When pundit Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” Ann shot back that raising five boys was her work freely chosen. Most women understand that Rosen wasn’t denigrating stay-at-home moms (including those that drive two Cadillacs), just noting that their problems are not those of less-than-affluent women who work outside of the home. Yet Obama’s advisors quickly distanced themselves because it broke a sacred rule: “Never criticize your opponent’s wife.”
Ann Gerhart of the Washington Post, says that Mitt Romney is basically a “problem solver.” Problem solving, the goal of public policy, is a growing college major, particularly evidence-based policy, which is simply “what works.” Richard Nixon began the “war on drugs” in 1971 and now, 41 years larer, the drug problem is even worse. Evidence-based policy says it’s time to try something else, but ideology-based policy keeps the failed policies going.
Romney, very much an evidence-based problem solver, applies logic unsullied by emotion. To him, the first problem is to line up enough voters to make him U.S. President. This explains his acrobatic flips and flops on secondary problems like the economy, taxes, health care, immigration, abortion, and contraception. He’s too smart to ignore evidence which is why the ideological right doesn’t trust him. To Mitt, the ideological right is just another problem, so he came out tougher on immigration than Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich, tougher on abortion and contraception than Rick Santorum, and to the NRA, posed as a pheasant and elk hunting gun rights advocate. And still the Radical Right doesn’t trust him. They know that Romney considers them the problem not any of their issues.
He’s also aware that despite wearing unpressed jeans, smiling a lot, and referring to himself as “middle class,” he comes across as a cold fish. But that is one problem to which he has a solution: his wife. Is he right? Is Ann Romney the solution to her husband’s “cold fish” problem? Stay tuned.