August 15, 2007

I'll see you that Elizabeth, and raise you one Ann.

Are we getting enough political spouse this season?

24 comments:

PunditMom said...

The link doesn't seem to work, but I say the more spouse the merrier!

MadisonMan said...

Treacle.

SnowDahlia said...

You know, who really cares? I lived in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was governor, and aside from being a Forties throwback in the Ladybird-Johnson style, she was just...nothing. Invisible. If you want to debate something, how about Mitt himself, who snaked his way into the State House by swearing UP and DOWN that he was a social moderate (kissing up to gay people and abortion activists and everything) then proceeded to abandon all his heart-felt principles when he started eyeing the White House. Actually, snottiness aside, I think it's too bad, because he actually came into the governship with some interesting ideas. For about two weeks, I thought he was going to do a great job. And then ... sorry Mitt, but you'll apparently pander to whoever can get where you want to go.

Ann Althouse said...

The link is working for me.

Stephen said...

And in the works, of course, is the wave of articles on the mother(?) of all political spouses. (I can't see him being content with highway beautification or reading stories to pre-school kids.) Sometimes when they're offering two for the price of one, you just want....one.

Bissage said...

WRITER’S PROBLEM: How to transition from the section “Healing on Horseback” to the section “Kinship with Elizabeth Edwards.”

WRITER’S SOLUTION: “Although Romney is able [to] ride horses, she is still ill.

BISSAGE’S SUGGESTION: Read it out loud. It’s even funnier that way. Ha!

SteveR said...

Because we share the same affliction, I have some admiration for her. But this spouse attention just seeems like more of the Oprahfication of America.

SteveR said...

Wild about eeeeee's

Jeremy said...

"And I know [Elizabeth Edwards] believes, and I believe, too, that my husband is the right person for the job."

OH REALLY. John Edwards will be interested to hear of his wife's support for Mitt Romney.

Too Cool for School said...

I'm in Massachusetts, and I agree 100% with Snowdahlia's assessment of Ann Romney. The only thing that sticks out in my mind is that her illness almost put the kibosh on his run for the governership. (The air and altitude in Utah seemed to have a healing effect on Ann, and she didn't want to leave, understandably.)

Anyway, I see Ann as a complete nonentity - neither an asset (like Bill Clinton or Elizabeth Edwards) or a liability (like Jeri Thompson). Except that Romney has the distinction, among the top tier candidates, of being able to brag that he's been happily married 30+ years and has never been divorced. If you attribute the success of the marriage to Ann, then I suppose she's an asset.

And for what it's worth, Romney was an outstanding governor. He ran the state like he does his businesses - with efficiency and skill. And when he made budget cuts, he actually attended local town meetings to listen to their concerns and help them along. I thought that said a lot about his character. He's not the complete tool he's been coming off as lately.

That's not to say I'd vote for him in a national election. I think he'd do a decent job with domestic economic policy, but he's lacking the skill to be head of state.

MadisonMan said...

The link doesn't work for me, unless I remove the www from it.

Zeb Quinn said...

a liability (like Jeri Thompson)

Me, I'm trying to figure out which parallel universe it is where that is.

Too Cool for School said...

Conventional wisdom is that Jeri Thompson would be a liability among family values voters and heartland conservatives. Whether or not that conventional wisdom would hold up is a different issue.

It reminds me of when the Today show passed up Campbell Brown in favor of Meredith Viera. Rumor was that producers were concerned that viewers would be threatened by Brown's attractiveness and childless status, or some nonsense like that. I give women more credit than that, and apparently so does CNN (who hired her to succeed Zahn). But the mentality or perception exists that women are threatened by other attractive women.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm all in with Bill.

Invisible Man said...

I'm in similar boat with Steve, my longtime girlfriend is similarly afflicted with Ann's disease, so despite the endless humor that I find from making fun of Guy Smiley and his relentless pandering, I'd have a hard time mocking his wife.

Invisible Man said...

Oh, I love's me some Campbell Brown.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Invisible Man: Doncha' mean Campbell Brown is mmmm mmmm good!

Apostolic Anchoress / Rowena Hullfire said...

Oh, come on. I live in the flyover zone. Mrs. Thompson is not a threatening trashy harlot, she's a role model. Married ladies are very concerned with their "historic preservation" and hottie-ness. Everyone's trying to be a MILF. Even the fundie Christians think it's a wifely duty to enhance her hottie-ness.

Mrs. Thompson's superior attitude would be more of an issue than her appearance.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't get this obsession we suddenly seem to have about the spouses of the candidates. They aren't running for office and unless they are ax murderers or something, who cares? Seriously we are electing a President, the CEO of the United States and should be looking at his/her policies and viewpoints on serious issues that affect us as a nation.

When I open an investment account and propose financial plans to my clients they don't care about what my husband does or what he thinks about the market. Those things are meaningless in the context of my job.

I just don't get it.

Joe said...

I agree that spouses should be a non-issue, but I suspect the press is concentrating on them since the actual candidates are such empty suits.

Joan said...

They aren't running for office and unless they are ax murderers or something, who cares?

Oh, I think we need to care, at least a little bit, but we don't need to put the spouses under a microscope. I'm not surprised by that, it's summer, there's not much else going on, what with the war turning around, and most of the economy (except for the sub-prime market) actually doing pretty well. Have to fill those pages/grab those eyeballs somehow, right?

It's not right to compare your clients' non-interest in your husband's profession to the discussions of potential first mates. (Although, if you're recommending specific financial instruments, I'd want to make sure that those instruments are not the ones your husband has dreamed up, you know?) In the case of elected executives, that is governors and presidents, the spouse, if there is one, has a public role to play, and you want to think about how that will reflect on state or country.

I'm sure Theresa Heinz Kerry lost more than a few votes for her husband, and I'm equally sure that affection for Laura Bush helped a lot of people hold their noses and vote for GWB.

But you also have to consider what we learn by looking at a candidate's relationship with his family. You can tell a lot about a guy by getting to know his wife. I've had experiences where my opinion of a guy was radically altered by meeting his wife -- for both good and bad. You can also get an indication of how a candidate responds to various pressures.

Last, if the spouse has serious issues, like Cindy McCain's addictions, or Ann Romney's MS, or Elizabeth Edwards' cancer, you have to weigh, quite seriously, how that situation is going to affect the candidate should he be elected, and a personal crisis arises. How much distraction is acceptable? These are serious questions.

Ann Althouse said...

One reason to concentrate on the spouses is that one candidate has an incredibly conspicuous spouse!

Another is that Eliz. Edwards is really forefronting herself.

And: people want to get at Giuliani.

And: Jeri seems pretty interesting.

And: Michelle is quite impressive....

And, yeah, the guys are boring.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm sure Theresa Heinz Kerry lost more than a few votes for her husband, and I'm equally sure that affection for Laura Bush helped a lot of people hold their noses and vote for GWB.

This is true. It is a consideration, I suppose, on how a marriage can affect, help or distract people in their business and professional life. A spouse with a serious illness or some mental defect would be something to consider as yet one more stressful situation to take care of while trying to be President.

So you are right. These things do need to be considered. But, please.... can't we do this in a manner that isn't so supermarket tabloidish? It just seems that we are, as a nation, obsessing on all the trivialities and ignoring the important issues. America has ADD.....oooh look a shiny thing!!! Cleavage!!

AllenS said...

The only reason that spouses have become relevant, is because once before we were offered: "two for the price of one."

There can be no other reason.