You Can’t Be Serious

Surprised by Scott Brown’s decision not to run for John Kerry’s Senate seat, some in the Massachusetts GOP are urging Ann Romney or Tagg Romney to run.

Even those nice moderate Northeastern Republicans are delusional.

What next — Rafalca?

See “With Brown out, GOP mulls Romney energy,” Joe Battenfeld & Hillary Chabot, Boston Herald

When Did Carrie Bradshaw Become Ann Romney?

Candace Bushnell (Carrie’s creator and alter ego) does dressage in Connecticut.*

So somehow Carrie has become Ann Romney?!

Or has Carrie gained a lot of weight, lost her taste in clothes, and become Hannah Horvath?

* “Carrie Bradshaw Died and Went to Connecticut,” Edith Zimmerman, The New York Times Magazine

Weird and Off-putting

“One of the enduring challenges Romney’s team faced was projecting the softer side of Mitt, the loving family man and humanitarian who quietly gave of his time and money to the less fortunate. That was no easy task. The campaign had to be careful about putting him in regular-guy situations—the staple “off the record” visits at diners and hardware stores—because of his tendency to say weird, off-putting things.

“There was talk of putting Ann Romney in TV ads to testify to her husband’s best qualities, but she didn’t test well in focus groups.”  Emphasis added.

From Politico’s new e-book, The End of the Line, Glenn Thrush & Jonathan Martin

The Ann and Tagg Intervention

From “Inside the campaign:  The Romney rebellion,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Politico:

“For months, Ann Romney and her eldest son, Tagg, were dutifully supportive of the political professionals running Mitt Romney’s campaign. All the while, their private frustration was mounting.

“Shortly before the first debate, it finally boiled over.

“What followed was a family intervention. The candidate’s family prevailed on Mitt Romney, and the campaign operation, to shake things up dramatically, according to campaign insiders. The family pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee — a “let Mitt be Mitt” approach they believed more accurately reflected the looser, generous and more approachable man they knew.

“Chief strategist Stuart Stevens — whom the family held responsible for allowing Romney’s personal side to be obscured by an anti-Obama economic message — has seen his once wide-ranging portfolio “fenced in” to mainly the debates, and the television advertising that is his primary expertise, according to campaign officials. Tagg Romney, channeling his mother’s wishes, is taking a much more active role in how the campaign is run.

“The family rebellion, long building despite Mitt Romney’s initial reluctance to change, reached a climax in September, amid mounting evidence that the status quo was doomed to failure. The course correction came after internal polls showed him losing nearly every swing state and a loud chorus of second-guessing among prominent conservatives.

When the history of this campaign is written, the family intervention will be among the most important turning points in the Romney saga. Until the weeks before the first presidential debate, the candidate sided with Stevens over his family’s skepticism, accepting the strategist’s view that the best way to win was to point out President Barack Obama’s flaws and articulate generic promises to do better.

Even now, many Romney officials wonder whether the change can be sustained. In essence, Romney is trying to undergo a political metamorphosis — to shed an image of personal stiffness, and to emerge loose and willing to compromise. Romney, advisers concede, is at his worst when improvising — and this shift is the biggest improvisation of the campaign. Right now, Romney is described as going with the flow, trying to quickly grow into this new public persona, most notably with his decision to tell personal stories on the stump.

“But one big reason for hope inside the Romney campaign is that conservatives were so down on the campaign before the debate — and so rapturous during it — that they will give him a lot of maneuvering room to talk in more moderate ways.”  Emphasis added.

Sure, he has all the maneuvering room he wants to talk like a moderate now.  But maneuvering room to govern like a moderate?  I don’t think so. 

That’s what voters need to understand.  The crazies still control the party, and they would control a President Romney with the hanging-sword of a primary in 2016.


Mitt Isn’t an American

I know I should be elated — the election is over, and Mitt is going to lose.  Really, where does he go from here?  What can he possibly say?

But instead I find myself weepy.  My first response to the 47% video was shock followed by anger and now I can’t think about it without crying.

This is such a sad moment in our history.  I can’t recall another presidential campaign when one of the major-party candidates showed such basic and bizarre ignorance of the country he sought to lead.

In some ways, this is worse than Sarah Palin.  She didn’t know anything about American policy.  Mitt doesn’t know anything about the American people.  This man without a core truly doesn’t get who are, how we think, and what we feel at our core.

After the election, Mitt will have a lot of free time.  Ann should strap him to the roof of the car, and they should drive across the country, so that Mitt can listen to us.  Not give speeches and shake hands on a rope line with an insincere “Nice to see you,” but sit down with us and hear our stories and learn something they apparently didn’t teach him at Cranbrook, Stanford, BYU, or Harvard.

Mitt will never be president, thank God, but it isn’t too late for him to become an American.

The Trust Fund Baby Ticket

GOP strategist Mary Matalin says that Janna Ryan, Paul’s wife, “lives a real middle class mother life.”

Janna Ryan may be a lovely person and a wonderful mother, but she is not “middle class.”  Middle class people don’t have income-producing trust funds (from oil) worth at least $1million and as much as $5 million.  She comes from a rich and politically prominent Oklahoma family.   They live in a mansion.

Paul Ryan was a rich kid who married another rich kid and now he is running with another couple of rich kids, Ann and Mitt.


This Is What You’ve Got? Really?

Former NH Governor and Mitt surrogate John Sununu claims that the Obama campaign is lying about the price of the Tracy Reese dress Michelle Obama wore for her convention speech, which they said was about $350.

Whatever it cost, it was so much chicer than Ann Romney’s frumpy, fifties $2,000 Oscar de la Renta.

UPDATE — Tracy Reese has said that the dress, which was custom-made for Mrs. Obama, will soon be available for the rest of us and will cost less than $500.

Ann, Christie Messages Clash

Ann Romney took the stage at the GOP convention last night and said that she was there to talk about love.

Immediately after, Chris Christie took the stage.  Love?  Fuhgeddaboudit.  He was there to talk about respect.

It was an awkward contrast, and it made the messages seem totally uncoordinated.  The speeches aren’t supposed to take place in individual vacuums, they are supposed to flow and create an overall consistent narrative.

Similarly, you had a succession of GOP governors talk about how great things are in their state, how the economy was getting better with more jobs and lower unemployment.  Again, those states don’t exist in a vacuum, you add up their stories and put them all together, and it creates an overarching impression that the economy must be improving all across the country — under President Obama.  It was as if no one thought through the cumulative effect of these gubernatorial testimonies.

Ann Romney’s speech wasn’t what I expected.  I thought she was going to tell warm and fuzzy Mitt stories that would make us see him as less cold and robotic.  Instead, she shamelessly pandered to women, as if saying “I love you, women.  We hear your voices,” would make up for a GOP platform that says no abortions ever, even if you’ve been raped, or if the pregnancy will kill you.   The GOP may hear women’s voices, but it doesn’t listen to them and honor them.

She came across as noblesse oblige-y in her efforts to say she understands the problems and struggles of women who aren’t as well off as she is, which is pretty much all the other women in this country, unless you’re Miriam Adelson or Julia Koch.  Ann went from her rich daddy’s house to her rich husband’s house.  She has never had to worry about paying an emergency room bill or keeping the heat on.  She has never spent a day outside the cocoon of the 1%.

She didn’t make us see Mitt through a gauzier lens, and she had nothing concrete to offer women to offset the GOP’s Taliban positions.  I don’t think her speech moved the numbers among women at all, so to me it was a failure.

Christie told us how wonderful he is and what a great job he’s done in Jersey.  Again, I don’t think his speech moved any numbers for Mitt.  Mitt needs votes in 2012, Christie was looking for votes in 2016.

Mitt Puts Rafalca Up on the Roof

Although Mitt will be at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, he is quick to distance himself from the rich guy taint of his dressage horse, in effect banishing poor Rafalca to the roof of the car, metaphorically speaking:

“This is Ann’s sport.  I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on.  She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event.  I hope her horse does well.”

Notice he says “sport,” not “dressage.”  Notice it is “her horse,” even though the horse was paid for with his Bain money.