Mitt Romney’s secret weapon turned out to be no match for First Lady Michelle Obama’s popularity. While Ann Romney drew 1,000 supporters to her Nevada rally, 3,800 turned out for Mrs. Obama.
KSNV described the scene for Ann Romney’s Henderson, NV rally on Monday, “Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, met a large crowd of about a thousand supporters Monday afternoon at the Henderson Convention Center. Romney spoke for about 10 minutes, mostly discussing the economy. She referenced Nevada directly and said it must be hard for people in our state to swallow that things haven’t moved more quickly.”
Video of Ann Romney in Henderson, NV:
According to the Reno Gazette Journal, 3,800 showed up for an outdoor rally at the University of Nevada, Reno, “First Lady Michelle Obama spoke for about 28 minutes Wednesday on the grassy Quad at the University of Nevada, Reno. Mrs. Obama, speaking in Reno for the first time during this campaign season, urged the crowd of 3,800 to register to vote, vote early and spend the Oct. 6 Election Day getting others to the polls.”
Here is video of the crowd waiting for First Lady Obama:
It is no surprise that First Lady Obama can draw absolutely huge crowds by herself without the president. Mrs. Obama is one of the two most popular political figures in the country. Her popularity is only surpassed by that of Hillary Clinton.
The Romney campaign thought they had a secret weapon in Ann Romney, but as the campaign has gone on, she has turned into a weapon of self-destruction.
Throughout the campaign Mrs. Romney’s comments have gone from entitled (It’s our turn) to snobbish (you people) to self pitying (running for president is hard) to angry (Republicans are lucky to have Mitt as their nominee) to bizarre (her concerns at Mitt’s mental health). Ann Romney has revealed herself to be just as out of touch and difficult to like as her husband.
If there is a secret weapon spouse in this campaign, it’s Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama’s years as First Lady have turned her into a highly skilled political speaker who is able to deliver the campaign’s message in her own unique way. Michelle Obama has a gift for talking about political topics without sounding political. Her tone is not partisan or harsh, and unlike Ann Romney, there is no hint of entitlement, arrogance, or self-pity in her remarks.
Having Mrs. Obama speak at these rallies to mobilize early voters especially on college campuses is a small but brilliant piece of strategy from the Obama campaign. The president has an advantage over Romney in the get out early vote ground game, and First Lady Obama is the perfect motivator to get Democrats to the polls.
The national polls paint a picture of a close election, but an analysis of what is happening at live swing state campaign stops reveals a different perspective.
The momentum and popular support seems to be with the Democrats, and one of the reasons why is the rarely talked about personal popularity of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association