Ann Romney is angry. That's not a good sign for her husband's campaign.
On an Iowa radio show the other day, Princess Ann voiced her royal outrage at fellow Republicans. Yes, I said Republicans! They had had the temerity to criticize her husband's faltering campaign as the polls consistently turn against him. "Stop it!" she barked.
Maybe she learned how to bark from the dog on the roof of the Romney car? But she needs to learn something else. Anger is a no-no in a political campaign unless it's directed at an injustice or some other non-personal thing. Anger about something personal - like people (justly) criticizing your candidate husband - telegraphs campaign panic. She went on to say that this campaigning venture is "hard", but she had just made it a lot harder for Mitt. People don't like whiners and anger. Nobody ever forced Ann and Mitt into this race; it was most definitely their own idea.
Why did she ever think it would be easy? Because of her sense of entitlement. Remember back when she said "It's Mitt's turn"? That sense of entitlement pervades the whole Romney persona and campaign strategy. It certainly permeates the "47%" perception Romney embraces. The rich are entitled, apparently, to pass judgment on those who struggle or are old or disabled or in the military.
Romney has believed from the beginning that the economic sluggishness entitles him to beat an incumbent president. He chose to ignore that the President is well-liked by voters. He chose to ignore that the American public is smart enough to continue believing that the economic problems we have are the fault of George W and the GOP. Romney's analysis of the presidential balance sheet was all based on business figures. By this approach, 8% unemployment and a big deficit (also George W's) entitled him to win. Of course, other potential GOP contenders like Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Chris Christie looked at the situation as the real politicians they are and saw that 2012 was not the year. Not against this president, this superb campaigner.
It's standard to denigrate politicians. But I differ. Politics is our alternative to civil war. It's how this multi-faceted country holds itself together. And - may I reiterate? - politics is not the same as a business. Nor is running a country. That's Romney's fundamental misconception. As I pointed out a year ago, his declaration that the auto industry should be allowed to go bankrupt was a businessman's approach and totally bad governance. It was also EXTREMELY bad campaigning. It's losing him Ohio, and no Republican has ever won without Ohio.
The deep irony of all this is that Romney, Ryan and the GOP are so rabidly against "entitlement programs". Yet they are steeped in their own entitlement. They deserve everything: tax breaks, federal subsidies, and the presidency. They are also entitled, so they think, to "not care" about the 47%.
Well, Princess Ann, you can huff and puff all you want but you can't blow down the brick wall your husband and his campaign are heading for. That solid brick wall is the solid good sense of a majority of the American people. And, no, that's not the 47% voting their own interest; a lot of the 47% are YOUR voters who are too dumb to vote their own interest.
So bark away, Ann. Snap and snarl. Now you know how that dog felt strapped to the roof of a car by your own dear husband whom you believe the American public is "lucky" to have as a candidate.
With luck like that, who needs enemies?
Say, Ann and Mitt, where did you get the idea that you are entitled to withhold your tax returns from public scrutiny? Your snit at being pressured reeks of a sense of entitlement. "Those people" - that's what you called the public that wants to see those returns. Golly, how dare we!