Ann Romney

Yesterday afternoon Ann Romney, wife of the GOP presidential candidate, Tweeted this:

It was in reaction to something a Decmoratic strategist named Hilary Rosen said about Mrs. Romney having “never worked a day in her life.” Specifically, Rosen was questioning Ann Romney’s ability to relate to the financial struggles of women who are forced to work full time outside the home in order to make ends meet. “This is not about Ann Romney,” Rosen told CNN. “This is about the waitress at a diner someplace in Nevada who has two kids whose day-care funding is being cut off because of the Romney-Ryan budget and she doesn’t know what to do.”

Ann Romney responded with, “I know what it’s like to struggle. Maybe I have’t struggled as much financially as some people have. I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life.”

Now, as most people know, political arguments are, generally, contrived bullshit. One side makes a mistake (as Rosen did) and says something stupid, and the other side jumps all over it. By the time we’ve hit November, this will have happened, oh, 8,654,321 times.

But here’s the thing …

In this case, Ann Romney is off. Way off. When normal people talk about raising their kids, it’s almost always a debate of finances—Can I stay home with my children, or do I need to take a job to pay the bills? The Romneys, on the other hand, are loaded. Beyond loaded. The “difficult” choice Ann Romney faced was whether to have a nanny, or not have a nanny. Hell, she could have hired two nannies. Three. Five. Ten. That she chose to raise the tykes on her own is fantastic. But does a wealthy person deserve credit for not handing her kids off so she can play tennis and shop at boutiques?


24 thoughts on “Ann Romney”

  1. I agree to a point, but would you consider her battle with breast cancer a ‘struggle’? I would. I saw her quote as saying yes she has been fortunate financially, but has had struggles in her life.

    The tweet is more than fair game. She made a choice because she had a choice, which many do not.

  2. Well, if she DIDN’T opt to hire a nanny so she could play tennis, etc…then yeah, I’d say she should get credit for not handing her kid off.

  3. Rosen was way off base and the Dems are already distancing themselves from her. Her exact words were “Ann Romney never worked a day in her life.” That is offensive to every stay at home parent. I know you hate Republicans but your defense of Rosen is weak. Did you check and see if Rosen has a nanny?
    Rosen has 2 kids and is divorced from her wife/husband. Who was watching her kids last night while she was on CNN being condescending to every stay at home mother?

  4. I don’t think she was asking for credit, and she gracefully accepted that idiots apology. The point is being a stay at home mother has long been looked down upon as easy but if you don’t have to hand your kids off to a daycare your kids will have a better chance. Unless of course your sitting on the couch waiting for the next government handout to arrive and let your kids run amock because nobody was there to teach YOU how to be a good parent. Mitt Romney earning a living that allows this is not a crime, but it probably will be if your guy gets re-elected (Obama, not Edwards).

  5. Not sure if Tennis is her thing.
    Horses are. She credits her involvement in Dressage riding in helping her cope with her MS.
    Not sure how to take that. MS is a struggle. Dressage is the sport of the wealthy.

  6. Rich or poor it is difficult raising kids. While having money means you don’t have to worry about clothing, feeding, or education. But there is no guaranty those kids will turn out to be good citizens. In some ways it may be harder to raise kids when there is a lot of money.

  7. The claim was that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life.” This is an off-base thing to say about a mother of five, regardless of financial status. Original speaker apologized, let’s move on, and let both campaigns end this “war on women!” nonsense and talk about real issues. But you remain *obsessed* with the REPUBLICANS EVIL!, Democrats holy! dichotomy, so this response isn’t shocking.

  8. The point is not the difficulty of raising 5 children, the point is that Ann Romney has never been forced to work outside the home to support as well as raise her children as more and more regular American women are forced to do. Ergo, she has no business publicly commenting on the concerns of women in this economy. Rosens made two errors, she should have said “never worked to make ends meet a day in her life” that is what she truely meant. Once she corrected her comment, she should never have apologized.

  9. Yes, Jeff, I agree totally with your piece. The real struggles today are because of financial issues. Mrs. Romney has had health issues; but everyone will have health issues in their life. Most women are not financially able to stay home with their kids. Ms. Rosen did clarify what she said and I had no difficulty following her thoughts behind the comment. Now, the Republicans are just using those comments as a political ploy to attack the Democrats.
    We need better support systems for working mothers in this country. Other countries do, but we do not.
    I had 3 auto accidents in 2004, none my fault. I have lost my job in 2005 because I used my accrued sick leave to go to the doctor for medical care ( I live in Florida, the right to work state. My supervisor at the Florida Department of Health sent me an email telling me that I would be subject to repercussions for using my sick leave for my medical care after the first accident, so you know I was in real trouble after 2 more auto accidents – the second accident caused by the negligence of a Orange County sheriff deputy, ticketed at the scene.) I am still in litigation with the drivers of the last 2 accidents.
    I have had to fight for health care ever since. Mrs. Romney may have had terrible health care problems, but she also had access to the best medical care that her husband’s money could buy. What would Mrs. Romney say if she did not have that medical care? I have found that doctors all refuse to see me even if I tell them that I would pay cash for the visit – all because I do not have health insurance.
    I met a young man from Palm Beach that had his hand ripped off in an accident at work. The hospital there refused to treat him; this young man in his early 20’s with his hand in a cooler beside him. It took over 6 hours to get an ambulance that would take him the 70+ miles to Miami’s Jackson Hospital, the only public hospital in the state of Florida. Doctors there were able to reattach his hand in a 6+ hour operation.
    NO, while Mrs. Romney may have struggles because of her health, she never has faced life’s real struggles. She does not know what it is like to be without a job, to be without money to pay for food or a place to live, or to be without health insurance and fighting to get medical care. The medical care offered for the poor is just to do the least that can be done because of lack of money to do adequate medical care.

  10. Of course parenting is hard work, but the Romney campaign’s attempt to use this as a rallying cry is another example of shameless political pandering.

    And do we know for sure they never had a nanny? Housekeeping staff to clean the house? Non-working grandparents that could help?

    Jeff’s post is dead-on.

  11. And Jeff Pearlman joins the Democrats’ War Against Mothers.

    Remember this blog post the next time you pat yourself on the back for being a part-time stay at home dad.

  12. Ann Romney has 16 grandchildren who will inherit this country in what ever condition it may be in. Will we continue down the path we are on, with ever greater debt? Will our money even be worth anything? Fat lot of good lots of money will do if that money has no value! I hate to see someone being disparaged for being successful. Don’t we want someone who is successful to be at the reigns of our country (horse humor :P) I do. I want a leader, not a community organizer, who thinks every problem is resolved by throwing more of MY money at it.

  13. I just have to say, being a stay at home mom is not a career. It does not bring in money to the household or provide health benefits. The reason most women stay at home now is because its cheaper than paying daycare 1000 dollars a month.

  14. You guys all have good points, but for Mrs. Romney to compare herself to every stay at home mom, is absurd. The Romneys are rich and cannot possibly understand what it is like to work a Full time job and raise a child at the same time. In my case, my wife walked out when my son was 2 years old. I raised him alone after that (with the exception of my second six year marriage). I worked full time and raised a son I am very proud of. I do not like the idea of Mrs. Romney comparing herself to me. Oh, and by the way, MS is a terrible disease, but rheumatoid Arthritis is far worse and I have had RA for 26 years.

  15. The comment from Rosen was unfortunate. Unfortunate because it was taken at face value (as I am sure people say it should be). I don’t believe Rosen intended to insult stay at home Moms. I believe she was trying to say that Ann Romney can’t possibly relate to the ordinary everyday mom – stay at home or not. 90% of Americans don’t have the wealth of The Romney’s, therefore it stands to reason that a large percentage of mothers do not have the wealth of Ann Romney. As a mother of two sons I made many many decisions along the way in raising them. I was fortunate to be able to have them with me at work for the first two years of their lives, and then to have them in the care of my aunt who owned a pre-school. Additionally, I moved closer to my family to give my oldest son a sense of what family means and by doing so I created a situation that allowed me a luxury I would not have had living far away. When I was at home with my children I did not find it to be “hard work”. I found it to be very rewarding and enjoyable. Just because a woman works outside of the home does not mean she doesn’t still have to do the parenting unless she chooses not to. She still has the regular everyday household items to handle – laundry, groceries, bills, play dates, shopping, practices, games, recitals, etc. She still loves her children just as much as when she was able to be at home with them. She still wants what is best for them. The difference is that most moms (like me) can’t stay home and not work if we truly want what is best for our children. Living in poverty isn’t what is best for me and my children. But, I love them more than anything in this world, and, if I may so myself, they are wonderful, well adjusted, confident young men who know the love of their family.

    I say all of this to make a point. No, Ann Romney can’t personally know what it is like for moms without wealth. Her religion dictates that women should stay home and raise the family, and frowns upon those who do not. Any mom who makes the sacrifice to stay at home with her children in their early years, and is clipping coupons and readjusting budgets to make ends meet until the children are school age understands the struggle and the economics. Some make the decision to put careers on hold and stay home based on nurturing the children, but also for the economics of the situation…it may not be worth paying a nanny or daycare if the sum total of take home pay after expenses is very minimal. The point is that Ann Romney was never one of those stay at home moms. She never had to make the “sacrifice” because it was a decision predestined based on her religion and wealth.

  16. Hillary Rosen spoke sloppily and is getting pilloried for it. Fair enough. Now can the Republicans please get back to the real business of the country (enacting unnecessary vaginal probes and accusing anyone who disagrees with them as being a socialist).

  17. She may not have hired a nanny, but she did have a full staff of maids, butlers, chauffeurs and personal shoppers to do all the normal work that most stay at home moms do themselves such as doing the family laundry, doing the grocery shopping, dusting, vacuuming, making up the kid’s beds, packing lunches, driving each kid to school, driving them to sports practice, music lessons, etc. Ann had help doing all this. I will give Ann credit she most likely did at least tuck her kid’s into bed at night – but than again maybe the butler did that for her.

  18. “But does a wealthy person deserve credit for not handing her kids off so she can play tennis and shop at boutiques?


    COMPLETELY disagree! Ann Romney obviously did a great job raising her boys and does deserve credit for not handing her kids off. She certainly had the choice to hire nannies but decided take on the world’s most important job. KUDOS to her! How many kids are screwed up because their ACTUAL parents do not pay attention to them (maybe too much shopping and tennis) and have others raising their kids. I’m much more impressed by a wealthy person raising their own children and sacrificing their time in order to have well-adjusted, service and community oriented children. Note to Rosen: all moms are working moms!!

  19. When did wealth become such a nasty thing to be part of? Anyway, when I was a stay at home mom I did not become deaf, dumb and blind during those years and I don’t think Ann did eather or any other mother for that matter. On a daily basis I wore many hats that people who worked ware, labor, teacher and finance to name a few. I read the news paper, watched the news and spoke to people and I had my own thoughts and feelings about politics. I did not live under a rock all the years that I was at home with my children as I am sure the same goes for Ann and other stay at home mothers. When I stayed home my husband and I were lower middle class and worked hard to provide for our family. Yes, I did not bring money into the home like my husband did but I was a support system for him. We made the choice tegether as to who would stay home. By the way when I went back to work I got a job that was high paying and put us into the upper middle class and that has not put us out of touch with what we lived through. I think that people should stop and think before they speak. It seems to me that most people who are posting are some what jealous of people who can make a choice because they have money. We didn’t have money and we made the choice, it’s just what you make of that choice, yes we did not have all the comforts that people with money have but I bet that most people with money struggled at some point along the line. Before you go off, I am not talking about old money people I am talking about people who started out just like the rest of us and worked hard for what they have now. Thanks and you all have a great day.

    1. @ Rose nobody is saying that wealth is a nasty thing. but what people are saying is that Ann Romney does not speak for the common middle class stay at home mom. Most middle class mom do not have a full staff to wash the dishes, do the laundry, do the grocery shopping, wash the dishes, make the beds, clean the house, and so forth. Middle class moms do all that work themselves along with raising the children and much more. To suggest that Ann Romney can relate to the average stay at home mom is not realistic.

      1. Ann never said that she lived like the rest of us and she did say that her heard that from women while campaining with her husband. I am sure that Ann could relate to me and other women with the same worries joys and love that we all have for our children. Money does not make life a bed of roses. We do not know what her true struggles are nor should we, our struggles are private and so hers should be. I thought that as Americans we were supposed to strive to live just like the Romneys. By the way, I do not consider myself to be common by any means. I am a dynamic individual like all other women, men and children and as I hope you are

    2. Rose you mention that you are not talking about people with old money but people who started off like the rest of us did.

      In order to keep the facts correct here, both Mitt and Ann Romney were born into wealthy families. Neither of them started off like you and I did.

  20. Sure, I know plenty of REAL WORKING MOMS who have a staff of dozens to help run MULTIPLE MANSIONS…. Ya know, most Moms have to cook for 3-5 people three times a day, clean their entire house by themseles, do laundry, etc. ON TOP OF WORKING FULL TIME…. so I’m so happy you can pat her on the back for not hiring “NANNIES” because instead she hired housekeepers, caretakers, gardeners, maids, servants, valets, and wait staff… and she should be congratulated and called a “regular mom”?? I think not.

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