hey, sometimes I’m kind of bored…

On Liz Cheney’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming:

“it’ll be portrayed as… a housewife who’s kind of bored who moved back to Wyoming after a long time to run for the Senate.”

GOP Strategist Rollins Calls Liz Cheney ‘A Housewife Who’s Kind Of Bored’ | TPM LiveWire.

Wow.

Juan Williams, back in 2012, said Ann Romney was a “corporate wife” whose “husband takes care of her.” He later said that his intent was to say something to the effect that she’s pretty wealthy, and it rang hollow for her to try to empathize with those who have little to no money. Kind of like um… Mitt Romney.

And the voters of Wyoming will see, per Ed Rollins, Liz Cheney as a bored housewife, (innocuous?) rather than the ubiquitous media presence who consistently spews reactionary, wrong-headed platitudes that are supposed to sound substantive because of the weight of her last name.

Maybe soon Ed Rollins will say that his intent was to say, “she’s pretty far to the right, making her father look moderate and the Wyoming senate incumbent look liberal. Not so sure this is a good strategy.” Kind of like um… the strategy that Mitt Romney tried. Political extremism tends to boost a person in the short-term and hurt them in the long-term.

But I guess it’s a lot easier to talk about a woman’s marital status.

Better that than what they actually represent, married or not.

“Stop it. This is hard.”

Umm… this is NOT how I would “stand by, and up for,” my man: “Stop it. This is hard.”

Ann Romney must be exhausted and beyond irritated. Or at least, that’s what resorting to the “why don’t you try this, you don’t know how lucky you are, all of you who speak for the GOP,” argument signals.

When your own party is criticizing you — not simply the “chattering class” but regular voters affiliated with your own party (I know some of these folks, Mrs. Romney) — maybe you could respond like this:

“We recognize their frustration, we feel it too. This is a tough race, we are trying to win on the substance of our ideas, on our vision for the country, on our faith in the opportunity that our country can provide to every single one of its citizens. Criticism from within our ranks and beyond helps us, it strengthens our resolve, it shows us that our fight continues, and will continue, until that very last vote is counted on November 6.”

At least, that’s what I would have done. But that’s because I would never take for granted that the country is lucky to have my spouse as their candidate. I would only know that my spouse was lucky to have the chance to represent the country.

wives well loved

Love and Presidents: The Difference Between Michelle and Ann : The New Yorker, by Amy Davidson. It’s fascinating.

Here’s all I can say with certainty: a candidate’s wife has a tough job to do. She’s got to try to be relatable, while talking up her husband, who by definition has the intelligence, ambition, and ego to want to run the free world. How many of us likely voters out there have a partner like that? How many of us likely voters with a partner could do that job?

Both of these women are undoubtedly excellent wives, excellent mothers, and make excellent First Ladies (one of a nation, one of a Commonwealth). They are proud of their husbands, they are thrilled to raise children with their husbands, they want you to love their husbands as much as they love them. And vote.

They are political wives.

The life Mrs. Obama described sounded familiar to me. Growing up and seeing a parent, in pain but working hard, with pride. Marrying a man who wants more for his community, and from a pretty early age, went out and got it. (Did I mention my spouse was a Peace Corps volunteer?) Putting your career on hold so that you could raise the children while your husband pursued a tremendously demanding career. A 40-year-old friend of mine posted on facebook, “When I grow up I want to be Michelle Obama.” Our current First Lady? She connects.

Mrs. Romney and I both have had the good fortune of not needing to work outside the home. Given the cost of college educations for our children and the amount of savings necessary for even a modest retirement, I, however, will need return to work. But for all her talk of success, Mrs. Romney didn’t convey herself as an aspirational role model. Specifically because I don’t know how one  aspires to be well-born and marry well. Massachusetts’ former First Lady? She seems like a very nice lady.

I’ve said that being a corporate wife means I’m lucky, and it means I wait. Perhaps that applies to political wives, too.

These two women are both very lucky–lucky to have strong marriages and enviable love for and from their husbands. But Mrs. Obama didn’t start out lucky. Mrs. Romney did.

I imagine Mrs. Romney can wait a little longer.