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brittain33
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« on: May 01, 2012, 08:29:02 am »
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I get the sense that while Ann Romney is likable and smart, based on various comments she's made she doesn't have the skill and informed discipline to be a truly successful First Lady nominee. She won't do any harm, but just as running for President requires tremendous discipline and verbal skill, so does being a proactive First Lady. She's not Romney's secret weapon. She's not his Achilles heel. She's, at best, a weak positive who is a competent part of the ticket. (Compared to Teresa Heinz Kerry, that's no small thing)

Good analogies are Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain. They were both positive people who recognized they didn't have the tremendous drive and discipline to be out there and always say the right thing, so they held back. You can tell that Michelle Obama did not want a political career and her participation is a sacrifice. Similarly, Laura Bush was effective but also recognized that she needed to keep a private life and be sparing in her partisan appearances.

It's interesting because you have to go back to Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Rosalynn Carter for examples of First Ladies who had well-crafted public images and were in charge of what they did and how they advanced their husbands' campaigns. Hillary Clinton tried to do this, but she didn't do well. Since then, First Ladies have mostly been successful when they let their followers project their admiration onto them but didn't rock the boat.

What do you think? 
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Grumps
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 11:34:16 am »
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b33, do you think Michelle Obama has "tremendous discipline and verbal skill,"?

I personally don't, though I'm not trying to rip her here.

Perhaps we're just not seeing enough of Ann Romney yet.....but we certainly will in the upcoming months for sure.
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Torie
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 11:42:14 am »
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So far, I have found Ann to be quite verbally skilled myself, and rather supple in handling tricky questions.
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 11:48:49 am »
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So far, I have found Ann to be quite verbally skilled myself, and rather supple in handling tricky questions.

And I think she would be disciplined, and graceful when she needs to be. 
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brittain33
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 12:36:43 pm »
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So far, I have found Ann to be quite verbally skilled myself, and rather supple in handling tricky questions.

She's had her share of minor gaffes. Ultimately because she's a real person who happens to be very wealthy, not someone who has been plotting a run for office for decades, so she says things that sometimes seem out of touch.
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brittain33
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 12:43:59 pm »
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b33, do you think Michelle Obama has "tremendous discipline and verbal skill,"?

No, I don't. She's obviously smart and in the top x% on those qualities but she could never be a politician.

I'm putting First Ladies in three buckets: the very skilled, the competent-but-not-that-into-this, and the negatives. Barbara, Nancy, and Rosalynn were excellent politicians in their own right. Ann and Michelle are smart and poised enough but don't have that drive that the first group had. Teresa Heinz Kerry falls short of that. Does that make sense?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 12:45:55 pm by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 12:46:25 pm »
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I get the sense that while Ann Romney is likable and smart, based on various comments she's made she doesn't have the skill and informed discipline to be a truly successful First Lady nominee. She won't do any harm, but just as running for President requires tremendous discipline and verbal skill, so does being a proactive First Lady. She's not Romney's secret weapon. She's not his Achilles heel. She's, at best, a weak positive who is a competent part of the ticket. (Compared to Teresa Heinz Kerry, that's no small thing)

Good analogies are Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain. They were both positive people who recognized they didn't have the tremendous drive and discipline to be out there and always say the right thing, so they held back. You can tell that Michelle Obama did not want a political career and her participation is a sacrifice. Similarly, Laura Bush was effective but also recognized that she needed to keep a private life and be sparing in her partisan appearances.

It's interesting because you have to go back to Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Rosalynn Carter for examples of First Ladies who had well-crafted public images and were in charge of what they did and how they advanced their husbands' campaigns. Hillary Clinton tried to do this, but she didn't do well. Since then, First Ladies have mostly been successful when they let their followers project their admiration onto them but didn't rock the boat.

What do you think? 

I met her about four years ago and I was struck by how tall she was.  We had a brief conversation but it wasn't memorable.  I certainly wasn't put off by her.

I think we focus too much on those things.  There are some exceptions.  For example, Clinton played up the "two for the price of one" angle so his battle-axe was fair game, but the wives of Bush, Kerry, Obama, and Romney should be treated as private citizens.  We're still at war and in an economic depression, and there are more important things to debate than the social skills of people who only enter the white house because by some accident of history they happen to share a bed with the president.
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brittain33
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 12:53:05 pm »
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So far, I have found Ann to be quite verbally skilled myself, and rather supple in handling tricky questions.

Do you have any interviews or questions in mind that she's handled well? I'd like to see it. I haven't watched her on tv, and most things I've registered as her saying have been scripted.
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brittain33
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 12:56:48 pm »
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I think we focus too much on those things.  There are some exceptions.

I do agree. I have great empathy for the spouses who find themselves in these positions, whether they're Ann, Laura, or Michelle.

People have talked about Ann Romney as a secret weapon, as a campaigner who can help Romney, and I just don't see it, except as a passive thing. She's a private individual, albeit a very wealthy one, who also happens to have had misfortune with her health. I think it's interesting that we've moved away from the mode we had when I was a kid--First Ladies who were politicians in their own right, from Rosalynn through Hillary—to those who bear the role but don't rejoice in it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 01:16:57 pm »
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b33, do you think Michelle Obama has "tremendous discipline and verbal skill,"?

No, I don't. She's obviously smart and in the top x% on those qualities but she could never be a politician.

I'm putting First Ladies in three buckets: the very skilled, the competent-but-not-that-into-this, and the negatives. Barbara, Nancy, and Rosalynn were excellent politicians in their own right. Ann and Michelle are smart and poised enough but don't have that drive that the first group had. Teresa Heinz Kerry falls short of that. Does that make sense?

Yes, and I bascially agree.....what about Laura Bush?
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brittain33
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 01:19:19 pm »
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b33, do you think Michelle Obama has "tremendous discipline and verbal skill,"?

No, I don't. She's obviously smart and in the top x% on those qualities but she could never be a politician.

I'm putting First Ladies in three buckets: the very skilled, the competent-but-not-that-into-this, and the negatives. Barbara, Nancy, and Rosalynn were excellent politicians in their own right. Ann and Michelle are smart and poised enough but don't have that drive that the first group had. Teresa Heinz Kerry falls short of that. Does that make sense?

Yes, and I bascially agree.....what about Laura Bush?

Ditto. I have a lot of respect for her.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 02:28:44 pm »
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b33, do you think Michelle Obama has "tremendous discipline and verbal skill,"?

No, I don't. She's obviously smart and in the top x% on those qualities but she could never be a politician.

I'm putting First Ladies in three buckets: the very skilled, the competent-but-not-that-into-this, and the negatives. Barbara, Nancy, and Rosalynn were excellent politicians in their own right. Ann and Michelle are smart and poised enough but don't have that drive that the first group had. Teresa Heinz Kerry falls short of that. Does that make sense?

Yes, and I bascially agree.....what about Laura Bush?

Ditto. I have a lot of respect for her.

Indeed.  It's funny you mentioned Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Ms. "Chuv it" would have be a disaster....F bombs a rockin' everywhere....lol.    We've had enough of her over the years in this area for sure Smiley
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Torie
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 02:37:23 pm »
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The most beloved was Betty Ford. She was very shy, but overcame that by force of will. She had a lot of guts, and spoke honestly, letting the chips fall where they may.
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