Mrs. Mittens and Her Horses

I just want to say on the record that I don’t begrudge Ann Romney and her dressage horses, any more than I resent people who play polo or compete in show jumping or other equestrian events, or own thoroughbred race horses. I’m never going to be a participant, but I like to watch.

The only thing about the Romneys and their horses that bothers me is that Mr. Mittens calls his horses “it.”

Romney said April 10 in a clip with Sean Hannity, who’d just asked him about his wife’s horses and the needed break from the campaign riding gives her: “She has Austrian Warmbloods, which are – yeah, it’s a dressage horse, it’s a kind of horse for the sport that she’s in. Me, I have a Missouri Fox Trotter. So mine is like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait. It moves very fast, and doesn’t tire, and it’s easy to ride, meaning it’s not boom-boom-boom, it’s just smooth, very smooth.”

I never heard a horse owner call his horse “it,” and not “he” or “she.” Seems odd.

It’s also odd that when Sean Hannity brings up the subject of the Romneys’ horse habit that’s OK, but when the New York Times does it, its a hit piece.

No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president.

“The New York Times has given Obama the longest wet kiss in political history, and they have done him a favor again,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. “The New York Times does a huge expose that Ann Romney rides horses. Well, so does my wife, and a few million other people. Watch out for equine performers!”

To me, the New York Times story was more of a puff piece than an expose. Sample:

Mrs. Romney took up dressage at age 50 as a therapy for multiple sclerosis, but it soon became her passion. Riding, she has said, “sings to my soul.”

IMO the only part of the story that might rise to the level of expose was mostly about Mrs. Romney’s riding instructor, who is being sued for selling someone a lame horse. The horse belonged to the Romneys (who were named on the suit originally but dropped from it later) but was in the care of the instructor who also acted as sales agent.

What’s wrong with the Romneys owning some horses? I really don’t see anyone on the Left making a big bleeping deal about the horses, but the Right seems to think there must be some nefarious reason why the New York Times blabbed about the horses. But then, what was wrong with John Kerry going windsurfing? I never understood why that was an issue, either.

You’d think that people who glorify the rich as “job creators” wouldn’t be so uncomfortable with the trappings of wealth. But then, these are the same people who think it is scandalous that President Obama plays golf a couple of times a month and has been photographed wearing a tuxedo.

Part of the Right’s issue is that while the Romney horse story was featured prominently in the Times, a new book that discusses the President’s pot-smoking in his college days was buried on page A-15. But President Obama had “exposed” the pot thing himself awhile back, in a book he wrote. So it was already public knowledge. (See also Steve M.)

And, frankly, I’m puzzled why anyone under the age of 70 would still be scandalized by college-age pot smoking. If they caught him smoking pot now, yeah, that would be an issue. But, what, thirty years ago? Please.

I don’t think most Americans resent wealth, so merely pointing out that the Romneys are very, very wealthy is not going to dissuade many people from voting for him. There are many, many flaws in Romney that the public needs to see before the election — like the fact that some of that wealth cost other people their jobs. That’s an issue. The fact that Romney is genuinely out of touch with what most other Americans are going through is an issue. The horses are not an issue.

22 thoughts on “Mrs. Mittens and Her Horses

  1. The Romney’s aren’t “elitist’s.”
    Dressage isn’t “elitist!”
    Putting mustard on a hamburger – now THAT’S some feckin’ “elitism” fer ya!!!

    I’m sorry that Ann Romney has got that horrible illness.
    And I’m glad she found something that helped her.

    But I’d have more respect and sympathy for her if she had established and funded, or sought donations for, a “Dressage Ranch,” or camp, for underprivileged kids, and young and old adults, with MS – like Don Imus’ ranch for kids who have cancer, or whose siblings died of SIDS.

    You can criticize Imus for a lot – but not the charitable work he’s done on his ranch.

    Having a “Dressage Camp” would have helped humanize her and Mitt. AND given some underprivileged people of all ages some time around those beautiful animals, and maybe that exposure could lead to life-changing behaviors or careers.

    And I’m sure she and Mitt do a lot of charitable work, and contribute to many charities, but nothing speaks louder than ‘doing.’

    And my impression of the Romney family, not including Mitt’s father, George, is that they’re more ‘takers’ than doers.

    Sorry, Mrs. Romney, but them’s my feckin’ $0.02.

    And thanks goodness President Obama didn’t put Grey Poupon on a Kobe hamburger, because as far as elitism, THAT would make dressage look like a horsey-ride for kiddies at the State Fair.

    The victimization, it NEVER ENDS!!!

    • Some of the horses are his and not hers. He was calling his own riding horse “it.” The Missouri Fox-trotters don’t do dressage, I don’t think; they’re mostly trail ride horses.

  2. I read the passage as he’s referring to her horses also as “it”. She has Austrian Warmbloods, which are – yeah, it’s a dressage horse, it’s a kind of horse for the sport that she’s in.

    • Well, yeah, he’s calling all of the horses “it.” Some of them are hers and some of them are his.

      “Me, I have a Missouri Fox Trotter. So mine is like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait. It moves very fast, and doesn’t tire, and it’s easy to ride, meaning it’s not boom-boom-boom, it’s just smooth, very smooth.”

      Here, obviously, he is talking about his own horse. Those last couple of “it’s” might be about the gait and not the horse, it’s hard to tell. It sounds like he’s talking about a car.

  3. Uh… it’s not possible to strap a horse to the roof of a car, is it? Yikes. Mitt’s just not critter-sensible.

  4. Like I said in the earlier post, Nan Hayworth(less) is my feckin’ Teabagging Congressidjit.

    She’s a piece of useless shite, since real shite can be used to fertilize plants.

    I called her DC office, about her spokeperson’s comment regarding ‘hurling acid in the faces of female Democratic Senators,’ and the (what sounded like a child) young woman who answered didn’t know have any prepared comment, took my info, and said someone would call me back later.

    Yeah – I’ll believe it when the phone rings.

    I asked if her phone was ringing off the hook.
    She said it was.
    I didn’t yell at the poor kid, she’s probably some idjit Conservative kid who’s an intern – I don’t want to make our side look like bullies.

    I did tell her that the Congresswoman needs to get a statement to them, preferably disavowing this misogynistic asshole’s hate-filled comment (and no, I didn’t exactly say it that way).

    Hayworth(less) is either too feckin’ stooooopid, too lazy, or hoping this blows overs soon.
    Probably all three.

    Did I mention she’s a useless piece of shite?

  5. To me this just underscores something I concluded a while ago: Mitt Romney’s biggest liability in this election is simply that he is Mitt Romney. Of course Haley Barbour assumes that all coverage in the New York Times is necessarily hostile, but the way he responds to the profile of Mrs. Romney is still revealing. The only way to even see that piece as an “expose” is to start with the assumption that people will hate the Romneys simply because they ride horses.

    Here I would suggest that if you can’t read the most benign newspaper piece about your candidate without fearing it’s going to make everybody hate him, the fault might lie not with the newspaper but with the candidate.

  6. I even refer to my iron horse (Harley ) as he/ or she depending on the bike I am speaking of. So yes I found that weird too..

    I think that speaks to his dis respect for anything or anyone which he see’s as beneath him. When I hear horse people speak of their horse it is “She is a fine paint” or “He is one spirited fellow”. Those people have great respect for fine animals that they themselves care for instead of writing a check to a stable.To mitt I am sure the horse is an “it” is a possession he paid/pays money for not a creature he cares for.They ride , no doubt , top of the line well trained horses, but they have NOTHING invested in “it” personally. They have “those people” who do all the hard work and the horses are just ready for their use upon demand.

    I am sure a lot of people could benefit from a therapy horse, most of us are just too poor to own one, and thats pretty sad when a person can get a regular horse in some cases for free(via a rescue) or for a few hundred dollars and that is ride ready in these parts.So I am glad she can afford the therapy she needs but it is kinda a big fuck you to the rest of the people in the country who could be helped by therapy animals but cannot afford the care. It is that attitude of “I got mine and to hell with everyone else” that bothers me. That isnt’ leader material. And maybe in their minds they think if we just had the magic underpants we would have therapy horses too and it is our fault we are not well off enough because we are not wearing the right panties.Sorry but these folks should take a lifestyle lesson from Warren Buffett. And class lessons too.

    And just one more thing.Recall Christopher Reeves.May Superman RIP.I dont want my president out riding. Sorry about his luck if he enjoys it, he wants to be president he should do that and not engage in such a dangerous activity. I know people who have given up the Iron horse until their kids are grown because it is the responsible thing to do..this guy wants to be the leader of this country..thats a lot bigger.This is a much “different animal” from playing golf.

  7. As I’ve stated numerous times: when you see a complaint about Democrats from Republicans you can rest assured the comment says far more about what said Republican commenter believes about him/herself than any supposed “information” about the Democratic target…

  8. “Here I would suggest that if you can’t read the most benign newspaper piece about your candidate without fearing it’s going to make everybody hate him, the fault might lie not with the newspaper but with the candidate.”

    It is not about conveying information, but to stay continually on the attack so that even were there Democrats who would fight back, they would always be fighting back against the slander of yesterday. If one slings enough mud, eventually one will find something that will stick – those items last a week or two before moving on.

    It is not about the information, it is about keeping your opponent off balance and continually playing from behind. Even were the Democrat to attack, it would just be immediately turned around (via the victimhood card) into a counterattack.

    When you play by those rules, no substance need apply. Since the audience’s attention span is about 3 seconds, all they hear is “Obama is bad” (rinse, repeat).

  9. I have never known anyone involved with horses who was not deeply devoted to them. “It” indeed. The man’s emotional detachment verges on sociopathy.

  10. Gulag… Loved your comment…It says exactly where to look to see where the Romney’s love lies. He was generous when it came to funding proposition 8, but nothing when it comes to truly charitable giving.

  11. With yesterday’s job numbers, and the MSM’s nimble swallowing of Mitt’s alleged “Centrism,” Obama’s in REAL trouble.

    The meme that, ‘Mitt’s only biting and chewing the heads off of seniors, children, gays, women, black’s, browns, and the poor, to appeal to his base – but he’s really a mild-mannered Centrist at heart,’ will resonate.

    The MSM will make sure of that – if it hasn’t happened already.

    Dressage, quarter, or Arabian, they want and need a horse race.

    And I think anyone who thought Obama had pretty clear sailing, had better realize that there’s nothing better that the Republicans do, than cast aspersions on Democrats, make the MSM swallow it hook, line, and sinker, and then put rocks in the path of progress.

    The only people more stoooooopid and gullible than the rube voters, are the marks and patsies in the MSM.

  12. The contrast between the immediate reality of a horse and the distanced plasticness of Mitt Romney is the central thing to me. I just can’t imagine Mitt really caring about a horse. And they’re so damn hard to get on top of the car!

  13. I read the “it” as referring to the horse’s gait, not the horse itself. And the second “it” as referring to the type of horse hs wife rode.

    I don’t like Mitt much but I am not going to pick over his pronouns quite this closely.

    • Patrick II — do you not read at all?

      “Me, I have a Missouri Fox Trotter. So mine is like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait. It moves very fast, and doesn’t tire, and it’s easy to ride, …”

      Here, the pronoun “it” stands for a specific horse, the one that he says is his and that he rides. There is no other way to read those sentences. In that section, it is not his wife’s horse; it is not the gait or the ride. If he were talking about a type of horse, assuming English is his first language he would have switched to third person plural, referring to horses of that breed — My horse is a Missouri Fox Trotter, they are easy to ride, etc. So, one must assume that in this section of the quote it is the horse. And it’s a little quibble (in this case, “it” stands for the quibble, not the horse, or Mitt Romney), but as I said it (Mitt’s choice of words) struck me as being very weird.

  14. I’d vote for Satan before I’d vote for Romney. At least Satan can keep his lies straight.

  15. Wonder what Mittens calls the dog he chained to the top of the family car when it got sick. Most people would have taken the poor animal to the nearest vet. God help his horse if it gets sick.

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