With the Hilary Rosen “War on Moms” controversy,” we saw the Left in full panic mode, where everyone from the guy who cleans Obama’s toilet to the Apologizer-in-Chief himself distancing themselves from Rosen before the Earth made a complete rotation. Of course the fact that Rosen visited the White House more times than the entire Administration combined (just a little hyperbole here)—she clocked in a total of thirty-five visits—makes it hard to believe the whole attack of Ann Romney strategy did not originate from the White House.
But that is not my point here.
While I agree with everyone that Rosen’s remarks were in bad taste, I think conservatives need to take a step back for a moment to look at the context of her remarks. And, as strange as it is for a conservative to side with the chief strategist in Obama’s phony “War on Women,” there is some validity to her remarks, albeit not for a phony reason, but based on something substantive.
The basis of Rosen’s remarks were that Romney had stated, “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.” Rosen’s point was that because Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life” (i.e., that she was a stay-at-home mom), her advice was invalid. Of course I completely disagree with Rosen, but I think in her twisted way, there is some validity to not the advice itself, but the needing to get this advice from his wife.
This is difficult to explain, so let me use an analogy, which only those of you who are old timers will get. In 1980 Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were in the midst of a presidential debate and Carter made the statement that reverberated across the cultural landscape: “I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said the control of nuclear arms.” Carter was mocked ad nauseam for this statement made in reference to his 13-year-old daughter, and it probably contributed to his losing to Reagan in a landslide.
Now the point isn’t whether the advice was substantive or not, but the fact that he needed to go to his daughter for this advice in the first place. Of course we know that Carter really didn’t need to seek his daughter’s input to find out about the important issues of the day. But the point was that it shined a light on Carter’s inherent weakness. And I think Romney’s comment does the same thing.
This past week Romney, along with Gingrich, gave a speech at the NRA convention, but before be began the speech, he trotted out his wife to give a “War on Moms” address to deliver a coup de grâce as the Left abjectly fell on their swords. But as I watched this speech, it struck me that, once Ann Romney took the stage, Mitt Romney’s body language changed completely, from confident to extremely awkward, with his head often hanging down, body slumped, almost cowering. In fact we over at Obama Files made a humorous video based on this one still shot, which shows Ann Romney powerfully posed with this electrifying look on her face, while her husband, head hanging down, slumped over, almost looks like a little boy being scolded by his mother, being placed in the corner.
And I think this brings up a larger point, in exactly why conservatives, specifically the Tea Party, don’t like Romney. Of course we don’t like him because he is a Democrat in everything except name only. He has flip-flopped repeatedly. And, as his thrusting his wife out to capitalize on whatever issue is currently being bandied about shows, he tends to pander to whomever will benefit him.
But I think this is a nebulous criticism of Romney—true, no doubt—but it isn’t really the real reason that the Tea Party dislikes Romney so much. I think the real reason is because of Romney’s weakness. After the Obama Files staff saw the odd still shot of Romney at the NRA, we went through some other videos of Romney standing behind his wife while she spoke, and in almost all cases, Mitt Romney’s body language changed significantly once she stepped up. In using a figure of speech, we would probably say, Ann Romney wears the pants in the family. Or Mitt Romney is tied to Ann Romney’s apron strings.
Now, granted a lot of marriages are like this. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Some women, like Ann Romney, are strong, dynamic figures. Some women capably and successfully run a home and their husbands, and their husbands and children are completely happy with this. Because it works.
But for a President, weakness in the home, I would argue undoubtedly will lead to weakness in the Presidency. And I think this is the underlying complaint—unconscious though it may be—that the Tea Party, both men and women—have with Mitt Romney. Think about how much Obama’s weakness has caused havoc in Afghanistan with the Koran burning apology. Or with coddling a nuclear-armed Iran. Or with the missile launch last week by North Korea. Take Obama’s weakness and double it. That is what a Romney President will look like.
As the last conservative standing, Newt Gingrich should be our nominee, not Mitt Romney.
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