You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Willard Mitt Romney, Unzipped

For a well-bred, horse-loving mother of five, Ann Romney sure has a way with the double entendre. Asked what could be done to improve voters’ connection with her buttoned-up husband on Baltimore’s WBAL radio station today, Ann declared: “we better unzip him.” Except it was even better than that in context:

... the host asked her, “And one of the things, Ann Romney, that folks talk about with your husband, Mitt Romney, and I’ve seen him in casual conversation-He comes off very smooth and okay. But sometimes he comes off stiff. Do you have to fight back some criticism, like ‘My husband isn’t stiff, OK?’”
Laughing, Ann Romney responded, “Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!”

O-kay...moving right along. Ann went on to talk about her role as Mitt’s designated humanizer:

“You know, it is so funny to me that that is the perception out there. Because he is funny, he is engaging, he is witty,” said Ann Romney. “He is always playing jokes. When I met him as a teenager, he was the life of the party. And yet, he is also a very serious person and an accomplished person. And I think a lot of times, people see him in the debate setting.”
“That’s why I like to get out there, and get people to see the other side of Mitt, and know us in a different reflection when you see the family and how funny he is with the boys and with the grandkids,” she explained. “And you know, just what a super guy he is. That’s part of what I am doing, is letting people see the other side of Mitt.”
Asked whether she is aware that she is considered by many as Romney’s “stabilizer,” or the campaign’s “secret weapon,” Ann said that she did.
“Oh yes,” she said, laughing again. “Well you know, I think a lot of us in marriage know that you play different roles at different times. And Mitt can get VERY intense, and I can have the ability to kind of talk him off the rails sometimes and say, ‘Hey let’s look at what is really important and let’s do that now.’”
“I can tell you, he does the same for me. In marriage, it’s always that give and take and rebalancing that we have to do in how we can help each other,” she said. “But, I have been known at times by my sons, that is the name that they call me-the Mitt stabilizer.”

Now, as loyal Stump readers know, any mention of Ann the Mitt Stabilizer cheers me, because it is further evidence that this magazine was onto something when it ran a cover story a few months ago arguing that Mitt Romney is,  in fact, often in need of stabilization because he is not as even-keeled as everyone makes him out to be. And lo, Politico had a piece today, a profile of Ann, that offered yet more affirmation:

The Romney inner circle is well aware of Ann Romney’s potential [for campaigning on her own to promote her husband] - but has long resisted any strategy that would separate the couple for extended periods because of the negative impact it has on the candidate.
“I think you try to do both, but we don’t want a situation where they’re apart for three weeks,” Tagg Romney, the couple’s eldest son, said in an interview. “You can tell when she’s off the trail for too long — my dad has got some sharper edges. He’s a little less patient. … She’ll say, ‘Oh, don’t sweat it, you don’t need to worry about that,’ and distract him. We always call her the dad stabilizer. He needs to be with her.”
Added a senior campaign official: “It’s something we weigh all the time. He’s just a better candidate when she’s around.”

Boy, as robots go, Romney sure needs a lot of careful tending! Or maybe he’s...not actually as much of a robot as people have made him out to be. This also, of course, raises questions about a Romney presidency. Would Ann need to go along on all the extended foreign trips, to make sure his “sharper edges” didn’t cause any international incidents—such as, for instance, when he’s visiting our “number one geopolitical foe,” Russia?

follow me on Twitter @AlecMacGillis