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Ann Romney Wants Her Husband’s Republican Critics To Shut Up

It’s been a rough two weeks for the Romney campaign, largely of its own making. Last week, an ill-timed and tone deaf statement on the September 11th attack in Benghazi led to the loss of a news cycle and deprived the campaign of the ability to criticize the Obama White House for its own inept handling of the messaging after the attack. This week, Romney was faced with his own words being played back to him, words that made it sound like he was writing off half of the American population. Through it all, the polls seemingly kept getting worse and worse on both the national and state levels. As a result, we’ve seen reports about tension inside the Romney campaign itself, criticism from Republican politicians and lawmakers,  and the announcement of a reboot that hasn’t seemed to get off the ground. For two weeks now, the talk even from people who support Romney has been rather gloom-and-doomish to say the least.

Apparently, the whole thing is taking its toll even on the candidate’s wife:

Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee.

During an interview early this evening with Radio Iowa, Mrs. Romney directly addressed her fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband.

“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

The criticism and very public hand wringing from Republicans comes as national polls show the race between Romney and President Obama is essentially tied.

“It’s nonsense and the chattering class…you hear it and then you just let it go right by,” she told Radio Iowa. “…Honestly, at this point, I’m not surprised by anything.”

Here’s the audio of Romney’s remarks (via HuffPo):


Jonathan Tobin seems sympathetic to Mrs. Romney’s argument but points out that it’s the campaign that has brought this on:

Mrs. Romney’s reaction is understandable. There is something terribly off-putting about the condescending attitude of writers like Peggy Noonan who wrongly attacked the candidate for quickly pushing back on the administration over the Libya debacle and then jumped on the 47 percent video with both feet. Beset as the Romney campaign is by a hostile mainstream media and a ruthless and nasty Democratic attack machine, the last thing she or anyone else associated with her husband’s candidacy needs is a shot from what is presumably their own side. What she wants is for all those opposed to President Obama to close ranks behind Romney and to push back on the narrative that he is failing. No doubt many conservatives feel the same way. But as much as some of the conservative kibitzers are off the mark, it must be admitted that their angst is merely the inevitable product of Romney’s gaffes and a campaign that has not exactly inspired confidence.

Daniel Larison, though, argues that her response is indicative of what’s going on inside Team Romney:

Calling for critics to be quiet and close ranks may be an understandable reaction, but it’s one that tells us several unflattering things about the Romney campaign. The campaign doesn’t seem to be able to take constructive criticism from those that appear to be genuinely interested in helping them improve and recover from their mistakes. They believe that their own “side” shouldn’t criticize them even when they blunder, which makes it easier for them to pretend that their blunders are just the product of hostile media coverage rather than a real error. They are more interested in responding to their critics than they seem to be in taking their advice seriously, which makes it more likely that they blunder badly later on.

It is somewhat understandable that Ann Romney would react in this manner to the pressures of the campaign, especially the last two weeks, and the criticism of her husband from people who are supposed to be allies, but just because it’s understandable doesn’t mean it’s justified. The Romney campaign has been blundering its way through the General Election in a manner that seems rather bizarre given the manner in which they operated during the Republican primaries. Granted, running against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich is in no way like running against a professional campaign organization like Obama For America, but at least in those days people supportive of Romney’s candidacy could point to a campaign that seemed to be operating the way a campaign that wants to win an election operates. Then, something happened after Romney won the election and, for some reason, the Romney campaign seemed wholly unable to either respond to the Obama campaign’s attacks against it and now seems as gaffe prone a Rick Perry was a years ago. Is it really any wonder that some of Romney’s fellow Republicans aren’t very happy with the situation right now?  While some of them are no doubt acting out of self-interest (and what’s wrong with that?), there are others who are just clearly frustrated by watching yet another Republican campaign blunder its way through an election.

Instead of telling people to shut up and march in lockstep behind Team Romney while they seemingly march off over a cliff, Ann Romney and everyone else in Boston should be listening to what they say, especially this excellent piece from Peggy Noonan this morning:

It is true that a good debate, especially a good first one, can invigorate a candidate and lead to increased confidence, which can prompt good decisions and sensible statements. There is more than a month between the first debate and the voting: That’s enough time for a healthy spiral to begin.

But: The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant “rolling calamity.”

A lot of people weighed in, in I suppose expected ways: “Glad you said this,” “Mad you said this.” But, some surprises. No one that I know of defended the campaign or argued “you’re missing some of its quiet excellence.” Instead there was broad agreement with the gist of the critique—from some in the midlevel of the campaign itself, from outside backers and from various party activists and officials. There was a perhaps pessimistic assumption that no one in Boston would be open to advice. A veteran of a previous Romney campaign who supports the governor and admires him—“This is a good man”—said the candidate’s problem isn’t overconfidence, it’s a tin ear. That’s hard to change, the veteran said, because tin-earness keeps you from detecting and remedying tin-earness.

Noonan suggests that Romney needs to bring in someone new to run the campaign and stop trying to run it himself, and she has a point. Given Romney’s penchant for loyalty, though, I doubt it’s advice that he’s likely to take. Indeed, the Romney people are likely to respond to her advice the same way Chris Wallace of Fox News did this afternoon. That’s unfortunate for them, because she and others are offering some constructive advice here that they really ought to listen to rather than trying to silence because they don’t like to hear criticism.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

    Gee, I didn’t know that’s what Presidents do. I thought they were supposed to provide leadership, and to negotiate with the other side. Maybe he’d like to fire about 47% of us while he’s at it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Why do people keep saying “this is a good man?’ Has someone proven this? If there’s evidence of the assertion I’d be interested to see it. It smacks of Republicans forever telling us Newt Gingrich was “brilliant,” when you knew after ten minutes listening to the man that he was no such thing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 55 Thumb down 0

  3. Moosebreath says:

    @DC Loser:

    I noted that line as well, but for a different reason. It seems like the thing someone who wants to take their ball and go home would say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Whiney-assed-titty-babies.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  5. Anderson says:

    The chattering 47%.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  6. Rafer Janders says:

    That’s unfortunate for them, because she and others are offering some constructive advice here that they really ought to listen to rather than trying to silence because they don’t like to hear criticism.

    This reminds me of someone, but who, who….?

    Oh well, I suppose it’ll come to me sooner or later.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, if you had to deal with idiot savants like Bill Kristol (emphasis on “idiot”) bloviating in your ear, not only would you tell them to shut up you’d smack them upside the head too, for good measure.

    Look, the Romney campaign is inept. Like every Republican campaign in history. It was inept a year ago. It’s inept today. It’ll be inept in October. It’ll be inept the day before Election Day. It’ll be inept on Election Day. Although it’s touching that the likes of Peggy Noonan are all concerned trolling about it the reality is that this is how GOP campaigns are run. They were run this way when Nixon won 49 out of 50 states. They were run this way when McCain morphed right before our eyes into a walking corpse. And if Romney wins the election, guess what? His administration largely will be inept. It’s the nature of the beast.

    Republicans don’t have the advantage of the media carrying their water for them. It’s also about demographics. Republicans who enter politics mostly are businessmen and they see the political process as a means to an end. For Democrats, however, politics is their business. They see it as the ends justifying all means. Democrats are better politicians than Republicans. Always have been. Always will be. They’re more ruthless than Republicans. They want it more. Hell, if the Democrat Party of today wasn’t saddled with the lunatic left and was made up of Harry Trumans and John Kennedys instead of Harry Reids and John Kerrys they’d probably never lose a major election cycle.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 42

  8. Me Me Me says:

    I can explain in two words what is wrong with Romney: brain damage.

    He had a terrible head injury in 1968 that left him in a coma. He may be taking drugs such as anti-seizure meds that impair his cognitive function; or he may just just be suffering the long-term consequences of the trauma.

    Either way, his symptoms are all out there for the world to see.

    His family admit he has a volcanic temper and suffers rages that Ann has to “manage”.

    He is famously verbally and physically award. The one time we know for sure we saw him jet-lagged – London – his gaffe count went off the charts. He maintains a curiously light workload for a man who is behind in the polls, suggesting that he isn’t up to the rigors of the campaign trail.

    He has released no medical information.

    The time has come to ask the simple question of whether or not this man is physically capable of taking on the demands of the hardest, most stressful job in the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

  9. alanmt says:

    Bzzzzzz . . . click . . . click . . . whirrrr.

    *Stepford wife spousal defense systems activate*

    And yeah, “chattering class” is probably not a phrase wisely used by those seeking to deny a aristocratic attitude toward their fellow citizens.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  10. Fiona says:

    @DC Loser:

    …it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

    This line annoyed me as well. It comes off as insufferably arrogant, as if all of us should be getting down on our knees to thank G-d that Mitt decided to run and save us from ourselves. A little advice for Ann: get down off that high horse, honey before people start assuming you’re just as much of a pompous ass as your husband.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    So much wrong. Where to begin. I’ll just pick two:

    1) No, not all Republican campaigns are inept. Had you actually read the Noonan piece you’d see the references to the Reagan campaigns, which were very well run. George W. Bush also ran a capable campaign. In fact it’s generally the Democrats who bungle campaigns — McGovern, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry.

    2) No, most Republican pols are not businessmen, they’re mostly lawyers, just like Democrats. In terms of the White House, Reagan and Bush The Lesser were governors. Bush the Elder was in both appointed and elected politics. Dole and McCain were senior senators.

    So, wrong again.

    Oh, and nowadays Republicans have the full-time services of Fox News, something they didn’t have back when Ronald Reagan was crushing all beneath his feet.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 0

  12. alanmt says:

    Also, I might have a little crush on Ahmed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. anjin-san says:

    …it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

    Yea, the more Ann talks, the less enamored I am of her. This is not the first time she has come across as being annoyed that the peons dare to question Mitt.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @Fiona: Well, we know that she is as much of a pompous ass as her husband.

    I’d rather elect Rafalca as president over either of them. At least I’d be following in a classic Roman tradition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  15. C. Clavin says:

    From now on everytime the Tsarina mentions the thouroughly debunked liberal media meme…everyone drinks.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  16. Me Me Me says:

    @anjin-san: Mitt Romney, in his own words:

    “We, uh, use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her,”

    So his instincts aren’t completely shot.

    But, like I said above: there is a case to made that he’s got brain damage.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  17. Ken says:

    “words that made it sound like he was writing off half of the American population”

    You misspelled “clear”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  18. OliviaC says:

    Rank and file conservatives view President Obama as a singular liar and sabateur. Their alienation or hatred -just like Bush’s critics, you know, the monkey shitting on Bush’s head in The Atlantic?- fuels a need, an addiction really, to gather facts and then interpret them based on Obama’s mindset, upbringing, exposure and ultimate design to put America in its third world, busted Empire place.

    Ann’s defending her husband and that’s understandable but it’s better when losing and still in the game to go Zen, activate and mobilize repentance, but not voice it. And I’d bet there’s some part of Mormon doctrine that teaches the same.

    Their incapacity to figure out why they’re losing against a President they view as unworthy will continue to inspire bountiful babble.

    “What is the sound of an ass whipping happening?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  19. cd6 says:

    This is “hard”?? Hard?

    Hard is paycheck to paycheck to pay the rent. Hard is deciding between the food bill and the heating bill.

    “Get interviewed by a reporter who asks some non-softball questions, before going home to my mansion with car elevators” is not hard.

    The Romenys want to talk about entitlements, but the sense of entitlement they have towards the office of the presidency is completely off the charts? “You should all feel lucky Romney even bothered to run and save America from itself!” Lady, eat shit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  20. stonetools says:

    Come on guys, she is standing by her man. That’s what we want wives to do. Where is the spirit of chivalry and generosity to the fairer sex?

    More seriously, I think the problem is that conservatives were so sure that it was going to be a cake walk for their guy that they are just shocked that they are losing. It CAN”T be that our message sucks and that our “truths” have been shown to be untrue. It must be because our mouthpiece is saying it wrong. Oh, if we could just resurrect Saint Ron……….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  21. Mr. Replica says:

    Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

    Speaking of “victims”…

    The Republican Party/GOP is a brand. A brand that is pretty much in free-fall currently, thanks in no small part to the actions of the Romney campaign, which is spearheaded by Mitt Romney. A party that a month ago was pretty much guaranteed to keep a majority in the House of Representatives, and might even regain the majority in the Senate. Now, a month later, it’s anyone’s guess.

    I may disagree with the republican party on how their views are shaping this country of ours, but even I, someone who has spend ZERO time as a politician, can see that Romney NEEDS to start listening to others. Especially those that know what they are talking about.
    NOT lash out against critics and play the victim, because gosh darn it, this is hard.
    Really? That’s your answer to criticism, Ann? Your husband is taking his campaign and the party over a cliff, and all you can say is woe is me? And then you turn around and say that we are lucky to have your husband as a candidate for POTUS?

    What part of that, any part of that, is supposed to make people feel confident that your husband is up to the task?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  22. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “Republicans who enter politics mostly are businessmen and they see the political process as a means to an end. For Democrats, however, politics is their business”

    Let’s see. Of the last few Republican candidates for president, how many have been business men? Romney, obviously, and I suppose we can give you the multiply-failed “businessman” George W. Bush. Aside from that? Bob Dole? Professional politician for almost 50 years. John McCain? Retired from the Navy in 1981 and a professional politician ever since. George H.W. Bush? True, he did have an oil business, but by the time he was elected VP he’d been in government for 16 years. Nixon? Five years as a lawyer, and then started in government in 1942. Ronald Reagan? An actor, then a lifelong politician.

    So how is it exactly that Republicans who enter politics are mostly businessmen? Oh, I know you’ll never answer this. You jump in to spread misinformation and lies, and then you run away, never trying to defend a single moronic one of your posts. But we all know that what you’re saying is crap. And I for one am pretty sure that you do, too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  23. Me Me Me says:

    @Mr. Replica:

    even I, someone who has spend ZERO time as a politician, can see that Romney NEEDS to start listening to others.

    At the risk of sounding like my favorite Bill Cosby routine, he can’t. Brain damage. See above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    me:

    He had a terrible head injury in 1968 that left him in a coma.

    I think there is also a known connection between head trauma and sociopathy. A key feature of sociopathy is lack of empathy, and Mitt exhibits that in spades.

    How come no one is asking for his medical records?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  25. Rob in CT says:

    how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country

    Nice.

    Excuuuuuse me, if I refuse to genuflect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s been a rough two weeks for the Romney campaign, largely of its own making.

    It’s been an even worse couple of weeks for the Obama campaign… but you’d never know that from this site.

    –Terrorists scored two HUGE wins, assassinating the highest-ranking American official — our ambassador to Libya — and nearly wiping out an entire squadron of Marine aircraft. And the assassination? On the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    –Anti-American riots erupted all across the Middle East.

    –At their convention, the Democrats’ “tribute” to veterans put up huge pictures of Turkish aircraft and Russian warships.

    –We observed 43 consecutive months of unemployment over 8%.

    –Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was found to have violated the Hatch Act and campaigned for Obama under official color of office. And instead of being fired, she was given a stern talking-to.

    –The RNC has over $76 million on hand; the DNC, about 1/10 of that amount.

    –The DNC owes millions to a bank owned by the SEIU.

    –When asked by David Letterman what the federal debt was, President Obama claimed to not know. (It passed $16 trillion during the DNC’s convention where he was nominated for a second term.)

    –The Obama administration is tap-dancing around persistent rumors that it is considering turning over the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, who played a key role in both World Trade Center attacks, over to Egypt.

    Oh, and things that did not happen: in response to the Obama adminstration’s denunciations of all those who mock and insult religions, Bill Maher did NOT apologize for “Religulous” and no one demanded that Broadway shut down “The Book Of Mormon.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 43

  27. Mr. Replica says:

    @Me Me Me:

    While I have never heard of such an incident in which Mitt was in a horrible car crash, I did some investigating.

    http://www.editinternational.com/print.php?id=4f15e790b0b22
    French Car Crash Shaped Romney

    What does worry me is Mitt’s admitted anger issues. Which happens when he is away from Ann for too long.
    (Sure, this may be a result from his coma and traumatic brain injury.)

    MORGAN: So you can lose your temper?

    A. ROMNEY: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. He —

    MORGAN: Quite explosive when he goes?

    A. ROMNEY: You know, I — you know, I will say as both of us have gotten older, you certainly hope you mature. And clearly, that — it’s been something that’s how you learn to control your emotions. And he’s got — definitely gotten better with that.

    But there are still some Mitt-frontations.

    But what do they also call — what do they call me?

    M. ROMNEY: Oh, Ann is the — the Mitt stabilizer.

    (LAUGHTER)

    M. ROMNEY: She — she keeps me —

    MORGAN: So we have Mitt-frontation —

    M. ROMNEY: And the — and the Mitt stabilizer.

    MORGAN: And the Mitt stabilizer.

    M. ROMNEY: Right. If — if I’m away from Ann for longer than a week or so, I just — I — I get off — off the horse. She has to bring me back and moderate me down a bit.

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1106/07/pmt.01.html

    This leaves me wondering what happens if Mitt wins the presidency, and circumstances arise where there is a very serious problem going on. e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil, and Ann is not able to get back to Mitt to help center him mentally. Where people are all around Mitt waiting for him to make a decision regarding a reaction to this horrible incident. What happens then? What happens if this “week or longer” problem presents itself right then and there?
    What happens if Mitt is off on a tangent because of, not only the tremendous stress that comes with being POTUS, but the added stress that comes with having to make the right decision/s after a horrible event, and then has to make a gut call/s regarding the situation?
    Does this mean that at all times Ann HAS to be in a close proximity to Mitt just encase something happens?

    Usually first ladies are doing their own things, while their husbands are doing theirs. Does this mean that Ann will have to make sure never to be too far away from Mitt so that if this situation does occur, she can get back to him in a timely manner?
    Or is this anger management thing that she does, something that she can do over the phone while in distant location?

    I could be over-thinking this, but how do I know?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  28. Me Me Me says:

    @Mr. Replica: Like I said: brain damage.

    Recall what an utter shambles he was in London. Simple explanation: the combination of jet lag and very unfamiliar surroundings destroyed his precarious equilibrium.

    Remember how the locals (British CONSERVATIVES, for pete’s sake) described him? “The American Borat.”

    Brain. Damage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: deflect, spin, point fingers everywhere but the existing traffic accident….

    Sorry, honey, but “he did it too!” only works when you’re 3 years old and haven’t learned any better.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  30. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Terrorists scored two HUGE wins, assassinating the highest-ranking American official — our ambassador to Libya — and nearly wiping out an entire squadron of Marine aircraft. And the assassination? On the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    It is disgraceful to treat an attack on the United States as a victory for your party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

  31. gVOR08 says:

    …it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is…

    While I absolutely agree with this statement by Ann Romney, somehow I come to a different conclusion about what we ought to do about it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  32. jukeboxgrad says:

    Above I asked about Mitt’s medical records. Now I notice that just today, he released a letter from his doctor. The letter is about a month old; I wonder why they waited. Link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    When is Jenos going to remind us that Obama ate dog?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  34. legion says:

    Republicans don’t want to be leaders. They want to be rulers. End of discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  35. jukeboxgrad says:

    From the MD letter Mitt released today:

    His past medical history is notable for a concussion and fractures in a motor vehicle accident in 1968.

    Something about the connection between head trauma and sociopathy (link):

    Impaired social response reversal. A case of ‘acquired sociopathy’. … In this study, we report a patient (J.S.) who, following trauma to the right frontal region, including the orbitofrontal cortex, presented with ‘acquired sociopathy’. His behaviour was notably aberrant and marked by high levels of aggression and a callous disregard for others. … he presented with severe difficulty in emotional expression recognition, autonomic responding and social cognition.

    “Callous disregard for others.” Yup. “Severe difficulty in … social cognition.” A lot of people wonder why Mitt acts like a robot.

    Also notice this (7/27/12):

    I’ve found myself wondering over the course of the campaign whether Romney has some kind of personality disorder, so dissociated does he occasionally seem from the well-worn routines of normal human interaction.

    I think he was already inclined this way (ask John Lauber), but maybe the accident made it worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  36. James in LA says:

    When can we put to rest this whole notion of a Friday Night Dump? This just simply isn’t how the world works any longer. The Memorandum is afire with Blogs of Dissection. This didn’t happen in the Age of Newspapers, and never will again.

    Reason #3,429 Mitt Romney will lose, take the House and AZ, MO and IN with him. At least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. OzarkHillbilliy says:

    Ann Romney Wants Her Husband’s Republican Critics To Shut Up

    Wow. Ann Romney and I have something in common. Another sentence I thought I would never write.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  38. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Hey, Jenos is back!

    What’s wrong — did you forget how to type “Hoot Gibson”?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  39. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans don’t have the advantage of the media carrying their water for them.

    No, instead they have victims like you whining for them…

    They’re more ruthless than Republicans.

    Tell that to Lee Atwater…

    Hell, if the Democrat Party of today wasn’t saddled with the lunatic left…

    Projecting yet again, as the only lunatic that can be associated with your comments is you…

    It’s been an even worse couple of weeks for the Obama campaign… but you’d never know that from this site.

    Hmm…if it has been as bad as you claim, one would think that Romney would have moved up in the polls…seeing as how he hasn’t…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  40. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    It’s been an even worse couple of weeks for the Obama campaign

    At Intrade, Obama is up about 20% over the last two weeks. There must be a lot of people who agree with you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  41. MarkedMan says:

    A lot of people think the Republican bubble provides some kind of advantage for the party but personally I think it leads to this kind of tone deafness. I remember years ago when some feminist (Naomi Wolfe?) asserted that all heterosexual sex is rape. She was trying to be provocative and instead she ended up a laughing stock. She had been living inside a feminist liberal bubble. People inside a bubble talk only to each other, they mutually reinforce, and to get attention they have to turn everything up to 11. When one of them stumbles out of clubhouse and repeats this stuff to the outside world, well, it’s a toss up as to whether they will come across as stupid, clueless, arrogant or a three alarm chili mix of all of them. Substitute “Ditto-Head” for “Feminist” and “Kenyan Marxist Socialist” for “Rapist” and you’ve got the Republican Bubble Boy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  42. de stijl says:

    Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee.

    In a way, Ms. Romney is correct. The Rs could have nominated a much worse candidate – Gingrich, Cain, Bachmann, Trump, Santorum.

    That all of the above at one time led the race is damning and, frankly, scary.

    For better or worse we have a two-party system and one of those two has lost its way. Given our standing in the world, it is our interest to have one half of the government not be unserious, dysfunctional, borderline Greg Stillson-style pathological.

    Even if you are the biggest Team Red fan that ever was, do you really in your heart of hearts want someone like Gingrich, Cain, Bachmann, Trump, or Santorum to be the recipient of the dreaded 3 AM phone call?

    They say that “politics aint beanbag” meaning that elbows get thrown and paint gets rubbed in the process, but we now have some folks who think that the whole point of politics and governance is throwing elbows and rubbing paint – that you’re doing it wrong if you don’t trash the other side.

    If we were Ecuador or Iceland (no offense) it would be a bad thing. We’re not Ecuador or Iceland – this type of dysfunction is not really acceptable in one of the two major US political parties.

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  43. C. Clavin says:

    This is hard…
    Yes. Flying around in private planes and riding in limos and lying about what your opponent says is hard.
    Working your ass off for $18K a year is easy. And it’s so easy, and so much fun, that you have to be a moocher to live that life.
    The Romney’s have no f’ing clue. And worse…they don’t want to get a clue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  44. I’m sorry but if you whine in politics like Ann does perhaps she shouldn’t have joined the party. As the old saying goes “If you cant take the fire, then get the fuck out of the kitchen!”

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  45. al-Ameda says:

    Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee.

    Yes Ann, the Republican Party is very lucky to have as its nominee a man who made his $250M fortune as an LBO specialist by acquiring companies, closing plants, and laying off American workers.

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  46. @MarkedMan:

    I remember years ago when some feminist (Naomi Wolfe?) asserted that all heterosexual sex is rape.

    Andrea Dworkin. And she though male homosexual rape was too. Because gay guys were really just using each other as surrogates for their fantasies about raping women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Libyan police and as many as 30,000 demonstrators just rose up against Ansar al-Sharia, the AQ-allied group that was likely involved in the murder of our ambassador at a cost of 20 hurt..

    The crowd waved swords and even a meat cleaver, crying “No more al-Qaeda!” and “The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!”

    “After what happened at the American consulate, the people of Benghazi had enough of the extremists,” said Hassan Ahmed, a demonstrator.

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  48. anjin-san says:

    Libyan police and as many as 30,000 demonstrators just rose up against Ansar al-Sharia

    Average people in Libya running the extremists out of town. A good day for Libya, a good day for America. Probably a bad day for Romney, and what a #*!*$# shame that is. It would be nice for the right to actually practice “country first”…

    Other signs mourned the killing of Stevens, reading, “The ambassador was Libya’s friend” and “Libya lost a friend.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  49. anjin-san says:

    The militiamen opened fire on the protesters, who were largely unarmed. At least 20 were wounded, and there were unconfirmed witness reports of three protesters killed.

    So the people in Libya are willing to put their asses on the line to fight the militants. How will the GOP spin what is, for them, a disaster?

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  50. anjin-san says:

    “I am sorry, America,” one man said. “This is the real Libya.”

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  51. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Given all of the prerequisites for running for office, it is amazing that anyone would ever run for office who is not mentally ill. Not only does a candidate need to plan on running for office while they are in high school. A candidate also needs to have a spouse who also wants to be involved in politics.

    I wonder if there will be a future trend where politicians will marry each other since then both members of the couple will know what to expect.

    I wonder why no one has noticed how few people are interested in running for office but then again, who wants to have a career of being the tax collector for the entitlement state?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  52. Herb says:

    Um, Mitt….you should go back to using Ann sparingly. Your greatest fears have been realized.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. Herb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “Libyan police and as many as 30,000 demonstrators just rose up against Ansar al-Sharia, the AQ-allied group that was likely involved in the murder of our ambassador at a cost of 20 hurt..”

    Uh oh…looks like Doug’s narrative is collapsing.

    (I keed, I keed.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. al-Ameda says:

    The Romneys like to tell everyone to just shut up and do as they say. Of course, Ann has to run her household on $20M a year and I’m sure that’s stressful.

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  55. EddieInCA says:

    I wonder if Ann Romney knows she doesn’t get to become Queen is Mitt were to win….

    Just sayin’

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  56. I personally think we should cut spouses some slack. It’s one of those things that has long-term implications and not good one.

    Do you want some future “potentially perfect” president to not run because his/her wife/husband isn’t good on TV?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  57. Rob Prather says:

    @MarkedMan: the feminist who asserted that all heterosexual sex is rape was Andrea Dworkin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  58. Mr. Replica says:

    How Romney Packed The Univision Forum

    “These forums are going to be watched by more Hispanics than watched the conventions,” said Alberto Martinez, a Florida-based Romney adviser. “I think [Romney] did an amazing job, and I think it was pretty clear there wasn’t the same excitement for President Obama.”

    But the enthusiasm gap may have been an optical illusion formed by a series of last-minute demands by the Romney campaign, according to Maria Elena Salinas, one of the Univision anchors who moderated the forums.

    Salinas told BuzzFeed that tickets for each forum were divided between the network, the respective campaigns, and the University of Miami (which hosted the events) — and she said both campaigns initially agreed to keep the audience comprised mostly of students, in keeping with the events’ education theme.

    But after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus, the Romney camp realized there weren’t enough sympathetic students to fill the stands on their night — so they told the network and university that if they weren’t given an exemption to the students-only rule, they might have to “reschedule.”

    The organizers relented. One Democrat with ties to the Obama campaign noted that Rudy Fernandez, the university official charged with coordinating the forums, is a member of Romney’s Hispanic steering committee. Fernandez did not respond to BuzzFeed’s questions about whether he gave preferential treatment to Romney’s campaign.

    In any case, Romney’s team was allowed to bus in rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at their town hall.

    Obama’s campaign, meanwhile, stuck to the original parameters and allowed a large chunk of the tickets to be distributed to interested students on campus. The result was a quiet, well-behaved crowd — and a lot of no-shows. Minutes before Obama’s forum was to begin, producers began frantically directing university staff and volunteers to sit in the empty seats.

    Salinas said both candidates ultimately had partisan crowds at their forums, but that Romney’s non-student activists ignored instructions to hold their applause.

    “We were a little bit thrown because it was supposed to be a TV show, it wasn’t a rally,” Salinas said of the outspoken Romney supporters. “It was a little bit of disrespect for us.”

    That wouldn’t be the last demand from the campaign: Romney himself almost pulled the plug on the whole thing minutes before the broadcast, Salinas said.

    While introducing Romney at the top of the broadcast, Salinas’s co-anchor, Jorge Ramos, noted that the Republican candidate had agreed to give the network 35 minutes, and that Obama had agreed to a full hour the next night. Ramos then invited the audience to welcome Romney to the stage — but the candidate didn’t materialize.

    “It was a very awkward moment, believe me,” Salinas said.

    Apparently, Romney took issue with the anchors beginning the broadcast that way, said Salinas, and he refused to go on stage until they re-taped the introduction. (One Republican present at the taping said Romney “threw a tantrum.”)

    “Our president of news was talking to the Romney campaign and negotiating it,” Salinas said. “But at that point, you can’t really argue with that. The candidate is there, everyone is in their seats, the show must go on. There’s a limit to how much we can object to it.”

    The compromise reached was that the anchors would note the discrepancy in the candidates’ time commitments at the end of the broadcast. But Salinas said, by then, the crowd was cheering so loudly that they drowned out the anchors’ words.

    Seems par for the course, to me.
    I’ll await Ann’s reaction to her husband’s tantrum. If there is one…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Bob2 says:

    Doug then proceeds to cite Fox News, Commentary Mag, WSJ’s Peggy Noonan, and The American Conservative.

    Maybe you should some cite other commentary sources before writing the piece Doug and you’ll stop falling for the bullshit spin.

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