Tag Archives: Ann Romney

Ann Romney, working stiff…

During a scene in a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode, Dets. Goren and Eames ask a suspect about his whereabouts during a murder. He explains that he was “babysitting” his kids. This irks Eames, who responds, “Oh, I love when men say they have to babysit their kids. If they’re your kids, it’s not babysitting. It’s called being a dad.”

This popped into my head during the uproar over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s statement, for which she later apologized, that Ann Romney, wife of the presidential candidate, had “never worked a day in her life.” This is only true in the factual sense. However, it was considered an attack on stay-at-home mothers. Mrs. Romney responded that her “career choice” was being a mother. This is probably poorer wording than Rosen’s. I presume she was not a professional surrogate, so is she actually saying rearing her own kids was a “job”?

I was raised by a stay-at-home mother. It was great for me and arguably even better for my father, who never had to cook a meal, wash a dish, or do laundry for most of his life. I remember when my mother was in the hospital in 1991. My father and I lived up the bachelor lifestyle. We even had dinner at Quincy’s Steakhouse one night. It was cool for about a day. Then we noticed the dirty clothes that refused to clean themselves, the tumbleweeds drifting through the house, and the creature with tentacles that tried to grab me when I opened the refrigerator.

My father worked long hours, often six days a week, without complaint, just as my mother took care of the house and our sorry asses seven days a week without complaint. I wouldn’t consider it an insult to say that my father had never spent time in a grocery store. So why is it an insult to say that my mother had no professional experience? Aren’t both statements fair and accurate?

I recall during the late 1980s when there was this need to “justify” homemaking. Housewives weren’t just Peggy Bundy stereotypes eating bon-bons and watching Oprah all day. No, they were actually chauffeurs, cooks, housekeepers, psychiatrists (I always thought the last one was a stretch, as few kids grow up well adjusted). Why, a housewife was a “five-figure occupation.” That struck me as offensive. First off, why wouldn’t you expect someone to clean her own house and take care of her kids? Who else is going to do it? Octavia Spencer? Also, a wife is an equal partner to her husband. A stay-at-home mother is not her spouse’s contracted employee. If that was the case, then my father somehow wound up marrying Florence from The Jeffersons.

“Work” is defined as “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result,” so I suppose that includes Mrs. Romney and pretty much everyone but Kim Kardashian. Now, a “job” is defined as a “paid position of regular employment.” Mrs. Romney has a “couple Cadillacs” but not one of those (limited space in the sixth house to store it). That was most likely Rosen’s point, the one everyone will miss because it is more politically expedient to focus on her arguably poor word choice.

These days, people with jobs are afraid of losing their positions outright or being replaced by someone younger and cheaper. That was never a concern for Mrs. Romney. It’s not like she married Newt Gingrich.


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Ann Romney’s House of Cadillacs…

Critics quickly pounced on Mitt Romney for comments made at his economic speech at Ford Field.

“I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.”

The remark, in an unscripted moment, will add to the image of Romney as so wealthy he can talk casually about his wife having not one but two Cadillacs. Although two cars are not unusual in American homes, two luxury Cadillacs, which range in price from $35,000 upwards, are not.

I’m not sure why this statement is news. Romney has a lot of cars. Did the media not read the stories it’s published regarding his immense wealth?

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who before turning to politics helped found a private equity firm in Boston, estimated his wealth to be as much as $250 million on financial disclosure statements. He earned $21.6 million in 2010, mostly from investments, according to tax returns he released in late January after losing the South Carolina primary to former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Shortly before the release, he had said he earned speaking fees, “but not very much.” His disclosure statements showed the fees totaled almost $375,000 between Feb. 26, 2010 and Feb. 20, 2011.

What do people expect Romney does with all this money? Store it in a money bin and swim around in it? That’s not good for the economy. It could also qualify him for an appearance on A&E’s Hoarders.

Romney earned roughly $57,000 a day in 2010. I wouldn’t be surprised if he owned one of those needlessly complicated breakfast machines that were popular in the mid-1980s.

Perhaps we should be concerned that he has a human chessboard at one of his country homes, but that’s what makes him a job creator.

The Romney campaign — always anxious to make its candidate’s verbal fumbles worse — pointed out that Mrs. Romney has two Cadillacs because she spends time in two different states — California and Massachusetts.

Many middle-class families have two cars. Some even have two homes. A man worth millions can afford to buy his wife a couple Cadillacs — though I don’t know how he got stuck with the pick-up truck. Why does he even need one? Does he do a lot of heavy lifting?

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Political Theatre


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