Over at the Daily Beast, Sushannah Walsh profiles Ann Romney and does a nice job taking a snapshot of her character and her vital role in the campaign. I encourage you to read the whole thing.
There’s one part, however, that stood out to to me as I think about 2012. Discussing her role in 2008, Shushannah writes:
That early race gave the Romneys their first taste of life on the campaign trail, and Ann her first taste of press scrutiny. She received some unfavorable coverage that suggested she was not relatable to the average Bay State voter after telling a reporter that she and her husband had never had a real argument. Even so, Romney’s first press secretary, Ann Murphy—who would often have to answer the question “Mitt who?” when trying to get petition signatures—says Ann remained upbeat throughout her husband’s long-shot bid.
Don’t we live in a strange world when having an extraordinarily good marriage is a political liability. It reminds me of the criticism of Mitt that he was “too perfect” — not that anyone thought he was hiding anything, mind you, but that they didn’t like that he was successful and free of any taint of corruption. Since when did that become a bad thing?
It is a simple fact that we have impossible expectations for our leaders. If they have any obvious failures in their past, they’re mercilessly savaged for those failures. If they’ve escaped any major hiccups, then they’re savaged because they’re not relatable — because they haven’t failed. It’s all part of the political process, I suppose, and always will be, but it’s still ridiculous.