Breaking: Ann Romney would be first ‘unemployed’ First Lady in 6 decades
posted at 10:09 am on April 14, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
My apologies to readers for roiling a calm Saturday with this bombshell. I just learned about it myself reading a column at the Daily Beast.
Its author, Wayne Barrett, betrays more than a whiff of triumphalism in his declaration that “if Mrs. Romney does move into the White House next January, she will be the only First Lady born in the 20th century to have ‘never worked a day’ in her life, as [Democratic operative Hilary] Rosen perhaps clumsily put it.” He goes on:
The last unemployed first lady was Mamie Eisenhower, born in 1896 and married to Ike at 19—the same age Ann was when she married Mitt. That makes Mrs. Romney as dubious an expert on the economic concerns of women as Mamie, an Army wife who moved 28 times, lived in a hotel during World War II, and played canasta and the electric organ. [Emphasis added]
Mrs. Romney said she chose to stay home and raise her five boys, but her youngest son, Craig, graduated from high school in 1999 and left for a missionary assignment in Chile in 2000. Since then, it’s been an empty nest.
When the president said earlier this month that the choice facing voters this fall is “unambiguously clear,” who knew it was this clear? On the one hand you have Michelle Obama, a one-time lawyer (currently “unemployed”) with a long (and imaginary) history as “an expert on the economic concerns of women.” On the other, you have Ann Romney, stay-at-home mom and dissembler. (There also appears to be some criticism of Mamie Eisenhower’s fondness for canasta and organ-playing abilities, but to my knowledge she isn’t running for office.)
Come to think of it, neither is Michelle Obama or Ann Romney, though you wouldn’t know it to read Wayne Barrett. He goes on to chronicle the employment histories of the First Ladies since Eisenhower. The jobs held include sales clerk in a department store, a nurse’s aide, and actress (Nancy Reagan), harvesting beets, corn, barley, peppers, and other vegetables at her family’s “truck farm,” x-ray technician, pharmacy manager, typist, and lab assistant at a hospital (Pat Nixon).
The list goes on more or less in this vein, but you get the general idea. These other women married to presidents all held down jobs, none equipping them to advise their husbands, but so what? We don’t vote for the First Lady, which is an honorary title, and every president surrounds himself with dozens of advisers with real expertise in any number of areas. The one notable exception is Hillary Clinton, who was given an actual project to manage, and look how well that worked out.
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- O’Reilly exposes possible WH connection to Fluke
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- New DNC chair calls GOP women ‘anti-women’; GOP females fight back
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- Feelgood video of the day
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- Of Course It Troubles Me. Are You Kidding Me?
- Friendly reminder from the White House about ObamaCare: “It’s. The. Law.”