Whenever Mitt Romney talks about money, he loses. His wife, Ann, is usually much better than he is at projecting sincerity in the artificial situations of the campaign, but she, too has stumbled when talking about money. But Ann's fight with Hilary Rosen over her resume this week marks the first time the Romneys have won an argument about class and wealth. That's because being a mommy trumps owning multiple cars, homes, and dressage horses, whatever those are.
When Rosen said that Ann had "never worked a day in her life," she was responding to the presidential candidate's claim that he understands how much women care about the economy because his wife told him so. Rosen was taking a shot at the Romneys' wealth, saying they were out of touch and old-fashioned, and that Ann never had to worry about bills. The idea that there's a wide variety of mom lifestyles is uncontroversial, as illustrated by these classic TV moms:
And Ann Romney usually plays into the image of the stylish stay-at-home mom who probably had maids. In early March, she said, "We can be poor in spirit, and I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing. It can be here today and gone tomorrow." She added, "Some people have lovers in every port; I have horses in every port." When asked what was the best present her husband ever bought her, Ann responded, "The best gift was a horse. That gift is the gift that keeps on giving." Romney's financial disclosure forms show those horses are worth between $250,000 and $500,000.