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Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, attends the equestrian dressage individual grand prix special at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park August 7, 2012. Ann Romney's horse Rafalca ridden by Jan Ebeling of th
Wooing women?
You're doing it soooo wrong.
The lede of this Politico article says it all:
Ann Romney is taking this personally.
We know how personally Ann Romney is taking this campaign because she can't seem to stop talking about how hard it is for her—a complaint that hardly helps her achieve her designated role in the campaign:
Softening Mitt Romney’s image — especially among women — remains an urgent challenge for his campaign.
A version of that sentence appears in pretty much every story about Ann. She's been tasked for the better part of this year with trying to soften his image, especially among women. It was part of Mitt Romney's "three-pronged strategy" launched in April. Except that started off badly when, that very day, his campaign didn't know how to respond to the rather simple question of whether Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Ann was supposed to soften her husband's image in a puff piece in Parade magazine too. But that's hard to do when Mitt comes right out of the gate "joking" that donating money to his church makes him cry.

Then there was the casual interview at one of the bazillion Romney family homes, where Mitt made pancakes for Chris Wallace and tried really hard to come off as, you know, human. His family rallied to try to soften Mitt's image, but even those "charming" family stories about Mitt show what a jerk he is to his own family. It was another in a series of failed attempts to make Mitt seem human.

Then there was Ann's big speech at the Republican National Convention, where the Romney campaign once again insisted that because voters, especially women, don't like Mitt, "the stakes are high for Ann Romney's speech on the crucial opening night of the convention." How did Ann do? Badly.

At which point, Ann started getting downright mean and insulting, telling Latinos how "mistaken" they are for supporting President Obama, and that they "better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you," which they would do "if they could just get past some of their biases." Only a week later, she was tsk-tsking women voters in much the same way, telling them they "need to wake up" and "have to ask themselves who's going to have and be there for you."

Despite Ann's condescension, women have been thinking about that very question, and polling shows when it comes "dealing with issues of concern to women," it's not even close: 54 percent favor President Obama, while just 26 percent favor Romney.

Ann's "you people better realize how great my husband is" tour didn't exactly woo any voters. If anything, it made people turn away in disgust at Ann and how perfectly she communicates the disdain for most of America that her husband obviously has. It didn't help that Ann claimed her horse "has more style and more class in its hoof" than her Democratic critics do.

It certainly didn't help matters when Ann lectured her own party, who had begun to take notice of her ineffectiveness as Mitt's humanizer and woman-wooer:

Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring [...] This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.
All of which makes it hardly surprising that in the no-longer-secret video of Mitt addressing his wealthy donors, in addition to voicing his utter disdain for 47 percent of America, he also said:
We ... we, uh, use Ann sparingly right now so that people don't get tired of her.
It's probably—no, definitely—too late for that. In fact, the most recent polling shows Obama's advantage with women is the biggest it's ever been. For all of the Romney campaign's insistence that women only care about the issues Ann says they should care about, women aren't buying it. So rather than wooing women with personal stories intended to soften Mitt's image, Ann has instead managed to further perpetuate the image of her husband as uncaring and out of touch and most definitely not the candidate women prefer.

That doesn't mean the Romney campaign isn't continuing to delude itself about Ann's value:

“When you see a reaction where she sort of defends the governor, I think that’s also something that people respond pretty well to,” Romney adviser Kevin Madden told reporters on the campaign plane Monday[.]
Well, no. People don't respond well to Ann telling them how ungrateful they are for Mitt's sacrifice, or how stupid they are for not supporting him, or why they need to wake up and realize just how swell a guy he is. And people certainly don't respond well to being told to "stop it" because it's hard to be Ann Romney. Goal Thermometer

The truth is that while Mitt may have chosen his wife to officially be his chief adviser on lady things and to soften his image with women, turns out Ann's pretty lousy at her job. So lousy, in fact, that Mitt will either enjoy firing her or give her a $25,000 bonus.

Let's show Ann and Mitt just how awake we really are and that they don't get to decide what matters to women. We can reject the Romneys, reject the Republicans and their War on Women, and we can send more, better women to Congress to stand up for what really matters.

Please give $3 to each Daily Kos-endorsed woman candidate for the House and Senate.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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