One thing that’s always bugged the shit out of me is when a man says he has to “babysit” his children. It would annoy me if a woman said that too, but I’ve never actually heard a female use that term in reference to her own progeny.
I bet Mittens would have said it, had the situation ever presented itself. I can imagine a scenario back in the 80s in which the entire Romney Nanny Army was simultaneously stricken with food poisoning while the Missus was astride an Austrian Warmblood at some dressage (fancy horse-dancing) event and the kitchen staff, livery crew and gardeners all pretended not to speak English, leaving poor Mittens to “babysit” all five lads.
As yet another demonstration of his cool, crisis-free management style, Mittens may have simply lashed Snotleigh, Tagamet, Cumberbund, Fontleroy and Snoodle to the roof of his golf cart and kept his tee time with the Marriotts. This is all pure speculation, of course, but the Romneys provided a glimpse into their family life in a recent campaign clip titled, intriguingly, “Family,” and after viewing it, it’s easy to image such a madcap, screwball comedy ensuing.
Ruth Marcus over at Kaplan does a pretty good job of pointing out how the clip, meant to humanize Romney, might backfire with female viewers since it unintentionally portrays Romney as yet another hyperactive brat the long-suffering Missus had to tame between patronizing pats on the head about the importance of Motherhood:
“His consoling words were always the same: Ann, your job is more important than mine.”
This story is supposed to buttress Mitt’s bona fides as a supportive husband, and Ann is, no doubt, a more tolerant spouse than I am. But every time I hear that patronizing line, I imagine responding, “Great. If my job is more important, then you come home and do it and I’ll check into the nice room at the Four Seasons.”
Anyhoo, Marcus goes on to note that the contrast in styles between the Obamas and Romneys would tend to skew the female demographic in the president’s direction. True enough.
The gender gap has widened into a chasm, and because “Game Change” changed exactly nothing—people like Nicolle Wallace and Mark Salter are still running presidential campaigns—it wouldn’t surprise me if Mittens puts someone like Kay Bailey Hutchinson on the ticket. He badly needs an Ambassadress to Planet Vajayjay.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]