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Okay, let's get the obvious out of
the way first: Ann Romney is a bright, charismatic, attractive,woman with a
warm, inviting smile and an easy manner. It doesn't take much to understand her
appeal and why Team Romney is hanging its hopes on her ability to
"humanize" her husband Mitt in the eyes of voters. But Ann Romney is
not running for president. And if having an awesome mate was the essential
requirement for occupying the Oval Office, I'd be running the country.
I also can appreciate the Romneys'
personal story of hardship in facing breast cancer and multiple sclerosis,
challenges which require an enormous amount of strength, courage and hope...all
of which is rightfully inspiring. But look inside any American family and
you'll find people coping with all illness, death and tragedy. My wife was
brutally murdered six years ago, leaving me to raise a 2-year-old alone. But my
story, however horrific, doesn't make me special, nor does it qualify me to be
The Romney campaign is desperate, so
it's pushing Ann out front and center in a major coattails campaign. Yet her
prime time speech Tuesday night in Tampa at the Republican convention was
predictable and I suspect it won't have any material impact where it counts:
with women and independents. Groovy wife or not, Romney is still the same guy
who, along with his running-mate Paul Ryan, have such "severely"
conservative extremist views on gay marriage, reproduction, abortion and rape
that they make women’s and indies' hair curl. When you get right down to it,
all Ann’s speech did was demonstrate what everyone already knows: that she's
immensely more likable than he is. In fact, that she gave a great speech and is
so charming and accessible glaringly reminds voters that he is not.
Having to working with the worst
presidential candidate in modern history, Team Romney is doing whatever it can
to define their guy through the rock-star qualities of those around him;
qualities which he woefully lacks. But Ann’s charisma and Ryan’s conviction do
nothing to mask the fact that Romney's a cypher-esque cad in an empty suit
who’s failing miserably in connecting with voters. The estimable assets of
others do not make him any more attractive or presidential.