Tag Archives: Ann Romney

Bob McDonnell Gives Ingratitude a Bad Name

No, that's not Maureen & her daughter. It's the official 1st Lady portrait.

No, that’s not Maureen & her daughter. It’s the official 1st Lady portrait.

The Bob & Maureen McDonnell corruption trial is not proving to be the unmitigated disaster for the McDonnell family that I first assumed. As the trial continues Maureen is looking more and more like her official portrait, currently on display at the Richmond Salvation Army Store.

She can’t do anything about the age difference — the youngster in Maureen’s “First Lady” portrait appears to be graduating from college next fall — but the size differential is rapidly closing. There’s nothing like the Federal Corruption Trial Diet to help remove those unwanted pounds that appear barnacle–like over the years.

A few more weeks in the courthouse and Maureen will be down to her fighting weight, which may come in handy if she’s sentenced to hard time.

The McDonnell saga, which in many ways represents the typical I–won–the–lottery–and–blew–it–all story has been invaluable for those who write. If you’re interested in brushing up on the whole story here are the relevant columns:

Politicians and their lack of will power when it comes to gifts are here.

The McDonnell family’s descent into a life of dependency in the governor’s mansion is here.

And why Bob McDonnell should have resigned as governor is here.

The prosecution has now rested its case and regardless of whether or not McDonnell is guilty, the picture painted of the family is only flattering if you compare them to the Kardashians.

Trial testimony left out the thousands of dollars it cost when the McDonnell kids raided the mansion’s pantry to take food to college. (That was only tax dollars and everyone knows those are free.) Instead the trial focused on what Jonnie R. Williams showered on the governor. There is the $20,000 shopping tab Maureen ran up on her New York City shopping trip that was chaperoned by Williams. His unintentionally funny description of the outing into Women’s Territory warmed the heart of every husband who’s sat bored on a mall bench outside a clothing store as the women shopped and the credit card smoked: “It went on for hours.”

Then there is the brand new set of golf clubs, golf bag with the UVA logo and golf shoes given to Bobby McDonnell who thought the give was “excessive” but not so excessive that he sent it back. In fact he and his father and brother played multiple rounds of golf and charged hundreds of dollars in green fees, caddy fees, food and golf accessory purchases to Williams during 2011 and 2012.

There’s even a rumor they tried to flag down Marine One and invite Obama to join the threesome.

The haul from the Jonnie Williams ATM was so extensive the WaPost designed an excellent graphic that shows whom got what that you can find here. Weddings were profit centers, the family was showered with plane tickets, a trip to Cape Cod, the Final Four (ironic that, because McDonnell’s governor term was the final four years of his political career), Florida, another golf bag, flights on private planes, a watercolor and a turkey dinner (wait, sorry, that was Ken Cuccinelli’s thanksgiving gratuity from Williams). And since the McDonnells were good conservatives they would NEVER stoop to taking an Obamaphone, but they did pocket two Williams’ iPhones.

The mental image one has after reading the list is of the Beverly Hillbillies living it up in their new California mansion, but that’s completely unfair to the Clampetts, because they were using their own money.

Now that the prosecution’s story of Rent–A–Politician has concluded, the defense strategy is two–fold. First Maureen is a maniac who had hot pants for Williams and hid everything from her husband. She was the mastermind behind the plot to trade official support for Williams’ patent medicine product, Anatabloc, in return for Williams making the McDonnells his foster children.

My favorite story involving Maureen is from the WaPost and it concerns her efforts to sell Mitt Romney on the diet supplement during a trip to South Carolina. Now I’ve seen Mitt’s legs and they are about the size of a pipe cleaner, so Maureen’s instincts were good. Mitt could use some bulking up.

Staffers sensing a disaster put a stop to that plan, but they couldn’t intercept Mrs. McDonnell before she cornered Ann Romney on the campaign bus, where Maureen’s pre–trial bulk made it impossible for Mrs. Romney to escape.

Exhibiting her usual tact and concern for the feelings of others, Maureen blurted to Ann that Williams’ Anatablock was so great it could “potentially cure MS.” Ann Romney —who no doubt had a few choice words for the advance staff after the event — has multiple sclerosis, so the sales pitch was vulgar, insensitive and fit Maureen as snugly as one of Williams’ free designer dresses.

Or as McDonnell political advisor Phil Cox said on the stand, “I was horrified. I thought it was a train wreck.”

Bob’s defense is different. He’s not crazy, but he may be the biggest ingrate in Commonwealth history. Big Watch Bob’s story is reciprocation is not a word in his vocabulary. He accepted $120,000.00 in no–doc loans to shore up his failing real estate investments, wore the Rolex, presided over the acceptance of the other thousands of dollars in booty and did absolutely NOTHING in return for Williams.

He just sent all William’s calls to voice mail where they died a lingering death. It would have made more sense for Williams to forget the McDonnells and hire a lobbyist, but come to think of it 120K probably wouldn’t be enough to hire a Hamas spokesman.

As far as strategies go this is a variation of the Viet Nam defense: We destroyed the reputation in order to save it.

And just to make sure there was no doubt as to McDonnell’s ingratitude the WaPost writes, “In the afternoon, defense attorneys presented a parade of former McDonnell cabinet secretaries to testify to all the things McDonnell could have done to assist Williams and his company. In turn, each witness agreed that McDonnell never took those actions.”

In other words don’t loan Bob your lawnmower with the expectation that you can borrow his rake later.

I can see the fun couple’s social life drying up the longer the trial continues. Who wants to host a couple that will never return the favor and might ask you to take them to the mall before they leave?

Ingratitude as a get–out–of–jail strategy can’t be helping fund raising for McDonnell’s legal defense. (Lawyers are something else for which McDonnell doesn’t deign to pay.) If a signature loan for 120K doesn’t warm the cockles of Bob’s heart when he’s facing foreclosure, what is your measly 5K for lawyers going to achieve?

Did You Watch the Other Debate?

Oh my.  Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel had a clever idea. Why not ask people about the other debate, ‘the fake one’ he made up, between Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.

He sent out a crew to interview people and get their take on the ‘debate’.

Sure enough plenty of people were willing to share their opinion of the First Lady’s event. And yes. These people can vote.

Where’s that Teleprompter When You Need It?

The inspiration for Obama’s flag pin.

Not only did Mitt Romney win the first presidential debate, he was also victorious in the battle of the flag pins. Compared to the horizontal flag pin Obama was wearing, Romney’s looked like the mainsail on a frigate.

Obama’s pin resembled those narrow, black eyeglass frames that geeks and hipsters wear to show their superiority to people who don’t know what “jelly bean” on an Android is. It had the same proportions as the gunport on a pillbox, only smaller.

Romney’s pin, on the other hand, was large enough to contain a mysterious dot that even on HD–TV didn’t have enough detail to allow one to identify it. Had the debate been in Orlando, I would have assumed it was Mickey Mouse, but Denver is not associated with any cartoon characters, unless you include Gov. Hickenlooper. Turns out that Romney’s pin is the one worn by members of the Secret Service and it was given to him by an agent on his protective detail.

I suppose Obama’s Secret Service detail thought it more fitting to give him golf tees or a bank bag, either of which would have looked out of place at the debate. And speaking of out of place, where do you think Obama would have rather been last night? He spent most of the evening looking like a petulant celebrant missing his big 20th wedding anniversary shindig.

The audience thought it was a joke when Obama began his opening statement promising Michelle they would not be celebrating next year’s anniversary on a debate stage. But based his frowny–face during the split–screen shots when Romney was talking, I think he was serious. He looked testy and put–upon all evening.

It was evident the Obama hadn’t faced any hostile questions from anyone during the past four years, assuming you overlook Michelle’s demanding when he intends to quit smoking.

The “yowza boss” attitude of the White House press corps is not conducive to making one fast on his feet.  Nor is becoming an alternate cast member of ‘The View.’ Maybe his schedule for the day read “9PM: slo–jamming the debate with your PBS homies,” because he was woefully unprepared.

Ann Romney may not like the questioning the campaign and her husband have undergone this year, but it sure made him sharper on his feet. Mitt was even mildly humorous at times, although he had a tendency to step on his own laugh lines. He needs to pause a beat after the punch line to give the audience time to respond. He could have made the “changing insurance companies” comment into a punch line and made himself look more like a regular guy, with just a bit of work. And Mitt went too fast when he accused Obama of only picking losers, so the impact was damaged. Unfortunately every comedian in the country appears to be on the Obama team, so it’s hard for Mitt to rehearse. I wonder what Drew Carey is doing?

Currently Obama spinmeisters are complaining about the replacement referee, er moderator. But the fact is when Obama the moderator and drones on FIVE MINUTES longer than Romney, yet still loses the debate, your candidate and your campaign are in a world of hurt.

As a result, I predict the Obama campaign will demand changes in the ground rules for debates two and three. First and foremost David Axelrod will be in charge of the visuals. This means no more cutaway shots or split–screen views when Romney is speaking. Obama will be able to chew Nicorette and stamp his foot with the audience none the wiser.

They may even demand Obama appear backlit behind a screen like 60 Minutes does when they interview a whistle–blower who doesn’t want to be recognized.

And all evidence points toward Obama’s team urging him to be more aggressive during the remaining debates, ready to pounce on Romney and his evil plans.

Fors fortus, as the Romans say.

He may be able to frighten the White House staff and startle the interns when Obama gets forceful, but I have an idea that during the debate it will only look bitchy.

Juan Williams Criticized Ann Romney After Her RNC Speech

From Politico:

Fox News contributor Juan Williams took some ribbing from his colleagues Tuesday night after saying Ann Romney looked “like a corporate wife” who hasn’t struggled in her life.

“Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, on the other hand looked to me like a corporate wife,” Williams said, speaking on a panel after the Republican National Convention’s speeches wrapped for the night. “And you know the stories she told about struggle, eh, it’s hard for me to believe. She’s a very rich woman and I know that and America knows that.”

 

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Stupidity With A Side of Nazi Please

The Nazi allegations are floating around again.  Like racism, being labeled a Nazi by anyone in the political spectrum, left and right, is not only irresponsible, but grossly sophomoric behavior that is akin to sixth grade antics in the lunchroom.  To put it simply, there is no vast national socialist plot to takeover the country.  We have a constitution that prevents the rapid centralization of power that would fit the governing model of a national socialist government.  Yes, Barack Obama and George Bush are both at fault for expanding the six and scope of government to unacceptable levels, but that doesn’t make them Nazis.

While I have great respect for Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, I found his remarks about Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen Casey’s tax law that would mandate that wealthy people prove they didn’t renounce their citizenship for tax reasons.  This comes in light of  Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s renunciation of U.S. citizenship before the social media site went public last Friday.  According to Bernie Becker and Erik Wasson of The Hill,

“the targeting people that turn in their passports reminded him of regimes that had driven people out of the country, only to confiscate their wealth at the door.  I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well, said Norquist. “He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.” The Nazis infamously implemented a departure tax on Jews who tried to flee Germany before World War II.”

One could have argued that there are bigger issues at hand with the economy and our entitlement structure than focusing on whether a few wealthy Americans abandon their citizenship in the future. Instead of Nazi references, Grover could have made an eloquent attack on this law by discussing the gross overreach of congressional power, the reasons why we should expand our 72,536 page tax code, and how will this new law make collecting revenue more efficient.  I’m guessing the cost to collect the tax from would-be ex-patriots would outweigh the benefits.

On the left, we have left-wing blowhard Stephanie Miller comparing Mitt Romney to Hitler due to his past “bullying” episode and the inability for liberals to understand or stomach the amoral disposition of capitalism.  On an equally idiotic footing, she also compared GOP policies as promoting”state sponsored rape” against women.  Newsbusters broke a story surrounding Michelle Goldberg, contributor to Newsweek/Daily Beast, who penned a piece even comparing Ann Romney to Hitler and Stalin.

The source of the controversy centered on a piece Ann Romney wrote for USA Today for Mother’s Day:

Cherish your mothers. The ones who wiped your tears, who were at every ball game or ballet recital. The ones who believed in you, even when nobody else did, even when maybe you didn’t believe in yourself. Women wear many hats in their lives.

Daughter, sister, student, breadwinner. But no matter where we are or what we’re doing, one hat that moms never take off is the crown of motherhood.

There is no crown more glorious.

I guess motherhood really got the fascists going, but I think it’s really hedged on liberals engaging in their usual stupidity.  Goldberg responded by saying that “I found that phrase ‘the crown of motherhood’ really kind of creepy, not just because of its, like, somewhat you know, I mean, it’s kind of usually really authoritarian societies that give out like The Cross of Motherhood, that give awards for big families. You know, Stalin did it, Hitler did it.”  Yep, where did I leave my steel-toed boots again, I’m ready to march.

The truth of the matter is that Nazism is a rather hybrid of various political leanings.  It’s not exclusively right or left wing.   Both fascists and communists espoused totalitarian governing styles, with an emphasis on organized labor, and the view of capitalism as a failed ideology.  The only exception to the rule is that communism advocated a classless, international proletariate controlling the goods and means of production, while fascists espoused celebrating the triumph of their respective nation.  In other words, they decided to flip off the fraternity notion and go their own way celebrating their own racial or ethnic superiority.  Not an overly brotherly disposition.  In all, since Nazism is a political philosophy with more that 50 shades of grey, I propose we have a indefinite moratorium on using this label to smear or attack political opponents, unless they actually espouse a national socialist platform, which will never happen.  It’s ignorant, stupid, and lacks sophistication to just call one’s opponent a “Nazi.”  We’re conservatives with the truth, facts, and numbers on our side.  Do we really need to engage in this nonsensical behavior?  As for the left, I would say the same thing, but being that the world is your oyster; it’s bound to slip through the cracks of your shamefully spineless philosophy.

Joan Walsh Slams Ann Romney

I'm not sure Joan was trying to use a flattering picture here...

If there really is a war on women, then you can file this under “women on women violence”.  Joan Walsh over at Salon.com says that Mrs Romney owes all of a big fat apology.

From Salon.com

I’d like to demand that Ann Romney apologize to all women for equating the “struggle” of a wealthy mother who had full-time household help to that of a poor or working-class job-holding mother, who must choose between her job and her children when a child gets sick. How dare you, madam? Have you no shame? I’d like to demand that Mitt Romney apologize for his wife’s remarks, too. I’d like to hear every prominent Republican denounce Ann Romney for her heinous insensitivity to non-wealthy mothers who must work outside the home.

Wow… Mitt should apologize too.  She goes on to say:

And the fact is, Ann Romney’s experiences are not the average woman’s. She is a woman of great privilege. Most mothers don’t have the “choice” to stay home full time with their kids; they need a paycheck. Meanwhile, her husband supports the Paul Ryan budget, which cuts nutrition programs for pregnant women and new moms and their kids. It cuts Medicaid for poor women and children. It slashes food stamp funding, when women and children make up two-thirds of the people who get food stamps. He wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, which provides not just contraception but breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings for millions of low-income women.

She then goes onto a tangent involving Bill O’Reilly and Al Sharpton:

I’m sure Ann Romney knows what it’s like to struggle. We all do; it’s the nature of being human. But in the political arena we really ought to be able to distinguish between personal struggles, and struggles that have social and political causes and implications. It reminded me of when Bill O’Reilly told Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, “I’m not black so I don’t know your struggle and you don’t know my struggle because you’re not white.” Nobody knows the troubles Bill’s seen, growing up on the mean streets of Old Westbury. I’m not saying that white people can’t face injustice, but to equate the black and white “struggles” is just ridiculous. Ann Romney is smart enough to distinguish between her own “struggles” and those of women who work at low-wage jobs and struggle to raise their children safely.

If you want to read all of it, you can go here.  (there’s even an 11 minute video where she really tells you how she feels)

So what do you think?  Should Ann Romney apologize?  Or is Joan Wash full of hot air?

Obama Personally Rebukes Rosen’s Remarks

We told you previously that the Obama administration was distancing itself from the Left’s hateful rhetoric.  Now the president, himself, has decided to speak on the subject.

From The Huffington Post:

President Obama weighed in Thursday on the kerfuffle over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s recent comments, saying that “there’s no tougher job than being a mom.”

“Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement,” Obama told Bruce Aune of ABC’s Cedar Rapids affiliate KCRG.

On Wednesday evening, Rosen, once an employee of the Huffington Post, claimed that Ann Romney, wife of GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, had “never worked a day in her life,” referring to whether she understood women’s economic struggles. The comments came amid an ongoing spat between the Obama and Romney campaigns about which candidate has the best record on women.

Ann Romney responded with her take on Thursday, painting Rosen’s comment as a claim that being a mother wasn’t actually “work.”

“She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing trouble,” said Romney, laughing, “it wasn’t so easy.”

Obama told KCRG that he doesn’t “have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates” such as Ann Romney.

Even First Lady Michelle Obama issued a comment, apparently in response to Rosen’s claim.

“Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected,” she tweeted Thursday.

Thank You Hilary Rosen

This morning I was telling my husband about Hilary Rosen’s interview on CNN.  I read her comments to him. And we discussed that, maybe, her remarks were overblown.

“With respect to economic issues, I think actually that Mitt Romney is right that ultimately women care more about the economic well-being of their family and the like. But he doesn’t connect on that issue, either. What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing. Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”

Then we caught the interview on television. See for yourself. CNN with Hilary Rosen

I am sure what Ms. Rosen meant to say, in her sarcastic tone, was that being married to a rich man Ann Romney could not understand the issues faced by many women trying to balance a day to day budget and thus could not share this information with her husband. Yet, that is not what she said. The condescending tone with which Ms. Rosen spoke took some comments that may have been misspoken and turned it into a true ‘war on women’. Though Rosen later tried to explain herself on HuffPo she clearly hit a nerve.  My Twitter timeline exploded with tweets from women, who may have been lukewarm to Mitt but have joined in their support of Ann.

In Rosen’s clarification post she mentions the “wonderful luxury to have the choice” and that it’s a choice not many women have. No doubt there are many who do not have the option to stay home and raise children. But I would invite Ms. Rosen to meet some of my friends. For many it is a financial sacrifice to stay home…but an important choice they make.

As one of the five million stay at home moms I take offense with the idea that women may not understand the ins and outs of budgets and economy.  The decision for me to stop working and raise my children was not made lightly. The loss of my salary impacted and changed many of our activities. Managing a household budget, whether a millionaire or a ‘thousandaire’, requires attention, not only to the household needs, but to community and environment around us.  While my husband and I work as a team raising our family, managing our assets he does regularly defer to me on financial questions because, yes, I pay the bills and know the day-to-day income and outgo.

It is an insult to insinuate that stay-at-home moms still live in the 1950’s where the ‘husband’ takes care of all the finances. A wealthy woman who does not pay attention to the household expense sheet may find herself in the same position as the celebrity or athlete who allows someone else to misuse his funds.

It is no surprise that Team Obama is distancing itself from Ms. Rosen. The true war on women may be coming from a liberal mindset that does not value traditional choices real women make.  There are those who do not believe a ‘non-working’ woman can and is able to provide a good assessment of current economic conditions. So, thank you Hilary Rosen. Your brief comments may have galvanized the conservative base more effectively than anything Mitt Romney could have said.

 

 

 

A Lesson For Liberals To Learn

By now, you may have heard about the Left’s latest attack on women.  The short story is that a Democrat strategist said Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life”, despite the fact that she beat cancer and raised 5 children.  It’s gotten so bad that even David Axelrod has distanced himself from what she said.

The strategist in question is Hilary Rosen, and she wasted little time in backtracking her statement.  Here it is from CNN.com.  One thing she said that stuck out to me was this:

Spare me the faux anger from the right who view the issue of women’s rights and advancement as a way to score political points. When it comes to supporting policies that would actually help women, their silence has been deafening. I don’t need lectures from the RNC on supporting women and fighting to increase opportunities for women; I’ve been doing it my whole career.

Here’s what I think Hilary doesn’t realize:  The anger she faced on Twitter and in email last night was not from the “RNC”.  It was from normal, hard working Americans who, themselves, don’t have much good to say about the RNC.  Liberals don’t seem to realize that just because people vote against progressive policies, it doesn’t mean that they’re in agreement with the Republican Elites.  (or whatever you’d like to call the RNC)

I think Liberals (and even Republicans) would do well to realize that the political landscape is changing, and what she was dealing with last night was Americans, not just some arm of a political party.

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and various other tools on the Internet, you have people participating in political discussions who used to be part of the “silent majority”.  Hilary Rosen is fooling herself, if she thinks that she only risks the ire of the Republican National Committee.