‘I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coalminer,’ said Ann Romney, as she introduced herself to America last night, auditioning for the job of First Lady. She did pretty well, and if she were the actual candidate then the Republicans would be home and dry. Whatever her roots, she is now the millionaire owner of an Olympic dressage horse and had to be accepted by a party grassroots which is more on the wavelength of the tea party. ‘I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage”,’ she said. ‘Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.’ She was diagnosed with MS in 1998, and breast cancer in 2008 — a reminder that her life has not been entirely easy.
She worked the camera brilliantly, acting our all of her lines and proving a better podium speaker than most of our MPs. The Republicans used the old trick of the dull politician being vouched for by the glamorous, well-spoken wife. There’s a bit in Bridget Jones’ diary where the heroine is told that Michael Howard must be all right given that he has “an extremely attractive and intelligent wife” so “he must have some sort of hidden charms.” Ann Romney was trying to make the same point about her husband, using a version of the old ‘Not Flash, just Gordon’ line that our ex-PM used at the time he was popular.
‘Let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President: No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live,’ she declared. And her husband’s hopelessness at overcoming his robotic image? ‘Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.’ Her signoff could have only worked in America: ‘He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.’
Tags: Mitt Romney, republican national convention, Republicans