It’s a rare event that brings Ann Romney, Karen Santorum and Callista Gingrich together on the same stage — and presumably not to shill for their spouses, but just to express their common conservatism. The National Rifle Association will host just such an event April 13, though. “A Conversation Off The Campaign Trail” will feature the better halves of the GOP candidates. (Whether Carol Paul was invited or will be in attendance is a murky matter.) What the subject of discussion will be is up for speculation:
As Mitt Romney marches closer to the nomination even as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum refuse to quit, will the wives act as policy surrogates? Will they tackle such hot-button issues as women’s reproductive rights, the budget, health care and, of course, gun legislation?
Will they touch on the good works they would promote should their respective husbands makes it to the White House? Music education for singer, pianist and French horn player Gingrich? Multiple sclerosis research and therapeutic horseback riding for Romney, who combats the effects of the former by engaging in the latter? The divinely-inspired decision for her mate’s White House run, or possibly home schooling for Santorum, a nurse and a lawyer who oversaw the education of the couple’s seven children?
Will the wives keep it light and chatty, how gosh-darn fun and in touch with voters their guys are?
Will they joke about the rigors of campaigning, while offering helpful hints on no-wrinkle travel clothing, hurricane-proof hair products and staying slim while enduring endless rubber chicken banquets and ethno-regional food-fests? (Thank heavens for elegant culinary interludes such as the NRA luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel.)
It’s just a wild guess, but I’d imagine the importance of knowing how to handle a firearm just might come up. None of the would-be First Ladies are Sarah-Palin-style gun spokeswomen, but they surely know the trend: Women are buying guns in record numbers and target-shooting is one of the fastest-growing female sports. While liberals have their own arguments against guns, they surely can’t argue that empowering women to know how to wield ’em — should they need to for self-defense or just wish to for sport — is somehow part of a “war on women,” a tired phrase if ever there was one. That right there might be the best reason for Ann, Karen and Callista to champion gun rights.