BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
She spoke and her speech seemed appealing to many; as expected she did not dehumanize her hubby, it was all about family values and why America should choose her husband Mitt Romney as the next President. Ann Romney portrayed herself and her husband as a warm loving family that struggled like many Americans to achieve the success and wealth they have accumulated over the years. All these in an attempt to make the argument that come November; the man America must give the mantle of leadership to should be her husband.
Despite her eloquent speech and the portrait of humility that came with it, there is still a huge sector of America that believes Ann Romney just like her husband is out of touch with the mainstream. Since the beginning of the campaign, the status of the Romneys as a wealthy family has been a subject of debate as to whether the Romneys, really understand the struggle poor Americans go through to survive in this troubled economy. After all, Ms. Romney is known for her expensive dress code, the luxurious SUVs, the equestrian horses and her taste for high-end family vacations; but do all these mean she is really out of touch with the majority of voters and struggling Americans?
In her speech, she said those struggling in the current economy especially women, need help making life a little easier. “And that is why this boy I met at a high school dance comes in. His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him,” according to her. She painted how she and Mitt ate tuna and pasta and use an ironing board as a kitchen table. She said Mitt grew from the tall, nervous, funny teen she met at a High School dance to a man with an uncommon knack for creating successful enterprise. All these in an attempt to convince America that she and her husband, had once experienced hardship and do know what it means to struggle; the idea is that though wealthy, they were not handed success and do identify with struggling Americans.
Whether her speech will convince voters mostly women, who are currently trooping behind the incumbent President Obama is still unknown; but judging from the tone of her speech and her use of intimate anecdotes, it is likely Ann Romney will be able to convince a particular sector of the population among whom are women suffering from cancer and other life threatening diseases. As she talked about her husband’s determination to bring change to the economy, she digressed to the emotional journey of her husband’s devotion as she struggled with potentially deadly health problems including her 1998 diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. This will probably resonate and make some believe that after all, she is not completely out of touch.
There is no doubt that the intimate story of her battle with breast cancer and how Mitt stayed in bed beside her to comfort her, when she got depressed after learning she had MS, will convince some to believe she can truly identify with the population of those who have suffered same rich or poor. She will likely be able to divert support from the incumbent to her husband from among those women including mothers suffering from life threatening diseases and those who believe that whether rich or poor, there is something important she has in common with them.
Ann Romney still has a lot of convincing to do before November, as there are many who believe that though, her husband was not handed success as she said, he was handed a million dollars private school, an Ivy League education with no student loan debt and business connections from fellow Ivy League alumni which must have made life easier for the Romneys. The fact that Ann Romney has never struggled to pay the bills like other women do or cut coupons in order to do her groceries at discounted prices like struggling mothers, may be a disadvantage as the campaign moves forward; but nonetheless, her use of intimate anecdotes and personal story of her health issues, will draw sympathy and make some think that maybe she is not completely out of touch.
Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘Saving Love’ a newly released Work of fiction. Follow on Twitter @san0670.