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:
“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.
“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?