s ongoing anti-women antics.

    Reason I’m so sure of this is that women know damned well that contraception and family planning are very much a financial/economics issue. And same goes for equal pay for equal work. That Republicans don’t think women are well aware of this boggles the mind.

    As a total aside (and no snark intended), lately, I’ve begun to suspect that Mittens may be afflicted with a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. Seriously.

  8. Swami  •  Apr 12, 2012 @11:24 pm

    As a total aside (and no snark intended), lately, I’ve begun to suspect that Mittens may be afflicted with a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. Seriously.

    I’ve noticed that he has some sort of deficiency in delivering a punch line.

  9. Dan  •  Apr 13, 2012 @12:27 am

    The real question before the country is: how can these people have a clue about how to fix the economy when they won’t admit that it was they and their policies who broke it in the first place…

  10. Bonnie  •  Apr 13, 2012 @2:57 am

    Right on, Dan!

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 13, 2012 @6:18 am

    Dan,
    GOP POV:
    “Baby Doc” Bush inherited an economy in recession, and turned it around.
    Bush created millions of jobs.
    Clinton ignored Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and was responsible for 9/11.
    Bush, the greatest CiC in history, took on terrorism, and struck at its very heart – Iraq. And all of that investment in the county is gone because Obama’s withdrawn all of the combat troops, so that investment is lost, and is now part of the deficit which will eated our children like munchies chomped on by DFH’s on a marijuana bender.
    ACORN and The New Black Panther Party cheated to steal the election from McCain/Palin. And so, voter fraud must be stopped!
    Bush left Obama an economy that was fine, and Obama ran it into the ground by bailing out his Wall Street elite pals, and saved GM and Detroit by giving unions control over the auto industry.
    And it’s the D’s who are waging a war on women, and “projecting” their own problems with them onto the R’s.

    The GOP’s hands are clean on everything.
    It’s all the Kenyan/Socialist/Fascist/Communist/Heathen/Muslim/Atheist’s fault – him and his Commie/Liberal/Pinko pals in the DemocRAT Party.

  12. Bill B.  •  Apr 13, 2012 @8:26 am

    Here’s the kind of deal that helps the .01% (yes, I mean the ultra-elite):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/big-companies-state-taxes-workers_n_1419582.html?ref=topbar

    This is just stunning. I knew there were some of these giveaways, but not this much.

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 13, 2012 @8:47 am

    Bill B.,
    Thanks.
    This is beyond obscene!

    Corporate Socialism and Welfare are just fine.
    But not for people.
    No, you see, Welfare, and redistributing/sharing obscene amounts of money made by people who want for nothing (but want everything), ruins people’s dignity.

    That must mean everybody on Wall Street must have no left dignity at all. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
    Maybe that’s why they’re SOOOOO desperate for us to love them, and hug them! They need it for their dignity.
    No, the only reason they want us 99%ers to love and hug them, is so that we’re closer to them when they stick their shiv’s in us.

  14. joanr16  •  Apr 13, 2012 @11:16 am

    Hey now, Hilary Rosen, who d’you think was in charge of strapping the dog kennel to the roof of the car?! It may only have been a twice-a-year job (to Hamptons; back from Hamptons), but that was some heavy lifting! Now Ann would like to challenge you to some arm-wrestling.

    (Calm down, Rush, I said arm wrestling.)

  15. joanr16  •  Apr 13, 2012 @11:20 am

    Ben, Craig, Josh, Matt, & Tagg

    Tagg? For real? Is he godfather to Trig Palin? And Tripp or Trapper or whatever Trig’s nephew’s name is?

    “I am Tagg, son of Mitt… and today is a good day to die!” –lyric from a famous Klingon opera

  16. DinTex  •  Apr 13, 2012 @11:47 am

    New here. I do believe that H. Rosen overlooked some of the past, when making her statement. Not to disagree with some of the above, however food for thought:

    - The newly weed lived in a 65 (some say 75) USD apartment where they also got their first child. that doesn’t sound too well off.
    - From an interview, the first carpet in there was patchwork from left overs gotten for cheap.
    - Private schools around 1960 are not necessarily equivalent to higher costs. Aside from that they seem to have potentially benefits compared to public schools (http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2334/Private-Schooling.html)

    While maybe from better off families, what can be seen is a small income – prudent living – young family, which (through hard work and personal relationships) has made it to a well to do family in later life.

  17. Swami  •  Apr 13, 2012 @12:36 pm

    I’m not certain, but I think Tagg was one of Jesus’ disciples when he was on his North American Tour.

  18. maha  •  Apr 13, 2012 @12:54 pm

    DinTex — Living frugally or simply is not the same as “struggling.” Struggling is when you are a week away from payday, down to your last $100, need groceries, and one of the kids has a fever. If you take the child to the doctor there goes your $100, and now what will you feed the kids until payday?

    Or, it’s having a broken water pipe and then getting bill from the water company for several hundred dollars. And they’re about to shut off your water. And to pay it you have to not pay several other bills. And then you have to juggle to keep the electricity turned on.

    Or, it’s being in perpetual trouble with your boss because there’s no pre-school program at your kids’ school, so you can’t drop them off at school until about 15 minutes before you’re supposed to be at work. And it’s a 25 minute drive to work. Repeated explanations for why you are late fall on deaf ears.

    Or, it’s when you think it’s a good day when you don’t find an eviction notice on the door.

    Or, it’s leaving work, picking up the kids from the after school program, getting home, and being too bone tired to move for two hours.

    That’s struggling. And all those things have happened to me in the past. And I was relatively well off compared to some:

    The poor people who were dropped from cash assistance here, mostly single mothers, talk with surprising openness about the desperate, and sometimes illegal, ways they make ends meet. They have sold food stamps, sold blood, skipped meals, shoplifted, doubled up with friends, scavenged trash bins for bottles and cans and returned to relationships with violent partners — all with children in tow.

    Esmeralda Murillo, a 21-year-old mother of two, lost her welfare check, landed in a shelter and then returned to a boyfriend whose violent temper had driven her away. “You don’t know who to turn to,” she said.

    Maria Thomas, 29, with four daughters, helps friends sell piles of brand-name clothes, taking pains not to ask if they are stolen. “I don’t know where they come from,” she said. “I’m just helping get rid of them.”

    To keep her lights on, Rosa Pena, 24, sold the groceries she bought with food stamps and then kept her children fed with school lunches and help from neighbors. Her post-welfare credo is widely shared: “I’ll do what I have to do.”

    Oh, but the Mittens family had to struggle with bad carpeting. My heart bleeds.

    The point is, they appear to be insensitive to what people who don’t have money, or wealthy families to bail them out, are going through. His policy proposals would cut even bigger holes in our failing “safety net,” all the while making the rich richer. So don’t talk to me about their carpeting.

  19. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 13, 2012 @1:17 pm

    Bad carpets?
    Really?

    Wow, life WAS tough!

    Somehow or other, I doubt that while Mitt was at work, Ann had to grab and use a plumber’s helper on an overflowing toilet.
    Or mop the floor.
    Or plan for, shop, and cook, dinner for 7.

    Their “patchwork” carpeting was what a lot of families would likely call ‘plush.’

    And maybe Ann DID have to do some household chores early in the marriage. I doubt it, but maybe.
    But she also had some freedom of choice that most working families don’t have – access to hire someone if she felt overwhelmed. A nanny, a cook, or a maid, were all a phone call and a credit card away.
    Most working families stay-at-home Mom’s didn’t have that option – make that luxury.

  20. joanr16  •  Apr 13, 2012 @1:28 pm

    DinTex, Hilary Rosen didn’t comment on the past economic status of the Romneys; she said only, “Ann Romney hasn’t worked” outside the home. This is correct, although I do think it was foolishly phrased so that it sounded denigrating, unintentionally, of stay-at-home parents in general.

    The important point is the glaring disconnect between the real world today and what the Romneys say about the lives of working people. Every time either one of them comments on the topic, their utter lack of understanding is painful to hear. At least Hilary Rosen apologized for her mistake.

    Oh, and as for private schools: my mother taught in one until her death in 1964. It absolutely was equivalent to wealth, among the students. It wasn’t necessarily a better education, though. I went to public school and did just fine.

  21. Dan  •  Apr 13, 2012 @7:20 pm

    As poorly phrased as it was (and who with two neurons to rub together didn’t get her actual meaning?), the fact is, despite the pseudo-outrage drummed up by the Far-Right-Wing-Nut-Noise-Machine (FRWNNM), it probably did not lose any significant number of votes.
    If you were rich enough for the comment to hurt, you likely weren’t voting for Obama anyway; if you were a religion-based (schools are godless commie plots) stay-at-home mom, you also likely weren’t voting for Obama anyway; if you couldn’t parse the actual meaning of the statement, well, you get the drift…

  22. Otto schmidlap  •  Apr 14, 2012 @11:19 am

    There are possibly two side benefits coming from this dust up. (1) The GOP can only exploit the situation temporarily. There are no new female votes to get from contrasting the differences between Democratic and GOP policies toward working class women. There are many independent women to gain the starker those differences become. (2) A truly awful DLC style neo liberal and her equally unctuous sleazy Lobbying firm have just lost the ear of the president and hopefully their White House hall pass. http://www.republicreport.org/2012/real-hilary-rosen-scandal/

  23. Kyle  •  Apr 16, 2012 @3:12 pm

    It was a wrongly-worded comment. There are plenty of middle-class stay-at-home moms and housewives who have concerns about the economy, and whose concerns are perfectly legitimate. That they haven’t worked in the private sector shouldn’t mean anything here. That Mrs. Romney is rich and hasn’t worked I do not think makes her unqualified to comment on the issue of what women are concerned about or the economy. Being rich doesn’t mean one all of a sudden cannot have an opinion on the issues or that one is unaware of what other women are concerned about. I am sure Mrs. Romney has done a lot of travelling around and talking with regular folk as part of Mitt Romney’s campaigning. If Mrs. Romney was to be asked about what are women concerned about or about the economy and to say she really doesn’t have a clue, then she’d be criticized as being a totally out-of-touch rich woman who has the luxury of not having such concerns. But because she has opinions on these, she gets criticized there too.

    Now if she was saying she has had to struggle in the same way as an ordinary person, I can understand people being critical there, as it is far easier to deal with raising children and health issues when rich then when middle-income or poor.

  24. maha  •  Apr 16, 2012 @4:16 pm

    Kyle — there’s talking the talk, and then there’s walking the walk. Those of us who have experienced raising children while working a full-time job tend to be skeptical that someone who has never done it can truly appreciate how hard it is. There are many things you can’t genuinely understand until you’ve had first-hand experience with them, and this is one of them.

    I once knew a woman — and she was a fine person — who had never been employed, but for a long time she was a volunteer counselor of some sort working with single mothers who were trying to get off welfare. I gather from what she said that she was pretty strict about people having to get jobs and all. Her own children were adults and on their own when I met her. And then the agency she volunteered for offered her a four-day-a-week regular job. And after a few days she sounded shell-shocked. She told me she never understood what it was like to actually hold a job. She suddenly was having to give up all kinds of other activities and clubs and things that used to fill her day, because she simply had no time for them any more, and it had never occurred to her that would happen. And she wasn’t even doing the working mommy thing; she was just working, period.

    And I say again this was a good-hearted, intelligent, sensitive woman. She just never had a clue what “holding a job” really felt like. So excuse me if I don’t want to hear lectures from a woman who has never had to hold a job about what really concerns women in America today, especially when most of the women she probably is talking to are country club Republicans themselves.

    The “mommy wars,” or the fight about whether stay-at-home or employed moms are “better” started soon after the kick-off of second stage feminism back in the 1960s. It was a genuine hot topic among women for a long time — you fellas may not have noticed — although I hadn’t heard much about it lately until the Rosen-Romney flap stirred it up again. And I assure you I personally grew bored with it a long time ago. I don’t think one is “better” than the other. But, having done both at different times in my life, I assure you one is harder than the other, and carries with it many complications that don’t occur to you until you are facing them.

    What mostly burns my butt about Mrs. Romney is that she used a few words to turn a national conversation around to make it all about HER. In context it should have been clear that Rosen was talking about employment, not just toil in general. when she said “work.” But by seizing her words out of context Mrs. Romney was able to derail a valuable conversations about women’s issues and make it all about HER. If she cared about women’s issues more than about her husband’s political career, she wouldn’t have done that. Only a spoiled rich bitch would have done that. And she did it.

  25. Lynne  •  Apr 16, 2012 @5:22 pm

    I wanted to sneak this onto Facebook, but I don’t believe it would be allowed. Never mind, I think everyone I share with only likes pictures of kittens.

  26. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 16, 2012 @5:52 pm

    Exactly, maha.
    Ann turned this into an issue, not about real working Mom’s, or stay-at-home Mom’s, but about her.

    But, why should anyone expect anything different from a pampered young woman who decided to marry a pampered and sociopathic young man?

  27. Kyle  •  Apr 17, 2012 @5:51 am

    “So excuse me if I don’t want to hear lectures from a woman who has never had to hold a job about what really concerns women in America today, especially when most of the women she probably is talking to are country club Republicans themselves.”

    That’s a rather simple assumption to make. Most Republicans are not country-club types. The base of the party are middle-class people who are a completely different animal from the country-club GOP set. The candidates of both parties talk to their share of wealthy people, so when they do that, I don’t think it should be criticized (the Obamas have sure not had a problem doing this for example).

    I agree that Mrs. Romney needs to expect criticism though, I mean that should be basic common sense, if you are a wealthy wife who hasn’t worked, then if you comment on the issues, of course you are going to get hit with that criticism. The way to handle it is to just kill the opposition with kindness, come off sweet as apple pie, and say why you disagree with the critics and continue making your points.

  28. Kyle  •  Apr 17, 2012 @5:52 am

    “But, why should anyone expect anything different from a pampered young woman who decided to marry a pampered and sociopathic young man?”

    Are you okay with Obama and his whole Reverend Wright issue and his various other associations that everyone decided to give him a pass on? Why is Romney a “sociopath” but Obama is not? And not that such a thing justifies wrongs done by Romney, it just seems to me hypocritical how the Left jump all over Romney when they fell over themselves to give Obama a pass for things that were far more questionable.

  29. maha  •  Apr 17, 2012 @6:44 am

    The base of the party are middle-class people who are a completely different animal from the country-club GOP set.

    Show me evidence that Mrs. Romney routinely sits down and talks to middle-class people for more than ten minutes about anything. The only people who have access to the Romneys long enough to have real conversations are at fund-raising events, meaning they are moneyed. And I would say that’s true of most candidates of either party frankly. I’ve been to “meet and greets”; if you’re lucky you get to shake somebody’s hand and tell them where you are from, and that’s the end of it. If candidates are found talking to people outside of their base, it’s for a quickie photo op.

    I don’t care if Mrs. Romney has worked or not; I don’t care if she’s rich or not. What offends me is that (1) she took words out of context to make the conversation about her and not about the issues; and (2) she’s never walked the walk, so her personal opinions about the problems of mothers who work outside the home are worthless. It’s like someone who’s never served in the military spouting opinions about serving in combat.

  30. maha  •  Apr 17, 2012 @6:45 am

    Are you okay with Obama and his whole Reverend Wright issue and his various other associations that everyone decided to give him a pass on?

    Oh, please, that’s the best you can do? You just earned yourself a spot in the twit filter, dude.

    Good bye.

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