Hold on! I hear a rumbling throughout the crowd. A buzz. A sparkle of anticipation. “It’s a Bird; it’s a Plane; it’s ANN ROMNEY!!! And there she was standing in front of the crowd, immaculately lit and botoxed and plasticized to a point that would make Joan Rivers blush. I say that, because she has the dough to preserve herself with the latest face-smoothing and lifting techniques and the ladies she’s trying to convince are her soul sisters clearly do not. Ann Romney has about as much in common with her female convention audience as I do with a Cypress tree. But here goes.
For pure corn syrup, the Ann Romney speech was a masterpiece. I’m just like you dear sisters. You’ve all had blind trusts in Switzerland and assorted other exotic foreign venues – right? You’ve got big ole’ houses sprinkled all over the land, right? Your husband spends most of his waking hours figuring out how to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, right? And your men are worth hundreds and millions (or so) and surely you’ve all got two Caddies and a car elevator and jumping horses and such – right?
But it was a mom (“tonight we sing your praises”) and soap opera, feel good speech about family and husband. “He still makes me laugh.” Hell, he still makes ME laugh. Every time he dreams up a new excuse not to release his taxes. And every time he tells his audience what a great steward of the economy and job creator he’ll be. This from a guy who made his living severely leveraging (on borrowed money) troubled companies, fiddling around with them; sometimes saving them, sometimes costing every job and often sending the whole kit and caboodle overseas or shutting them down for good – that’s always good for a laugh.
She threw in the obligatory hardscrabble existence of her Welsh granddaddy and the early description of life with her business school hubby living in a basement for 2 years as students with ‘no’ income (a little white lie about to be debunked in a few sentences).. A 1994 interview with the Boston Globe paints a fuller picture of those times. There was indeed a basement and it was tiny and Ann covered the cement floor (“I didn’t have money to carpet the floor”) with carpet remnants. OMG. Boo hoo; boo hoo! Here’s the kicker for all you female Romney lovers. Ann goes on to say that neither one of them had a job because Mitt was given ‘a few thousand’ shares of American Motors stock by his dad, who headed the company, and they cashed some in from time to time.
That stock appreciated from 6 bucks a share to 96 clams per, so things just got better and better for the young couple. That makes this couple in their early to mid-20′s already worth $200-$300 grand. And this was in the early 70′s where that was a goodly amount of dough for any couple or family. And don’t forget, Ann’s pappy was a pretty wealthy dude in his own right.
She then talks about moving eastward to Hahvahd and instead of a niggling $62 a month, rents were going for $400. It was then that Mitt hit up Pa for 40 grand to buy a house. I wonder where all that other money went in a period of just 2 years? Anywhooo – they bought the house, paid a nominal mortgage and sold it for 90K. Ann praises her husband’s business acumen, but this was one of those real estate periods when you could have tripled you money on a chicken coop. A friend of mine invested in the Near North section of Chicago at about that time. He’d marginally fixed up his purchases and ended up a millionaire.
But enough real-estate envy. Let’s get back to the business at hand. The Republican hope that a maybe-billionaire, 63-year-old painted lady who has lived the life of every wish fulfilled and enough money to buy whatever she wanted from an early age, could somehow represent Joan Q. Mom.
“Tonight, I want to talk to you about love – love of a man I met at a dance and love of country and children and children’s children and our brothers and sisters.” Or something like that. I was bent over upchucking and didn’t hear the whole thing verbatim. At least I was about to be highly entertained. Admittedly, she does have 5 kids and enough grandkids to fill Yankee Stadium. That’s 18 at last count, but I heard one of her sons was on a romantic cruise. Could be 19 by the time the conventions over.
Work with me here. That’s 23 kids and grandkids and both the Romney’s are campaigning throughout America and the troops live all over the place. Do you really think they have much quality time for 5 kids and 18 grandkids? Neither do I. Ann has her own business now. She’s part owner of at least one horse, Rafalca, that trains for national dressage competitions or whatever the horsy set calls them. Raffy couldn’t crack the top 18 in the recent Olympics, so was thrown out of the event early and unheralded. Current TV’s Cenk Uygur discovered that Ann received a $77,000 tax credit for this under-performing nag. Sound familiar all you Romney soul sisters? What kind of tax credit did you receive for your dressage horse?
Romney received her longest and loudest acclaim for declaring in code that “we have a real marriage.” When in homophobia land, do as the homophobes do. It was the highlight of the evening for the hateful hets. It was the embarrassment of the evening for me and all other Americans, who naively believe America is for all the people. For Republicans, it’s clearly not.
At speeches end, she sprinkled Mitt Romney platitudes throughout the Tampa Convention Center. “You can trust Mitt.” Unless you’re the IRS, of course, or were employed with a company Mitt and Bain had their greedy, covetous eyes on. Then, as a worker, you couldn’t trust Mitt, any further than John Boehner and his bar buddies could throw him.
She also ended by saying, “he still makes me laugh.” He still makes me laugh too, Ann. You make me laugh and the radically pathetic state of the Republican Party makes me laugh…and cry!