Home Featured Michelle Obama and Ann Romney: The Women Beside the Men

Michelle Obama and Ann Romney: The Women Beside the Men

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A couple of weeks ago as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions were taking place I got a chance to see Ann Romney and Michelle Obama give speeches in support of their husbands’ bid to win the 2012 presidential nomination. I jokingly tweeted during Ann Romney’s speech that I would love to see a First Lady vs Potential First Lady Debate. I have no doubt in my mind that Michelle Obama would handedly win such a debate.

During this election season there has been no shortage of gaffes and talking points such as the 47%, foreign policy, the unemployment rate and why windows don’t roll down on airplanes. Rather than re-hash these same arguments I’ve decided to focus on the perceived role of the wives of each candidate by the presidential candidates. Behind every strong man is an even stronger woman, right?

This is what Mitt Romney had to say at a fundraising dinner in response to an audience member asking how he would use his wife in the upcoming campaign election.

“I think you’re right. Absolutely right. We use Ann sparingly right now, so that people don’t get tired of her, or start attacking.”

Now compare that statement to the growing popularity of Michelle Obama as she embraces her role in becoming one of the more popular figures in Obama’s presidential campaign. As stated on November 4th, 2008, the day Barack Obama became president:

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“And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years … the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady … Michelle Obama.”

I’m not saying that you can’t be president (or even be marginally successful) if you don’t have or want the support of a woman, but it damn sure can’t hurt. Looking at the direction that the respective campaigns are heading, I see a positive correlation between having your wife as an integral part of your campaign. Maybe Romney really just doesn’t like his wife. Maybe he thinks she’s frigid and legitimately would want nothing more than to distance himself from her.  Perhaps he’s really concerned about the left attacking his wife. Either way, it doesn’t sound good for him to not want to include his wife. It’s no wonder that Romney is trailing, and Obama has an 18-point lead with female voters in key swing states.

There was a woman I once dated that I cared a great deal about. I often asked myself how far our relationship would go. One indicator that let me know how that relationship would turn out was when someone asked me about her when she wasn’t present.

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“Hey bruh, how’s your girl doing?” to which I would respond “Naw bruh you gotta chill.”

My response was similar to that of Mitt Romney. Yeah I cared for her but was I really proud of her and wanted to brag about her to other people? Nope. Then I got in another relationship where I would talk about the lady I was with to anyone who would listen to me. It didn’t matter what the subject was about, I would find a way to infuse her into the conversation.

“Hey bruh, what time you trying to get up to hoop?” to which I would respond, “You know my girl used to play basketball in junior high school?”

In my opinion, this is how the campaign of Barack Obama approaches using his wife. I also believe that this is not just indicative of how he views her in relation to political aspirations but simply how he feels about her.

Have you guys noticed this dynamic in the campaign? What about in your personal relationships? Is how you reference your significant other when they’re not around indicative of how you feel about them?

TUNDE

Comment(21)

  1. As a female, I don't really know what the guys I have dated have said about me when I wasn't around but I do know that the guys I was really feeling and I saw a future with always came up in conversation and I always talked way too much about them but the ones that were just good for that time in my life, I would never mention and if they were mentioned, I would redirect the conversation real quick. I believe that it is important to be proud and to want to talk about the person you are with and it is a major indicator towards the direction the relationship might go.

  2. From what I’ve read, Ann Romney was more involved in his campaign for senator in Massachusetts but that went very badly she actually hurt him in his campaign and he ended up losing. Mass is a vey liberal state with a lot of educated, working women and I don’t think they could relate to her. She got a rep as a Stepford type wife and ppl weren’t feeling that. When he ran for governor she distanced herself from campaigning and he won. So I don’t think Mitt said that b/c he didn’t like his wife, he was speaking from experience. I think they have a strong relationship, she just a very different type of political wife than Michelle is. Political wives fall on a spectrum. Ann is on one end, ans she’s all abt the home front. seems like the type who will make sure everything at home is altogether, so that you can focus fully on your work and not worry abt anything else. Michelle seems like the type who will be editing your speeches, networking and calling in favors for you, but still holding it down at home (but probs calls in help with nannies, housekeepers etc.) She’s very balanced and well-rounded. Hilary is way at the other end, she’s almost like a full out competitor lol.

    But yeah, that’s my take onthe whole thing

    1. I agree..to compare Mitt and Ann Romneys' marriage to the Obama's is comparing apples to oranges. In regards to the Romney's you have to factor in their faith. They are strict Mormons and that dictates that the mother stays at home. It actually surprises me that they have only 5 children when I know Mormon couples usually have children until the women's uterus falls out (The Duggars anyone?) I could see where Mittens was geting at when he said that he didn't want to use Mrs. Romney too much. Let's not forget that she has a condition that is physically debiliating for her. ____Also, Mitt sees like a selfish asshole anyway..so there's that..and I think he treats those close to him the same way he does the voters. __But that's a whole other post.

  3. " is how you reference your significant other when they are not around indicative of how you feel about them" ….

    I had this issue come up a few weeks ago with a guy I've been dating exclusively for about 4 months. We were actually in the car when a coworker called him and I'm guessing he asked him what he was doing and his response was "with my homegirl Tica". Hearing this upset me because it made our relationship seem so casual. His defense was that " I didn't know what to say and he wouldn't have known who you were anyway". He then asked me what I would have said and to a coworker, I honestly don't know but "homboy" is not a term I would use. I didnt tell him this, but to a friend I would just have to say his name and they would automatically know what he is to me because I talk about him a lot. My friends assume he's my "boo" and I'm fine with that. So my next question to him was "do you do what you do with all your homegirls" as he has mentioned a couple before. One who is a chef, even cooked for us. Long story short, he realized that homegirl wasn't an accurate term for me but I still feel like it meant something and definitely help put things in perspective. As women we can get caught up in how things feel and not what they really are and that comment definitely jolted me out of my fantasy. I agree, you can see the passion and respect president Obama has for Michele and the lack of passion and faith Mitt has in Ann.

    1. Tica what happened to u is very common. Many men see the relationship as casual until some time has passed and they are ready to move it to the next level. Women typically fall in first and faster. Even if a man is really feeling a woman and wants her to be his girl he's not expressing it the way women do.
      Sometimes couples aren't on the same page and because 1 person feels a certain way they assume the other person does as well. This is not a good thing to do. Don't assume what the other person thinks or feels. Be sure.

  4. I think with politicians, everything they do is strategic. Mitt probably didn't choose the best words; but like blackgirlmd said above, it's about his past experience. He could go hard talking about his wife, but there's an impact to that. He'll win with everybody that believes in what his wife represents (in regards to the lifestyle), but he'll lose with people that don't support what she symbolizes (for women). Barack, on the other hand, has a wife that a lot of people love. I'm not saying he only mentions her because it helps with his ratings. But like with any politician, he knows what he's doing and the impact it'll have.

    In some roundabout way, it's kinda like credit and trying to buy a house (in this case, win an election). You could be with someone awesome; but if their credit ain't in good shape, it's going to impact you come application time, etc. Michelle has excellent credit. Ann is hovering around 600.
    My recent post I Can’t Fit My Suit!

  5. Have you guys noticed this dynamic in the campaign? Absolutely and your points are spot on.
    What about in your personal relationships? Definitely yes.
    Is how you reference your significant other when they’re not around indicative of how you feel about them?
    Yes it is. Whatever is said about you when your not around is usually the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

  6. The only problem with this is… a lot of those women who are in those swing states aren't going to vote. Their husbands are going to cast a vote for the family.

  7. good post!

    i've always thought it interesting how the candidates wives are used in a campaign. compared to last presidential election, you had a fairly even playing field between Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama. Cindy had experience as a teacher and businesswoman, was an active philanthropist, and was very personable and likable. She came from money but she gave back, and really invested a lot of her resources in great causes. And while rallying for her husband, I think many women could relate to her. I like Cindy, she seems like an awesome person.

    Unfortunately for Mitt and Ann – Ann just isn't very relatable or personable. The impression that is given is that she comes form money, is a stay at home mom, and she just can't relate to the poor/working woman struggle. her speech at the RNC was very at-home-centric and didn't at all acknowledge that there are working mothers/daughters/aunts/cousins. While her place may be at home, that is not every woman's reality (be it by choice or by circumstance). I'm sure her health concerns play a big part in how much she can do, but her ability to talk to the people leaves a lot to be desired and I think it's easy for us (on both sides of the aisle, perhaps) to dismiss her and wish she was seen and not heard.

    *shrug* That's the game of politics I suppose. I love that Michelle is a focal point of this campaign because she truly is an amazing woman in her own right, but also has much to offer in ways of support of her husband, his administration AND the entire Democratic party. I can see why she is so loved and adored.

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  9. i've always believed it exciting how the applicants spouses are used in an offer. in comparison to last presidential selection, you had a pretty even stage between Cindy McCain and Mrs. Obama. Cindy had encounter as a instructor and businesswoman, was an effective philanthropist, and was very friendly and pleasant. She came from cash but she provided returning, and really spent a lot of her sources in excellent causes. And while rallying for her spouse, I think many females could correspond with her. I like Cindy, she seems like an amazing individual.
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  10. In some roundabout way, it's kind of like credit score and trying to buy a house (in this case, win an election). You could be with someone awesome; but if their credit score ain't fit, it's going to impact you come application time, etc. Mrs. has excellent credit score. Ann is hanging around 600.
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