Ann Romney Has No Clue: An Open Letter to Ann Romney

by Sue Gillis, Publisher of Vermont Woman


labor of love

On Tuesday night, August 28, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, Ann Romney delivered her much anticipated speech to the Republican delegation. The speech was designed to humanize the awkward mannequin-like persona of Mitt Romney, her husband of 42 years and father of her five grown sons.

The convention started on the winds of Hurricane Isaac, which bypassed Tampa on its way to New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Though it was taboo to mention George W. Bush at the convention, it was impossible to erase the memory of his incompetence in handling this disaster and the subsequent suffering, loss of life and the billions of dollars needed in emergency funds.

The convention also convened just days following the huge uproar of the lie told by one of the right wing conservative stars, U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri, Todd Akin (another name not mentioned) who, when asked about his belief that abortion should be banned even in cases of rape, replied, "From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare... If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that down."

Mitt Romney already was having big troubles attracting support from women. His slow, calculating reaction to Akin was more evidence that this man puts his finger in the air and blows with the neo-con wind.

There is no question that, with his dismal support from women across the nation, Republican operatives were counting on Ann Romney's delivery to shore up a critical constituency, and convert women to a vote for her husband.

Most predicted her speech would be about God, Adoring Love, Family and Country and substance light.

And that was exactly what it was. So following is an open letter:

Dear Mrs. Romney,

It's me, Sue Gillis, up here in Vermont.

No, you do not know me and, of course, you never heard of Vermont Woman, nor do you give a hoot about Vermont, being that it is a blue oasis in a sea of red, and red is for sure your favorite color, because your dress at the convention was really, really red.

Anyway, I was kind of hoping (yeah, I know, I can't help that hopey thing), anyhow, I was hoping you might just want to mention how dreadful Akin's remarks were. I mean, I realize that the Republican platform your husband is pledging to follow, if elected president, states as a goal, "Passing an amendment prohibiting abortion under any circumstances, " and that you, like past Republican wives (Nancy, Barbara and Laura) agree. But, you know, I thought, well, maybe, you might be different…. But no, you just let the Akin thing stand.

Instead you mostly cooed over your early romance with Mitt (married and converted to Mormonism at 19) and a lot of "You can Trust Mitt. "

Why? You told us nothing of Mitt's plans for the future; nothing on health care, nothing on immigration; nothing on his or your taxes; nothing on the poor, nothing on education. Nothing on anything.

Trust Mitt? Isn't he the guy who has changed positions on almost every issue? And excuse me, Mrs. Romney, I do not mean to be disrespectful, but it's a bit much for me to take as genuine, your concern for the overworked women of this country, when you have been dripping in extreme wealth for your entire life (estimated at a quarter of a billion dollars), with six homes, Cadillacs and Limos, dressage horses and plenty of health insurance.

What do you really know of women's struggles? This quote from your speech leaves me stone cold. Listen to yourself:

And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it? It's the moms who have always had to work a little harder to make everything right. It's the mom's of this nation, single, married, widowed, who really hold the country together. We're the mothers. We're the wives. We're the grandmothers. We're the big sisters. We're the little sisters and we are the daughters. You know it's true, don't you?

I love you, women! And I hear your voices. (Those are my favorite fans down there.) You are the ones that have to do a little bit more, and you know what it is like to work a little bit harder, earn the respect you deserve at work, and then you come home to help with the book report just because it has to be done. You know what those late-night phone calls with an elderly parent are like, and those long weekend drives just to see how they're doing.

What sawdust pulp. There is nothing there, there. What about humanness, compassion, fairness? What do you stand for? What about sending our young into wars? Did any of your sons go? Did you see the one thousand faces of dead soldiers, who fought in Afghanistan, in last Tuesday's New York Times?

What about safety nets for the unemployed, the sick, the elderly? What about those women; they clearly are not holding the country together. Single mothers holding the country together; now that's a good one!

And your assertion to "Trust Mitt, " who, you say, took a big risk going to Bain? The fact is well-documented that he and your family were totally protected from any risk whatsoever. His former job was secured; he could always get back, including back raises, and Mr. Bain even promised Mitt's reputation would be publically intact if Bain failed. That's a big safety net he had—so why do you and your husband and party want to dismantle a safety for the neediest Americans, mostly women and children?

It's not okay with this woman that you leave out details, which distort the truth. It seems to run in your family, but how dumb do you think women are anyway?

You said nothing Tuesday night. Nothing: "This is your country. This is our future. These are our children and grandchildren. You can trust Mitt. He loves America. He will take us to a better place. "

Really? Where would that be? You did not say. What kind of country are you talking about when you said that straight into the cameras Tuesday night?

What kind of woman are you? Articulate. Yes. But who are you, really?

I haven't got a clue.



Sue Gillis is the Publisher of Vermont Woman.