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Ann Romney’s Opinions About Birth Control Are Irrelevant To This Election

Ann Romney is apparently taking some heat from the left today over an interview with a local television reporter in which she deflected questions regarding hot-button social issues such as abortion:

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Ann Romney told KWQC TV6 news Friday that birth control and gay marriage are issues that “distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election.”  Mrs. Romney says the election is about “the economy and jobs.”

Mrs. Romney said she wanted to speak about women’s issues, echoing the theme of her recent speech at the Republican National Convention.  “My message, really, was ‘women, I hear your voices.'”

“I wanted to make sure that women of America knew that we have been across this country for the last year and a half and we are very aware of how tough it is for them,” Mrs. Romney said.  “I think all of us know that women work harder than anyone and that they hold down jobs, they are raising the kids, they’re trying to get food on the table and everything else and they’re really being stretched.”

When asked if she believes a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner, Mrs. Romney said, “I’m not going to talk about the specific issues.  I’m going to let my husband speak on issues.”

When asked if she believes that employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control, Mrs. Romney said “Again, you’re asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about.  This election is going to be about the economy and jobs.”

“I’m here to really just talk about my husband and what kind of husband and father he is and, you know, those [birth control and gay marriage] are hot-button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election.”

An April 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that 46% of women voters under age 50 said birth control is “very important” to their vote this November.  The same poll found 31% of women voters said gay marriage is “very important” to their vote.

When KWQC anchor David Nelson referenced the Pew poll, Mrs. Romney responded “but I personally believe, and this is what I’m hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that’s going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children.  That’s the message.”

Here’s the video of the interview:

KWQC-TV6 News and Weather For The Quad Cities –

As far as I’m concerned, Ann Romney was perfectly within her rights to keep control of the conversation with this reporter, and to refuse to be pulled into a situation where she, rather than her husband, becomes the story of the day. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Mrs. Romney regarding what the election is really about, I really have to wonder something very specific. Of what possible relevance are Ann Romney’s personal opinions on any of these issues? She isn’t the one running for office, her husband is. If you want to know the Romney campaign position on social issues, you can either ask them or refer to the policy positions that the campaign and the candidate says in the past. With all due respect to Mrs. Romney, what she thinks about birth control, or abortion, or same-sex marriage is, in the end, entirely irrelevant to this election and, rather than being some example of great journalism as some have suggested, it strikes me that this local reporters insistence on pushing irrelevant questions is an example of journalistic hackery.

We’ve seen episodes like this before. Reporters have asked Barbara Bush, and Elizabeth Dole, and Laura Bush, and Cindy McCain their opinion on these hot button social issues, and they only do it for one reason. It has nothing to do with uncovering some relevant fact about the man who is actually running for President, but with trying to create a “story” by attempting to uncover some area where the candidate and his spouse may disagree on these issues. Even if that’s the case, who the heck cares? Ann Romney is an adult who is entitled to her own opinions, and she’s also entitled to refuse to be used as a pawn by a reporter trying to create a controversy out of something completely irrelevant. If you want to know something relevant about birth control and the race for the Presidency, ask Mitt Romney or his campaign. Asking his wife for her personal opinion is just idiotic, and it’s so far from being good journalism that it isn’t even funny.

Related Posts:

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. alkali says:

    Didn’t Romney designate an “ambassador” on women’s issues? That’s who they should ask.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 3

  2. Nikki says:

    Of what possible relevance are Ann Romney’s personal opinions on any of these issues?

    She became relevant when she became the unofficial spokesperson on women’s issues to the Romney campaign.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 63 Thumb down 6

  3. @alkali: @Nikki:

    None of which makes her personal opinions, as opposed to the campaign’s positions which she invited the reporter to go look up, at all relevant.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 52

  4. Nikki says:

    Doug, did you forget this from back in April?

    “My wife,” [Romney] says, “has occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy.”

    That was Mitt’s defense to the War on Women. And you seriously wrote a post stating that her positions on birth control and abortion are not relevant?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 2

  5. Nikki,

    What part of Ann Romney is not the candidate do you not understand?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 61

  6. Nikki says:

    None of which makes her personal opinions, as opposed to the campaign’s positions which she invited the reporter to go look up, at all relevant

    Then why didn’t she simply say, “My opinions match the campaign’s positions?” What’s she trying to hide?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

  7. Nikki,

    Because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa who clearly thought he’d make himself a star by laying a trap for her.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 60

  8. Nikki says:

    What part of Ann Romney is not the candidate do you not understand?

    SHE’S THE CANDIDATE’S WIFE applying for the position of FLOTUS!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 9

  9. Nikki says:

    Because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa who clearly thought he’d make himself a star by laying a trap for her.

    What? She’s the ambassador on women’s issues to the campaign. Her opinion is apparently different from his. So if she is supposed to be reaching to women across America, convincing us that her husband has our best interests at heart, why couldn’t she say that her beliefs match the campaign’s?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

  10. Nikki,

    The candidate’s wife is not the candidate.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 30

  11. Nikki,

    You have no evidence that her opinion is different from her husbands, and even if it his who the hell cares?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 34

  12. M. Bouffant says:

    How does Ann Romney know “what this election is going to be about?”

    Mrs. Romney said she wanted to speak about women’s issues, echoing the theme of her recent speech at the Republican National Convention. “My message, really, was ‘women, I hear your voices.’”

    And what kinds of issues are “women’s issues?” Hiring good help? Kitchen, yellow or light blue?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 4

  13. M. Bouffant,

    She’s a skilled surrogate staying on message. And she did an excellent job at it I must say.

    I’m no Romney fan, but Ann did a great job in that interview in my opinion

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 32

  14. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    You have no evidence that her opinion is different from her husbands, and even if it his who the hell cares?

    Women.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 3

  15. M. Bouffant says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Apparently she’s her husband’s only connection to women.

    “Hick reporter” is nice too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 1

  16. Fiona says:

    I fon’t think her positions are relevant but, given she’s acting as Mitt’s ambassador to women, it’s certainly fair game to ask her what his positions are.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 2

  17. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Must everything be about gotcha media to you conservatives? Yea! She shot down a hotshot reporter!

    Her answers will in no way appease women voters to the detriment of the campaign.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 2

  18. Nikki,

    I’m not a conservative. I am an observer of politics who recognizes gotcha journalism when I see it, and knows that what a candidate’s wife thinks about issues is completely irrelevant

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 40

  19. Fiona,

    It was fair for the reporter to ask the question. It was fair for her to respond the way she did.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 20

  20. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    None of which makes her personal opinions, as opposed to the campaign’s positions which she invited the reporter to go look up, at all relevant.

    The campaign’s positions? So, asking for Ann Romney’s personal positions is idiotic, is asking for Mitt Romney’s personal positions idiotic too?

    I mean, his personal positions, if he actually has any genuine positions left, are probably quite different from his campaign’s positions….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  21. Eric Florack says:

    Because after all, free birth control, and abortion on demand are the only issues that matter to women…. at least by virtue of what we witnessed from the Democrat Party in Charlotte.

    War on women, indeed.
    (spit)
    This from the party that offers Bubba Clinton as a keynote speaker.
    Anyone got any ice?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 60

  22. john personna says:

    Nothing against her, I think she was handed a raw deal. Knowing that the Platform is not perceived as woman friendly, she was told to everything to economics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  23. PJ,

    Mitt Romney has stated his personal opinions on these issues. That’s all that really matters.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

  24. john personna says:

    (Told by the campaign to turn everything to economics)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  25. I would have given her the same advice. Birth control is a stupid issue to be talking about while the nation is in the middle of the weakest economic “recovery” since World War II

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 50

  26. Ed in NJ says:

    The problem for her is twofold:

    1, as many have already pointed out, she is a surrogate for the campaign, doing an interview on Romney’s behalf, so she should be able to answer simple questions about the Republican platform. She comes across as evasive.

    2, she, and you, know full well that Republicans run on social issues whenever it is to their advantage, so her refusal to answer looks like weaseling out to avoid saying something that doesn’t poll well. Do you really think she would refuse to answer questions about, say, Israel or the war, typical Republican strengths, if asked, and redirect the interview to the economy without answering?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 3

  27. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    A lot of us think it is relevant. What part of that do you not understand?

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

  28. anjin-san says:

    This from the party that offers Bubba Clinton as a keynote speaker.

    Women clearly adore Clinton. One more reason for bithead to foam at the mouth…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  29. Please anjin, tell me how the personal opinions of someone who, regardless of the outcome of the election, will have absolutely no political power, are at all relevant?

    They’re not. Mitt Romney is running for President, not Ann.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 25

  30. anjin-san says:

    Birth control is a stupid issue to be talking about

    Right. You don’t care about it, so it’s not important.

    Perhaps you are not as shallow in real life as you often come across as in print.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 5

  31. anjin-san says:

    someone who, regardless of the outcome of the election, will have absolutely no political power, are at all relevant?

    If you really think a first lady has “absolutely no political power” you should never write another word on politics.

    At the very least, take some time and look up “Roosevelt, Eleanor”…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 2

  32. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Mitt Romney has stated his personal opinions on these issues. That’s all that really matters.

    Through time multiple choice Mitt Romney has stated the opinion that will get him elected. I’m not sure if he has ever stated his personal opinion and, if he has, I doubt that anyone would be able know which one it was. By now, he probably doesn’t either.

    Question is, can frequent etch-a-sketching lead to schizophrenia?

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

  33. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Then maybe they should have kept social issues out of the Platform. Given they did not, and have not been effective on economic issues either, a tough row to hoe.

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

  34. Platforms are irrelevant.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 44

  35. anjin-san says:

    More homework:

    “Wilson, Edith”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin,

    You’re voting for President, not First Lady. Get that through your head.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 38

  37. anjin-san says:

    Platforms are irrelevant.

    Right. When people who lust for power while having the means to achieve it tell you “we want to take away some of your personal freedom”, why, you should just ignore them. Good call!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  38. michael reynolds says:

    I’m with Nikki.

    Since when can we not ask a campaign surrogate about their own positions and opinions? If she was a governor could we ask her about her opinions and where they might differ from the candidate’s? Uh, yeah, we could and would. If she were Chris Christie could we ask? Of course.

    A campaign surrogate is fair game.

    It is especially important since her husband is the (quasi) human Etch-A-Sketch and her answers might shed some light on just which of his ever-shifting, poll-driven opinions might be something like the truth about him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 2

  39. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Hell, this is nothing. Just wait until late-October, especially if Obama’s internal polling is real bad. The liberal media will be so completely in the tank for Obama that Harry Houdini would not be able to get them out. Every question, every report, every graf, every headline, every byline, will be veritable shotgun blasts of the DNC’s/Obama’s talking points.

    As for Ann Romney, she’s a smart woman and clearly she knows to tell a partisan hack simply to pound sand. Good for her, indeed.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 40

  40. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m not a conservative.

    You’re a guy who votes for Republicans! You have no regrets about voting for a conservative who eliminated discrimination protection for gay people and wanted to mandate unecessary vaginal probes on women! Bob McDonnell was on the committee to write the Repiblican platform. That makes him completely mainstream for a Republican.

    Lawyers might think it’s cute to quibble about labels, but come on. Let’s talk about the policies put forth by the politicians you vote for, not what label you think you are in your heart.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

  41. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Well, if our goal is rational democracy then Platforms are pretty vital.

    If our goal is to reinforce mob rule, not so much.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  42. anjin-san says:

    Doug – have you ever been married? Because frankly, you sound astonishingly clueless – both about how marriages work and Presidential politics. I have given you two examples of first ladies who wielded vast political power, something you insist is not possible.

    Maybe you should just have lunch with Florack, Jan, & Jenos. You can all ignore any information that conflicts with your established belief systems.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  43. Bob Beller says:

    @Ed in NJ: Ed, Democrats run on their social issues when it suits them also. They are all about God and never mention abortion when schlepping in churches for votes. 2 hours later at the “women’s group” though, they’ll tell you that abortion is a right until the fetus is fast enough to dodge the forceps.

    And, after watching the video, it really was an attempt at “gotcha” journalism, not an attempt to get a campaign position.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 25

  44. anjin,

    “How marriages work” is irrelevant to who is actually running for President. That person’s name is not Ann Romney. Keep digging this hole, because it looks like you’ll get it deep enough for me to put in a nice swimming pool next summer.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 37

  45. mantis says:

    I agree that Ann Romney’s opinions are irrelevant to the election, and what’s more I just don’t care. But why does she do interviews if she doesn’t want to answer questions about herself?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 1

  46. Modulo Myself says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa who clearly thought he’d make himself a star by laying a trap for her.

    The guy knows all the tricks to setting a trap…irony, bathos, metaphor, litotes, questions about social issues. He was vicious.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  47. Fiona says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Doug–I don’t have a problem with her refusing to answer questions about her stand on these issues or any others. I agree that her positions are irrelevant. But had the reporter asked her about Mitt’s positions, I’d hope she’d respond, given she’s his ambassador to women and all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  48. PJ says:

    @anjin-san:
    Ann Romney’s personal views doesn’t matter, but neither does Mitt Romney’s personal views. Even if he wins the election neither of them will have any say about anything.
    His presidency is going to be run by a Politburo made up by those who paid the big bucks to elect him. Mitt will be their puppet, nothing more. If those who paid him tells him to jump he will only ask how high and then he will jump.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  49. anjin-san says:

    Doug – I am calling BS on you. Please explain how first ladies such as Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Hillary Clinton had “absolutely no political power”…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Bob Beller:

    So, let me get this straight. Any question not specifically designed to elicit a particular, canned talking point is “gotcha journalism.” Do I have that right? Because if so, why do we have reporters at all? Just let the candidates post their positions online and the free press can go home.

    She’s a public surrogate, a campaign asset, just like Michelle Obama. You want to play the game? Then play the game and quit whining. You don’t want to play the game? Then tell everyone you’re off limits, not a surrogate, and they will leave you alone.

    The Romney campaign wants its cake and to eat it, too. No.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 1

  51. john personna says:

    She did not need to discuss her personal opinions, but a serious answer would have said whether Mitt as President, would stand by his Party Platform.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  52. Michael,

    Great. So let’s have a journalist ask Michelle Obama what she thinks of her husband issuing an assassination order against an American citizen, without due process, that resulted in the death of an innocent 16 year old boy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 11

  53. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Funny, but I am old enough to recall Republicans complaining about Hillary Clinton’s influence on Bill, and Michelle Obama’s influence on Barack. Funny that it’s only when the opinions of Republican spouses become an issue does Doug complain.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  54. Moosebreath,

    And I thought it was stupid and irrelevant then too

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  55. Modulo Myself says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I can’t speak for Michael, but as a Obama supporter, I would be highly supportive of any attempt to shame or humiliate or, through some insane logic, change the policies of the President and his robot army. Even if it involved his wife.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  56. anjin-san says:

    stupid and irrelevant

    Just as a woman’s right to make her own reproductive and personal health choices is in your bizarro universe…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  57. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: So there’s no connection for individual women between their access to readily available and affordable healthcare and their ability to function with full economic freedom?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  58. Anjin,

    Wow. You are jumping to more conclusions than a high jumper at the Olympics.

    I support women’s access to birth control and abortion. I feel slightly differently about the demands by people like Sandra Fluke that other people pay for those things.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 30

  59. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    are these your words?

    Birth control is a stupid issue to be talking about

    Funny, I know a lot of women (you know, the ones who end up raising the babies) who feel otherwise…

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

  60. Please anjin, point me to the piece of legislation pending in Congress that would ban birth control

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  61. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I have no problem with journalists asking Michelle Obama that.

    You get in the game or stay out of the game. Any family member who wants to stay out of the game and limit themselves to family photo type walk-ons is off-limits. I have no problem at all with them saying, Look, I’m a private citizen, I don’t do interviews.

    But if you are running around speaking for the campaign, then you’d better get your game face on.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

  62. anjin-san says:

    I feel slightly differently about the demands by people like Sandra Fluke that other people pay for those things.

    I am certain that when the time comes for you to use something like viagra, you will, because of your personal convictions, and like all Republican and libertarian men, refuse to allow your health insurance to pay for any of the cost and go 100% out of pocket…

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

  63. anjin-san says:

    hmmm suddenly my comments are going into moderation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  64. bill says:

    @Nikki: sure like michelle’s the official food nazi- and she could lose a few pounds….just saying.
    ann’s a nice, classy woman (and michelle is too) , but we aren’t supposed to be voting for either.

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

  65. john personna says:

    I think Doug is supporting the Platform, and candidate, he wishes he had, rather than the one he does.

    Not an uncommon affliction.

    He wishes the GOP was not driven by social issues, and had an actual answer on jobs and the economy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  66. Health insurance can cover whatever it wishes. I do not accept the power of the state to force insurers or employers to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  67. anjin-san says:

    Please anjin, point me to the piece of legislation pending in Congress that would ban birth control

    Please Doug, tell me with a straight face that Republicans are not burning the midnight oil in their efforts to restrict/eliminate women’s reproductive choices…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  68. john personna says:

    @bill:

    Michelle just looks like an athlete, not a model.

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

  69. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa who clearly thought he’d make himself a star by laying a trap for her.

    Sure, she learned trap detection from Admiral Ackbar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  70. anjin-san says:

    Health insurance can cover whatever it wishes

    Because the gods of free enterprise have decided that erection enhancers are vital to health, while the ability to avoid unwanted pregnancies is not. Sorry gals…

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

  71. Anjin,

    Again, ask the Romney campaign about that. His wife’s opinions on the issue are entirely irrelevant.

    Now, have a good evening. I have better things to do besides bashing my head against a desk saying the same thing over and over again while people fail to grasp reality.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 38

  72. Nikki says:

    @bill: When did the Democrats campaign on a platform of restricting your right to food?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  73. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug,

    You have a track record here. And it is entirely devoid of complaints when Republicans go after Michelle Obama. So if you in the privacy of your thoughts believe that it is stupid for Republicans to go after her, and post a front-page post about Democrats going after Ann Romney, it says a lot about you.

    And it’s not good.

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

  74. Just nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Modulo Myself: Well, I think the “hack reporter from Davenport” sprung the trap rather well. Ann Romney’s message is presented as “women, I hear your voices.” Declining to answer questions, while an appropriate response, sends the message “I hear them, our party is just not listening to you.”

    The question is the equivalent in this forum to “have you stopped…”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  75. anjin-san says:

    I have better things to do besides

    I have the Giants game on, a project to wrap up, and might make it out to hear some jazz later. I can still make time to try and introduce ideas from outside the rather narrow Dougverse to you…

    And I notice you completely ducked my question about Mrs. Wilson, Roosevelt, and Clinton. Big surprise that…

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

  76. Moosebreath,

    That’s absolutely nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  77. M. Bouffant says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Sandra Fluke did not want other people to pay for her birth control, she merely wanted the same options from her required-by-Georgetown student insurance as the insurance Georgetown offers to its employees. Indeed, most or much of her testimony before the Congressional committee concerned a fellow student who needs the pill for a medical condition, not for birth-control purposes.

    Denying women full coverage is discriminatory.

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

  78. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Great. So let’s have a journalist ask Michelle Obama what she thinks of her husband issuing an assassination order against an American citizen, without due process, that resulted in the death of an innocent 16 year old boy.

    Fine! You think she’s never gotten any tough questions?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  79. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    What you don’t get – and I think it’s intentional, because you don’t like it – is that by not answering the question, Ann Romney became what you didn’t want; the focus of the story. The story this afternoon is all about Ann Romney not answering the question.

    Had she just mimicked the campaign’s position with no fuss or evasiveness, this isn’t a story. No one would care about Ann Romney putting Mitt’s position on the record… again. BUT…. By being evasive, and choosing the ignore the question, she did, in fact, become the story.

    Another fail for the Romney campaign.

    Another day’s messaging lost. And you can bet the Sunday shows will ask about it as well. It’s the world we live in now.

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

  80. Eddie,

    Nobody cares that Ann Romney didn’t answer the question. It’s an irrelevant question.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 31

  81. bill says:

    @Nikki: “junk food”, it’s a michelleism. play dumb of you want.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18

  82. Mantis,

    No, she hasn’t. And I don’t think Michelle Obama should get any tough questions. She is a wife and mother, not a politician.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 17

  83. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Dude – Check out http://memeorandum.com/

    Denial isn’t a pretty thing.

    You’re wrong. People care. She screwed up.

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

  84. Mike in NC says:

    Your cluelessness is most impressive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  85. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I have better things to do besides bashing my head against a desk saying the same thing over and over again while people fail to grasp reality.

    Want to stop bashing your head? Craft better arguments. And your opinions about what questions are and aren’t appropriate to ask a candidate’s spouse do not qualify as reality that others must grasp.

    If she doesn’t want to answer questions about herself, perhaps she shouldn’t give interviews. If a reporter asks for her opinion about political issues in an interview, it isn’t some crazy thing. It’s to be expected.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  86. anjin-san says:

    She is a wife and mother, not a politician.

    Let’s not bother the little lady with anything important or complex. She has cookies to bake.

    Suddenly, I find myself wishing for a D. Mataconis/M. Obama debate…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  87. M. Bouffant says:

    @anjin-san: To be fair, Mrs. Romney does not seem as if she’d be running the White House, Edith Wilson-style, if her husband were incapacitated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  88. bill says:

    @john personna: well, Serena’s an athlete to me…..once again i have respect for her and her speech- but preaching and not following….meh. she’s a 1%er now, and can do what she pleases. end of the day she’s the wife and who cares what she says? we didn’t elect her and it doesn’t matter if she’s a wonderful woman or trash- and i think she’s wonderful but her husband isn’t. (he’s a nice guy but out of his realm)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  89. Jeremy R. says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Please anjin, tell me how the personal opinions of someone who, regardless of the outcome of the election, will have absolutely no political power, are at all relevant?

    If you feel that’s true why should anyone care about her personal opinions on what issues women will vote on, the state of the economy, and whatever other canned talking points she’s sent out to regurgitate? Why are those opinions relevant, but when acting as a Romney women’s-outreach surrogate, being asked to explain the rationale behind other parts of his platform, that also effect women, are off limits?

    In any case, there’s no news value in talking points, and if that’s all that’s allowed, the Romney camp isn’t owed the free airtime and he really should just pay to run an advertisement.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  90. anjin-san says:

    @ M. Bouffant

    I am inclined to agree. And such a thing would probably not be possible in the modern world anyway. But for Doug to claim that a first lady has no political power is beyond laughable. Where he gets the idea that one needs to win an election to wield power I have no idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  91. bill says:

    @M. Bouffant: i can slightly agree, i don’t think the gov’t has any business declaring what ins. companies “must” cover. (they used to have several “plans” that covered what we could afford- it is a gamble anyway) and i don’t think they should have to cover viagra or any of those “ed” drugs either- but if she insists that the gov’t needs to stay out of our bedrooms, i say sure- just don’t make me pay for what happens in there. (and getting pregnant by someone who will not provide for you is not the worst thing that can happen from unprotected sex).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  92. MarkedMan says:

    Poor Doug. You’re so smart and all we idjits just can’t see it. BTW, have you ever in your life admitted you were wrong? No, wait, that’s a bridge too far. How about this: Have you ever in your life ever looked at an issue from someone else’s point of view and said, ‘Hmm, you’ve got a point there. Let me think about it.”

    Let’s lay out the facts in this case:
    – Romney has stated on more than one occasion that his pipeline to women’s issue’s is Ann. In other words, He has stated, on the record, that he views Ann’s opinions as important when he formulates policy
    – Ann is paraded out as the spokesman on Women’s issues by the campaign
    – Ann just made a nationally televised speech where she talked about how she had a “real marriage” a statement that many, rightly or wrongly, interpreted as a nod to the wingers about those ‘phony’ gay marriages.

    So yes, the reporter, gotcha or not, was absolutely within his rights to ask Ann about her opinions.

    Ann was perfectly within her rights to decide this was risky territory and duck.

    And we are perfectly within our rights to make of it what we will.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 0

  93. Andre Kenji says:

    @mantis:

    But why does she do interviews if she doesn’t want to answer questions about herself?

    No, the problem is the opposite. My mom, that´s not the most highly educated woman in the world, always says that a woman has to work outside her home. In part because she feels that a woman that does not work will be involved with vanities all the time(Note: she lives in a country that has plenty of preschool and that has paid maternity leave, so, it´s a different world than the US).

    I can understand that when I see Ann, because she only talks about herself, her marriage and her illness. It´s all about her. Since Ladybird Johnson all First Ladies were women that could discuss all kinds of policy issues with deepness. The only things that Ann talks are her illness and her marriage. She is empty.

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

  94. anjin-san says:

    @ Andre Kenji

    The courage Betty Ford displayed in being candid with the public with her substance abuse issues and her use of her positon to educate people leaps out at me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  95. MM says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    hick reporter from Davenport

    When in doubt, go with the personal attacks, eh Doug? You are just 10 pounds of class and rational argument in a 5 pound bag.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  96. Nikki says:

    @bill: You must be an infant because “fast food,” candies, cookies, potato chips, etc. have been called “junk food” for many decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  97. M. Bouffant says:

    @bill: How are you being “made to pay” for anything in anyone’s bedroom?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  98. mantis says:

    @bill:

    sure like michelle’s the official food nazi

    Many forget how the Nazis started, by sweetly telling children to eat their vegetables.

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

  99. anjin-san says:

    Many forget how the Nazis started, by sweetly telling children to eat their vegetables.

    I think student loans played into it as well…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  100. Nikki says:

    I support women’s access to birth control and abortion. I feel slightly differently about the demands by people like Sandra Fluke that other people pay for those things.

    Why do conservatives believe this? My birth control will be paid for in the same manner as all of my other and everyone else’s prescriptions, through premiums. Contraceptives are just drugs. If you don’t care why I take Vicodin and Oxycodone, why should you care why I take Progestin?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 0

  101. mantis says:

    @anjin-san:

    I think student loans played into it as well…

    Dammit, that’s right. The Nazis started in so many counterintuitive ways!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  102. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I feel slightly differently about the demands by people like Sandra Fluke that other people pay for those things.

    I missed this one before. It’s a crock of shit. Fluke did not demand this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  103. john personna says:

    @Nikki:

    Probably reduces net costs, like my Lipitor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  104. Lynn Dee says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    She may have done a good job at avoiding questions she didn’t want to answer — just as Warren Sapp once did a good job on that hopping through the tires obstacle course at training camp. But the overall impression continues to be that she’s disdainful of “the little people” and not a particularly good ambassador on women’s issues. And that’s not good for Mitt — perhaps she doesn’t care about that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  105. Bob says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    …ask the Romney campaign about that. His wife’s opinions on the issue are entirely irrelevant.

    SHE IS PART OF THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN.

    She is being put out there specifically to garner votes for her husband; she is his ambassador to gyno-Americans, by his own admission. If she doesn’t want to answer questions about the campaign, she can sit in one of her homes and STFU.

    I’m no Romney fan… I’m not a conservative…

    Bullshit. You are such a lying Romney partisan, Mataconis. You fluff him every day. And you’re being called out on it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  106. qtip says:

    Even when there’s this level of disagreement, I’d like to thank Doug for hanging out so much in the comments and keeping the debate going. I think it makes this site much more interesting (and a bit addictive).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  107. al-Ameda says:

    Well that makes it somewhat official – Ann Romney is not going to prevent the Republican Party from losing as many women voters as it appears to be losing. Still, she’s right to leave the evasiveness to Mitt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  108. Santiago says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    You are only trying to act reasonable, libertarian, or whatever, but after lurking here for a few years now, let me just delurk for a second to say that I am utterly convinced that you are a wingnut.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  109. An Interested Party says:

    …while people fail to grasp reality.

    That’s actually quite amusing coming from a libertarian…

    Oh, by the way, so much for “I love you women!”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  110. Andre Kenji says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “How marriages work” is irrelevant to who is actually running for President.

    No, marriages are relevant to who is running for President. For instance, here in Brazil the spouse is counted for term limits purposes – the spouse can´t succeed a mayor, president or governor that´s term-limited. Your spouse is inevitably your closest adviser. Nancy was probably the greatest political influence that Ronald Reagan ever had.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  111. anjin-san says:

    @ Andre Kenji

    You must be smoking crack. It is simply not possible for a first lady to have political power. You should really pay more attention when Doug is talking :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  112. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Ok, no one should have down dinged Doug on this point, because he is right. Let everyone play by the same set of rules.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  113. Nikki says:

    She is a wife and mother, not a politician.

    What makes Michelle and Ann different from Hillary Clinton?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  114. bk says:

    I have better things to do besides bashing my head against a desk saying the same thing over and over again while people fail to grasp reality.

    Well, the unofficial tally so far is about 99 people who “fail to grasp reality”, vs. about 3 who you think do. And all 3 may very well be the same person under different screen names. Hey – maybe you’re right, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  115. Dollared says:

    Bullshit. You are such a lying Romney partisan, Mataconis. You fluff him every day. And you’re being called out on it.

    This. Next, Doug, you’re going to tell us that your a JFK liberal who’s disappointed in the Obama. Nothing quite so dishonest as a wingnut with a losing argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  116. David M says:

    Was she actually campaigning and representing the campaign, or was it a fluff piece? Nothing, and I mean nothing should be off limits in the first case, but if it’s just publicity for a candidate’s spouse, then controversial questions aren’t appropriate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. Scott O says:

    Please, let’s be civil. I agree with Doug sometimes and more often disagree with him. But he is not a wingnut or a Romney partisan. He comes down hard on Republicans about as often as Democrats from what I’ve seen. If you think he is wrong feel free to say so and explain why. Let’s just be moderately respectful and that goes for Mr. Joyner too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  118. michael reynolds says:

    I’m with Scott O on this. I have a hard time with the idea of vitriolic attacks on a man who after all provides this venue. For free. Might be a good time to take a deep breath.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  119. Jeremy R. says:

    @David M:

    Was she actually campaigning and representing the campaign, or was it a fluff piece?

    She’s not focused on giving personal insights into Mitt and their family life, instead she spends the interview repeating campaign talking points concerning women and the economy. Everything else is apparently off limits.

    For example:

    http://www.kwqc.com/story/19484978/anne-romney-kwqc-tv6-interview-transcript

    And, frankly, the President said four years ago that if he doesn’t turn this economy around he’s going to be looking at a one-term presidency. And I frankly believe that Mitt is the person that is so going to be focused on jobs and job creation and making sure that women’s economic prosperity is more certain and by the way their children’s future is because as we all know we’re facing this debt crisis. Sometime, somewhere, somehow someone’s going to have to pay off these debts, and it’s going to be our children. And we have to, it’s getting to be a desperate situation. We will be looking at a Greece-like situation or a Spain situation if we don’t address these issues very quickly.”

    This election is going to be about the economy and jobs.

    … what I’m hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that’s going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children. That’s the message.

    I’m going to talk to you about the economy and about job creation and about how my husband is the right person for the right time. This is going to be an election that is very important for women, and we are going to make sure that their economic prosperity is more certain under a President Romney.

    If she’s not acting as a surrogate, no one should care about her partisan critique of the President, the economy and the election, and she shouldn’t be getting free airtime to deliver it. On the other hand, if she is operating as a campaign surrogate, she should stop demanding that the interview be limited to “the message” which is apparently memorized campaign talking points on a single topic.

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

  120. Moderate Mom says:

    @Nikki: I’m impressed that you have insurance coverage that allows you to get prescriptions at absolutely no out-of-pocket cost. That’s wonderful! Can I please have the name of your insurance company? Mine makes me pay a co-pay for all drugs, ranging from $10 to $35, depending on the drug. I’d love to get my medicine with no out-of -pocket cost, and my husband would love to as well. Right now, between the two of us, for our various prescriptions, we spend about $350 a month out-of-pocket. Given my husband’s medicine keeps him healthy and alive, I do think that he is more entitled to free life saving drugs than our daughter is to free birth control pills.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  121. Barney says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Doug forfeited any right to be treated respectfully after he made the comment “because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa who clearly thought he’d make himself a star by laying a trap for her”. With that, he’s put himself firmly in the comments section as throwing around insults with the rest of us, and we can point out his own inadequacies in logic, reasoning, and partisanship. He is, for instance, too ignorant, wilfully or otherwise, to know that Ann Romney has been part of the Romney campaign for months.

    He also ought to realise that access to contraception is an economic issue too. Most women who worry about “raising the kids” and are “trying to get food on the table” want to be able to control how many more kids they’re going to need to feed.

    Let’s face it, Doug is saying “Ann Romney is smarter than you guys, so you don’t have the right to question her, or point out when she’s avoiding questions relevant to her role in the campaign”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  122. Ding says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If “It was fair for the reporter to ask the question”, then why insult the reporter by calling him a “hick reporter” trying to “make himself a star ”

    And how does a reporter “lay a trap” by asking a fair question?

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

  123. Ding says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Not valid: Romney claimed Ann was his ambassador to women, whereas
    Obama never claimed that Michelle was his ambassador to international military politics

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  124. Stonetools says:

    First of all, I salute the reporter for actually trying to be a journalist rather than a dutiful stenographer copying down talking points.
    Secondly, if Anne Romney is there to talk about women’s issues, then she should damn well be prepared to talk about ALL women’s issues, not just robotically repeat talking points.
    Third, if Michelle Obama came to an interview saying ” I’m here to talk foreign policy” I would hope that the reporter would ask her questions about drones and Afghanistan, and not just allow her to repeat Administration talking points.
    Finally, the reporter should have phrased the questions as ” What is the Romney campaign ‘s position on gay marriage and contraception” rather than what are her positions. Doug has a point there. That said, though, it was news that Michelle Obama had a different position on gay marriage than her husband , until he ” evolved”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  125. @Barney:

    No, I am saying that the reporter asked a stupid and irrelevant question and Ann Romney did an excellent job of not falling for his nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  126. Argon says:

    Here’s how it plays to a skeptical public…
    Shorter Ann Romney: We’ve already given you people all you need to know.

    Since when did health care, family planning and the legal status of lesbian families have no part of economic issues that impact women? Seriously, if the campaign put her out there as an ‘ambassador for women’ and she accepts that role, how can you not expect to answer such questions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  127. Argon,

    No, the public should realize that Mitt Romney is running for President, not Ann. The reporter was asking her for her personal opinions, not the campaign’s positions. Her personal opinions on these issues are irrelevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  128. liz andrews says:

    @Doug Mataconis: When to become a mother is an economic decision in part. Parents have to raise their children and have to work to earn a living that lets them do that. Being able to control our reproductive lives is most definitely related to women’s economic well-being. Of course, Ann Romney has every right to duck the question, just as the reporter had every right to show her ducking the question. Her opinion — and that of the Romney campaign — doesn’t determine what the campaign and the issues mean to the rest of us. If we find their framing narrow, unimaginative and limiting, well, we have other options. Ms Romney’s attitude, and that of her husband more generally, very clearly demonstrates the CEO ethos at work: if you own the company, you can tell people how to view things, and they have to at least pretend to go along if they want to keep their jobs. But the voters aren’t on a Romney payroll; we’re not required to do what we’re told or accept whatever framing the Romneys offer. And, incidentally, I have to wonder where Ann Romney’s finding these women who don’t care about their fundamental human rights. Most women I talk with think this is important stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  129. Raoul says:

    Let’s get this straight- a reporter has a right to ask this type of questions and the subject has a right not to answer therm. Okay- You have a right to to defend the non-response and think it is politically prudent and I will disagree with that. So why do insult the reporter and why do you think it is a trap and why do you think first ladies have no political persuasion and why do you think birth control should be off topic in a bad economy? (Is it an acceptable topic in a good economy?) Here is what I think-you were trolling for comments, tried to brandish you contrarianism and you probably over reacted as your odd posts show. Here is what I think: DM FAIL.

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

  130. catperson says:

    Mr. Mataconis, by your logic, no one other than Romney should be interviewed. Everyone could just go to the campaign website. If she’s a surrogate for the campaign (and she clearly is) then it’s absolutely okay to ask her her personal beliefs. It’s not gotcha journalism to see if even she thinks the Republican platform is too extreme. And it’s weak for her to expect a journalist to help her stay on message.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  131. Argon says:

    Splitting hairs Doug. She’s could always have described the campaign’s position, or to be real, Mitt’s continuously variable positions on the same issues. You don’t say that you’re only there to discuss economic issues whenever you get thorny questions. Hell, she couldn’t even address economic issues in any detail given that Mitt’s campaign has never provided much more than bromides.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  132. Argon,

    More than once, she referred the reporter to what her husband has said on the topic. That was a sufficient answer, IMO

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  133. Stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    So , Doug, would you be OK if Mr. Nelson had asked, ” What are the Romney campaign’s positions on gay marriage and contraception?”. Because it appears to me that she would have refused to answer those questions as well. Again, she began the interview by saying that she was here to talk about WOMEN’S ISSUES, without restriction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  134. Nikki says:

    @Scott O: I apologize for calling Doug a conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  135. Stonetools,

    That would be a relevant question. And Mrs. Romney could respond by referring him to the campaign’s previous statements as well as those of her husband.

    The personal opinions of a potential First Lady, though, are simply irrelevant, and Nelson looked silly asking the question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  136. Nikki says:

    @Moderate Mom: Oh, so you’re upset that you have to pay out-of-pocket costs for your some of your medications? Like all of the rest of us? Do you get upset too when your provider or HMO offers free flu shots?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  137. Nikki says:

    Finally, the reporter should have phrased the questions as ” What is the Romney campaign ‘s position on gay marriage and contraception” rather than what are her positions.

    Which is why I wondered why she simply didn’t say “My beliefs are the campaign’s beliefs.” Question answered, let’s move on. Are her handlers so incompetent that they failed to prepare her for these inevitable questions? Can she not think on her feet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  138. Nikki,

    I think she handled the question perfectly fine, actually.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  139. Argon says:

    Doug, she just said that these were ‘hot button topics’ and that she wasn’t there to discuss ‘specific issues’, leaving her husband to ‘speak on issues’. (Referring not ‘multiple times’). She couldn’t even parrot the positions. But she seemed more than willing to talk about ‘the economy’, which I suppose is a topic perfectly free of issues.

    One final comment. From the start of the transcript:
    *********
    Anchor David Nelson: “What is your message to voters?”

    Ann Romney: “My message, really was, ‘women, I hear your voices,’ and the interesting thing about this economy, this tough economy that we’re going through, is that women have been hit the hardest. And I wanted to make sure that women of America knew that we have been across this country for the last year and a half and we are very aware of how tough it is for them.
    **********

    Note she says, ‘My message’ and ‘I hear your voices.’ In grammar that’s called ‘first person, singular’. So, I don’t see why it’s crazy to ask her what she thinks about what she heard.

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

  140. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yes, I can see that you do. However, there is evidence that a significant portion of those whose votes her husband will need to win this election find her response a bit lacking. And now the major networks have picked up the story. Hence, another weekend of not good press for the Romney campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  141. Nikki,

    I think the average voter couldn’t care less what Ann Romney thinks about birth control an gay marriage. I know I don’t, even though I completely disagree with her husband’s position

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  142. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Is that how one wins elections? By assuming that the average voter doesn’t care about one’s policy positions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  143. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    More than once, she referred the reporter to what her husband has said on the topic.

    Then why is she being interviewed at all? Why should any newspaper, magazine or news show give her any airtime, if they can get the same information by just going to the campaign website? If Ann Romney isn’t prepared to do more than say “asked and answered” when faced with a pertinent question, then what’s her value as a campaign surrogate? Who is she persuading?

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

  144. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think the average voter couldn’t care less what Ann Romney thinks about birth control an gay marriage.

    Then why shouldn’t the average voter also care less what Ann Romney thinks about “women’s issues” and the economy? And if no one is supposed to care what she thinks, then what the hell is the Romney campaign doing sending her out to be interviewed? “Here’s someone to interview though, by the way, you shouldn’t care what she says or thinks.”

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

  145. Nikki says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    “Here’s someone to interview though, by the way, you shouldn’t care what she says or thinks.”

    Which seems to be the Republican view of every woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  146. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think the average voter couldn’t care less what Ann Romney thinks about birth control an [sic] gay marriage.

    I think it’s revealing of his sense of deeply ingrained and unconscious privilege that to Doug, “the average voter” is quite obviously not a woman or gay or lesbian, since his “average voter” is presumed not to care about these issues. For Doug, the “average voter” is a heterosexual man — everyone else doesn’t really count.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  147. Rafer,

    Like everyone else in this thread you fail to provide a rational reason why Ann Romney’s personal opinions are at all relevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  148. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis

    I guess you and I just disagree as the role of a surrogate, then. Again, if Michelle Obama came to an interview saying , ” I’m here to talk about foreign policy”, I expect her to be prepared to discuss foreign policy issues, not just to recite Administration boilerplate and to refer actual questions to the campaign web site. I would even hope, though not insist, that she share her personal views on the issues .
    Your view of a surrogate could really almost be done by a talking parrot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  149. stonetools,

    Any campaign surrogates that starts talking about their personal beliefs is, by definition, a very bad surrogate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  150. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Like everyone else in this thread you fail to provide a rational reason why Ann Romney’s personal opinions are at all relevant.

    If her personal opinions are irrelevant, then why did she say,

    When Nelson referenced the Pew poll, Mrs. Romney responded “but I personally believe, and this is what I’m hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that’s going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children. That’s the message.”

    I’m sorry, Doug, she put her personal beliefs in play with her answers. She opened the door, counsel.

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

  151. Nikki says:

    BTW…you know what makes easily available access to birth control an economic issue? Because families do so much better when they are able to maintain control of the numbers for whom they must provide. You break the cycle of generational welfare by making education, housing and health care more affordable, so that welfare dollars can be re-directed (re: spent) back into the economy, thus creating demand, thus creating jobs; hence, fewer welfare queens and a stronger middle class.

    Geez.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  152. Bob says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I agree with Doug when he says there is no rational reason why Ann Romney’s personal opinions are at all relevant. But only with the caveat that there is no rational reason why Mitt Romney’s personal opinions should at all be relevant. Or anyone else’s personal opinions, for that matter, other than the person who wishes to use birth control. It is nobody else’s business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  153. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Then by that definition , Anne Romney is a poor surrogate.

    Actually, I believe that a surrogate should be willing and able to discuss their campaign’s positions on the issues she is there to be interviewed for. By that definition, Ms Romney failed as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  154. Barry says:

    @Nikki: Seconding, here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  155. Rafer Janders says:

    Like everyone else in this thread you fail to provide a rational reason why Ann Romney’s personal opinions are at all relevant.

    Eh, everyone else in this thread has provided multiple rational reasons why it’s relevant. You are either genuinely incapable of understanding it or pretending to be incapable of doing so because you can’t really back up your position, but I’ll try one more time:

    The Republican Party has acquired a quite deserved reputation of waging a war on women and being openly hostile to women and their concerns. Mitt Romney, knowing this reputation is electoral poison, has decided to shield himself behind his wife, telling voters “hey, I don’t hate women — look, my wife is even a woman! She’s my ambassador to women!

    [I won't even get into how insulting it is to characterize it that way, as if woman are some exotic native country that needs an ambassador rather than normal American voters].

    So he has, in a way, offered Ann Romney as a hostage to his continued good behavior towards women. The message is “I won’t screw over women, because Ann won’t let me.” In that case I think it’s perfectly rational — necessary, even — to find out what Mrs. Romney’s personal beliefs are, so that we can be sure that she herself will be an effective advocate — which is what both Mitt and Ann Romney claim will be her role if he wins power.

    If she, for example, doesn’t believe herself in the right to birth control, will she stand up for that right when a Romney administration tries to restrict it? If she doesn’t believe in marriage equality, will she be able to counsel her husband on protecting lesbian mothers who both want equal legal rights as their childrens’ mother?

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

  156. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug, then why be interviewed?

    Sorry – strike the question mark – she was out there as a representative of Romney, just as much as any paid staffer, and should be treated as such.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  157. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa

    So much for “outside the beltway”:
    You are from Davenport, Iowa, therefore you are a hick. Because you are a hick, you are not allowed to practice journalism. That is the sole privelge of Serious Journalists…like those who live in Washington DC. And everyone knows that a Serious Journalist would never be so gauche as to ask the candidate’s designated ambassador for women’s issues questions about women’s issues.

    Seriously, Doug, I can’t believe how bad your original post is and how even worse your conduct in the responses have been.

    Quoting DougJ from Balloon Juice:

    I have nothing against Ann Romney at all. But, yeah, if you’re a surrogate and you do an interview with someone who makes 1/200 of what David Gregory makes, you better answer the f’g questions…Let’s raise a glass to David Nelson and all the middle-class journalists who show up everyday and do their f’g jobs. And let not the high-priced fellatio of the Beltway gigolos reflect poorly on their honorable profession.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  158. Me Me Me,

    One more time, and it will be the last time I say it.

    The personal opinions of a campaign surrogate, any campaign surrogate, are completely and utterly irrelevant. If Nelson had asked Mrs. Romney about the position of the Romney campaign, we’d be having a different conversation. He didn’t. He asked a dumb, irrelevant question that Mrs. Romney skillfully batted away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  159. @Doug Mataconis:

    Any campaign surrogates that starts talking about their personal beliefs is, by definition, a very bad surrogate.

    I agree with this part, which is why I tried to stay on the campaign’s positions up top.

    You see, when she was asked the questions on woman’s issues only part of the problem was that she shouldn’t talk about her private opinion. The other part of the problem was that she couldn’t talk about the campaign’s position either.

    She only had that thing, where “talking about the economy” is noticing it is bad, and then having no plan to deal with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  160. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That is just more BS, Doug. Here is a direct quote from Ann in this interview:

    “You know, but

    I personally believe

    , and this is what I’m hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that’s going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children. That’s the message.

    She is more than happy to discuss her personal beliefs when she thinks that it is beneficial to the campaign to do so. So then she needs to man up and learn to deal with questions outside her comfort zone as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  161. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The personal opinions of a campaign surrogate, any campaign surrogate, are completely and utterly irrelevant.

    Dog bites man is not news. Man bites dog is news.

    Similarly, “campaign surrogate agrees with campaign!” is not news. But “campaign surrogate on women’s issues doesn’t even agree herself with campaign’s position on women’s issues!” is news, and it’s a reporter’s job to find the news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  162. al-Ameda says:

    In dodging the question of where she stands on the issue of birth control, that put her in synch with her husband, who on this issue believes whatever it takes to get the maximum support of the conservative Republican base.

    Ann was very principled in her non-response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  163. stonetools says:

    @Me Me Me:

    Doug’s defense is Mission Impossible here because throughout the interview, all she did is share her personal opinions -until she had to answer questions.

    Mrs. Romney, speaking to KWQC morning anchor David Nelson, said she wanted to speak about women’s issues, echoing the theme of her recent speech at the Republican National Convention. “My message, really, was ‘women, I hear your voices.'”

    “I wanted to make sure that women of America knew that we have been across this country for the last year and a half and we are very aware of how tough it is for them,” Mrs. Romney said. “I think all of us know that women work harder than anyone and that they hold down jobs, they are raising the kids, they’re trying to get food on the table and everything else and they’re really being stretched.”

    When asked if she believes a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner, Mrs. Romney said, “I’m not going to talk about the specific issues. I’m going to let my husband speak on issues

    I’m sorry, Doug-good defense, bad client . You really can’t say that she should be able to freely express her personal opinions ( if indeed, they are her opinions) when reciting her talking points, then object to questions about her personal opinions .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  164. jefft452 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “I feel slightly differently about the demands by people like Sandra Fluke that other people pay for those things.”

    Aside from the fact that you conservatives can’t grasp the concept that employer provided health insurance is not a gift, it is part of earned compensation, and belongs to the employee just as much as a paycheck does….

    Sandra Fluke was not an employee of Georgetown, she was a student
    The premiums were not paid by Georgetown, they were paid by Sandra Fluke

    Where does “other people’s money” come into this?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  165. jukeboxgrad says:

    stonetools:

    Your view of a surrogate could really almost be done by a talking parrot.

    This is the underlying point. The Romney view of women, which corresponds with the Republican view and the Mormon view and (apparently) the Mataconis view, is that the wife is subservient to the husband and therefore shouldn’t be expected to do more than “parrot” his views.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  166. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    One more time, and it will be the last time I say it.

    Well, good, because, in the long run, your personal opinion doesn’t matter. You see, the Romney campaign doesn’t have to appeal to you. It’s got all the angry white males its going to get. The campaign has to appeal to those few voters who are left to swing it’s way. You may believe that Ann’s response was adequate, but as long as she and the campaign continue to play solely its base, that’s even more bricks in the wall between Romney and the White House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  167. stonetools says:

    Let’s just admit that Doug’s defense has failed and move on. What’s more interesting is that the Romney campaign runs like a jackrabbit from any discussion of “social issues” like reproductive rights or gay rights . That’s a big change from 2004, when gay baiting and “defense of marriage” was a big part of the Republican campaign. Shows how society has evolved. Why , we even have NFL players defending marriage equality.

    LINK

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  168. Rafer Janders says:

    @stonetools:

    it’s a good point, and one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Until just a few years ago, the GOP felt it had an advantage on social issues, that it could actually pick up votes by attacking gays and women. But society has grown up and moved on, and the conservatives’ social views are increasingly being seen as hateful and retrograde. They were all too happy to talk about this stuff before, but now they flee from it as a vampire from garlic. Until they can conjure up some other poor oppressed group for us all to hate, I’m afraid they’re out of luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  169. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    He asked a dumb, irrelevant question that Mrs. Romney skillfully batted away.

    Here’s a question, Doug: do you think that when Ann Romney didn’t answer the question, that that moment was an asset to the campaign? Did it persuade any previously on the fence voters that they should vote for Romney over Obama?

    You may think that these issues are irrelevant, but I can assure you that most voters do not. So when they see Mrs. Romney get all shifty and cagey instead of giving an open and honest answer, they are able to put two and two together and figure out what’s really going on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  170. James in LA says:

    I will say this for Doug: it’s clear he’s not a woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  171. MarkedMan says:

    Doug, here’s a good answer to those who disagree with you and feel these issues are important and, since Romney says he looks to her for guidance on women’s issues, her personal opinions are important. A good answer is, “I don’t feel the same way, and her opinions won’t influence my vote. In fact, I think these questions were a waste of time. But I understand and respect that you and others feel differently and will consider this in your decision as to who to vote.”

    “Understand and respect”. Aye, there’s the rub…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  172. bk says:

    @jefft452:

    Where does “other people’s money” come into this?

    Because shut up, that’s why! Doug has already given “you people” enough of an explanation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  173. al-Ameda says:

    What is interesting to me is that conservatives routinely attack Sandra Fluke by saying that she’s asking for “free” birth control. Am I missing something here? When did health insurance premiums become “free”?

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

  174. Me Me Me says:

    @bk: And if you are from Davenport, Iowa, then not just because shut up, that’s why, but shut up YOU HICK.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  175. Andre Kenji says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Similarly, “campaign surrogate agrees with campaign!” is not news. But “campaign surrogate on women’s issues doesn’t even agree herself with campaign’s position on women’s issues!” is news, and it’s a reporter’s job to find the news.

    It´s not that. These questions are a good way of showing humanity. The problem is that Ann does not seem to have any of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  176. Rafer Janders says:

    It must be very strange to be Doug Mataconis. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius regarding the proper role of a campaign surrogate and the proper place of a hick reporter, he can’t get anyone to agree with his position. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a commentariat that, when not bored, is hostile.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  177. Scott O says:

    @Nikki: lol I agree with most of the comments here. The “hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa” was a bit over the top. I don’t think there was anything wrong with asking Mrs. Romney those questions and I don’t think it was gotcha journalism. Did she duck the question. Of course, what did you expect? For all she knows Mitt may have changed mind about gay rights and birth control since she started the interview :-).

    I like OTB and enjoy reading the comments here. It just seems to me that over the last month or so there have been a few too many people calling Doug and James stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  178. Lynda says:

    Doug, your position appears to be that the spouse of any candidate for president is not on the ticket and therefore their personal opinions do not matter to the election and make no difference to how the candidate will actually govern.

    Both of the campaigns clearly do not agree with you otherwise neither Ann nor Michelle would have had prime time speaking spots in the recent conventions.

    Many Republican commentators do not agree with you otherwise why all the focus, including by Dr Joyner, when Michelle Obama said she was “finally proud of America”
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/michelle_obama_finally_proud_of_usa_/

    Historically we have been fortunate in having so many strong and articulate First Ladies, from both sides of the aisle, who have clearly made differences to how the nation views specific topics. How Betty Ford changed views on addiction is just one example that contradicts your opinion.

    Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush & Laura Bush have all stated they are pro-choice. We can debate whether their opinions actually influenced their husbands but the fact that their views were at odds with the Republican platform was news worthy at least to this woman.

    In your ideal world we only elect a person based on their own stated views but in the real world we know that everyone is influenced in the formation of those views by their friends and family. Therefore many people feel they have a legitimate interest in those views and especially in this case when Mitt Romney has stated his wife is his ambassador on woman’s issues. Why appoint an ambassador whose views you are not going to listen to?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  179. bill says:

    some people want the election to be all about “abortion and same sex marriage” it seems. it’s not though- it’s about the economy and future, something i don’t want my kids to get stuck paying for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  180. anjin-san says:

    Meanwhile, Romney is telling people he wants to partner with Steve King in Washington – a man who says he has never heard of a women/girl being impregnated by statutory rape.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A5SkTFZkQKI#!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  181. Dollared says:

    @Scott O: I know that sometimes Doug is a reasonable man. However, he is being dishonest in this thread – more than likely because he is uncomfortable with the Republicans’ extremism on women’s issues and he can’t reconcile his desire to advocate for Team Republican with the stupidity of the Romney campaign. But from every indication onthis blog, he will pull the lever for Romney in November. He should own up to it and then engage.

    Dishonestly does not deserve respect. It deserves calling out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  182. Dollared,

    I am not an “advocate for Team Republican.” I oppose the GOP’s position on same-sex marriage and abortion. That has nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread, though, which is the utter irrelevance of the private opinions of a campaign surrogate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  183. Andre Kenji says:

    That´s not about “abortion and same sex marriage”. It´s about personality and character. Besides that, how can we expect Romney to make tough choices if he and his wife are incapable of answering trivial questions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  184. Eric Florack says:

    @swbarnes2: Its what Ive been saying all along.. Republican conserative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  185. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I am not an “advocate for Team Republican.” I oppose the GOP’s position on same-sex marriage and abortion. That has nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread, though, which is the utter irrelevance of the private opinions of a campaign surrogate.

    So when Ann Romney took to the stage in Tampa to talk at length about her private opinions about why we are wrong about what a cold-hearted freak her husband is, that was an utter irrelevance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  186. Tillman says:

    I enjoy how ambivalent this post is in terms of up-and-down votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  187. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    Especially since it’s a basically pretty tangential matter. This ain’t war and peace, we’re fighting over two different views of a First Lady’s role.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  188. Me Me Me,

    Personally I think the speeches by Ann Romney and Michelle Obama were both a complete waste of time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  189. Tillman says:

    It was here I realized Doug’s collegiate days didn’t include a sociology class.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  190. MM says:

    @Scott O:

    like OTB and enjoy reading the comments here. It just seems to me that over the last month or so there have been a few too many people calling Doug and James stupid

    I agree. For the record I don’t think either of them are stupid people at all. I think Doug is thin-skinned, but not stupid. James, as a Republican (if a squishy one) tends to assume best of the GOP when they make mistakes, which I think frustrates commenters who assume the worst.

    We now return you to “Doug Mataconis mansplains important issues in the election to you broads”.

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

  191. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis: As far as I’m concerned, Doug is perfectly within his rights to hold this opinion.

    And everyone else is perfectly within their rights to think that a “hick reporter” from Iowa is perfectly within his rights to ask questions about women’s issue of Romney’s appointed ambassador for women’s issues. Especially given that we all listened to her tell us we should listen to her private opinions just two weeks ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  192. al-Ameda says:

    @Scott O:

    I like OTB and enjoy reading the comments here. It just seems to me that over the last month or so there have been a few too many people calling Doug and James stupid.

    James and Doug do a very good job of presenting topics for discussion, and I think the majority of people who disagree with James’ and Doug’s viewpoint do so in a reasonable way, some people do as you say and make it more personal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  193. Lynda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    utter irrelevance of the private opinions of a campaign surrogate.

    If we were talking about the private opinions of the campaign surrogates like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Reince Priebus I would agree with you.

    Slightly less so with John Sununu or David Axelrod as they have closer ties to the actual campaigns

    However, Michelle and Ann are their husband’s partners and have lived with them for many years and will do so hopefully for many more. Their views have and will continue to have influence on their husband’s opinions – that is what marriage a good marriage is usually about.

    Therefore they are not just any campaign surrogate and their views should be taken are more relevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  194. anjin-san says:

    And if you are from Davenport, Iowa, then not just because shut up, that’s why, but shut up YOU HICK.

    Really. Where does this guy get off questioning someone with as much money as Ann Romney has? He should be offing to carry her bags up to her room and wash her car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  195. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Personally I think the speeches by Ann Romney and Michelle Obama were both a complete waste of time.

    Exactly. Can you imagine Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, or Mamie Eisenhower doing that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  196. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    That has nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread, though, which is the utter irrelevance of the private opinions of a campaign surrogate.

    Romney himself is touting the private opinions of his campaign surrogate as a reason to vote for him. He’s said on numerous occasions that Ann Romney is his ambassador on women’s issues, that he listens to her and acts partly based on her advice. How then are her personal opinions and advice to Romney irrelevant if he’s told us that they’re going to influence him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  197. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    As much as I disagree with you on sooo many issues, the fact remains that we would probably agree on 80-85% of most issues. I try hard not to belittle you TOO much, but it’s posts like this that infuriate me. While I agree with you that everyone has the right to their own opinions, and you are certainly entitled to yours, when you’re on the side of 5%, maybe it’s wise to occasionally say “Hmmmm… I might be outside the mainstream on this one.” Doesn’t mean you’re a bad guy, or that you’re wrong, but just that maybe, just maybe your core principle might be an outlier in this situation. But I respect how strongly you cling to your position, no matter how many people keep hammering you – including me.

    “It’s just a flesh wound! Come back and fight!!!”

    At this point, my friend, the commentators have chopped off both your arms and one leg. But you’ll keep fighting until the last leg gets chopped off.

    Then pretty soon all you’ll be doing is bleeding on the rest of us or trying to bite our legs off.

    And yet you’ll still believe you’re right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  198. Jack Moss says:

    Well for once we can agree Doug, you’re right, very well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  199. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    That has nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread, though, which is the utter irrelevance of the private opinions of a campaign surrogate.

    I think you’re a little bit confused as to what the subject matter of this thread really is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  200. Eddie,

    The fact that the people who commented in this thread seem to disagree with me if far from being proof that I am “in the minority” on this. Even if I am, I honestly don’t care. They’re wrong on this one as far as I’m concerned.

    Also, you’re not really suggesting that Internet comment threads are a reflection of anything “mainstream,” are you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  201. Tillman says:

    I get the idea Ann Romney’s opinion on social issues would be irrelevant if Mitt Romney released his tax returns. Because there’s a whole conversation lurking there for the nation to have that relates to the economy in myriad ways.

    Romney has brought us to this with his choices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  202. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Even if I am, I honestly don’t care. They’re wrong on this one as far as I’m concerned.

    “Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true. Facts, schmacts.” – Homer Simpson

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  203. Rafer,

    Your opinion is not a “fact” of anything other than its your opinion. I find it wholly unpersuasive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  204. rudderpedals says:

    @qtip: Even when there’s this level of disagreement, I’d like to thank Doug for hanging out so much in the comments and keeping the debate going. I think it makes this site much more interesting (and a bit addictive).

    Me too. Thanks for hanging in here Doug. Truly, the dialog helps us all sharpen our arguments. This IMO makes OTB actually useful, but I find it more than a little addictive (in a good way). Even when it becomes f5 land and hundreds of comments

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  205. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Commenters have shown you multiple instances of Romney claiming to be influenced by his wife’s personal opinions, of the campaign claiming that Ann Romney’s personal opinions should be listened to by women, of Ann Romney herself citing her personal opinions as a reason why she should be listened to and why people should vote for her husband. Those are facts. Those are things that happened in the real world. And they are in conflict with your claim that Ann Romney’s personal opinions should be out of bounds, or that we shouldn’t listen to the Romney campaign’s “ambassador on women’s issues” when it comes to women’s issues.

    However, in what is clearly a pattern of behavior for you, when you don’t like a fact, you ignore it, you don’t respond to it, or you mischaracterize it as someone’s opinion. You start with a belief and then work your way back towards a justification, facts be damned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  206. Bob says:

    To be clear, Mataconis is not stupid; he’s dishonest, disrespectful and not very good at defending his thesis. Based on his absurd, mendacious and disrespectful defense of his ridiculous opinion in this thread alone, I would discount him as an effective advocate.

    Joyner’s not stupid; he’s a tribalist. He sees what’s wrong with the Confederate party, but can’t bear to leave, because that would be an admission of… something? Personal growth?

    Honestly, visiting this site isn’t much more than an exercise in “what’s Mataconis hilariously wrong about today?”

    But at least you’re not a “hick reporter,” right, Mataconis? You’re a big-deal, big-city fella, aren’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  207. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I find it wholly unpersuasive.

    How do you think you’re doing here with persuading others that you’re in the right on this issue? People seem to be coming around to your point of view, are they? Your arguments are so cogent and convincing that you’re starting to change minds?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  208. Rafer,

    The fact that Romney said that does not make his wife’s personal opinions relevant, in my opinion. You disagree, obviously. There is no possible resolution of this impasse. Therefore, it seems to be time to end the discussion since we will never change the other person’s mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  209. Rafer Janders says:

    @Bob:

    And “not stupid” is also not quite the same as “intelligent.” There’s a lot of space — blank, empty space — between those two poles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  210. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Rafer,

    The fact that Romney said that does not make his wife’s personal opinions relevant, in my opinion. You disagree, obviously. There is no possible resolution of this impasse. Therefore, it seems to be time to end the discussion since we will never change the other person’s mind.

    Fairly said. I agree with the sentiment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  211. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Thwack! There goes the other leg…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  212. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The fact that Romney said that does not make his wife’s personal opinions relevant, in my opinion.

    Wait, the fact that Romney said he would listen to his wife’s personal opinion on women’s issues when making policy decisions, and that this should be a reason to vote for him, does not make the content of those personal opinions relevant in the context of a political campaign?

    I…I hardly even know how to respond to that sort of willful denial.

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

  213. Nikki says:

    @bill:

    it’s about the economy and future, something i don’t want my kids to get stuck paying for.

    Yeah, let those “47% luckie duckies who pay no taxes” kids pay for everyone else’s mess. /sarcasm

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  214. Lynda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Personally I think the speeches by Ann Romney and Michelle Obama were both a complete waste of time.

    Not sure it will make you feel any better Doug but Kevin Drum used to hold your point of view as well
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/08/televising-ann-romney

    More to the point, I think we political junkie types misjudge these things. Ann Romney has no policymaking authority, so we’re uninterested in her. Bring on the wonks! I used to feel that way too. But then I got married and discovered that my wife is intensely interested in getting a look at candidates’ wives. Not because they’re going to say anything about policy, but just because. She wants to get a sense of what kind of people they are, and how they present themselves.

    The fact that both Anne and Michelle’s speeches were in prime time would indicate that a lot of people are interested in their views.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  215. Lynda,

    We live in a nation where crap like Jersey Shore and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo get millions of viewers a week. Nothing would surprise me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  216. Bob says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I imagine this site gets literally hundreds of page views a day. Indeed, we live in wondrous times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  217. Moderate Mom says:

    @Nikki: My point being that you said your birth control pills would be paid for with your premiums. I also pay insurance premiums (which cost a lot) and yet all of our medications require a co-payment. Why in God’s name should birth control pills have no out-of-pocket costs to a patient, when all other medications require a co-payment? What makes birth control pills more important than live saving medications? No, I don’t expect my medications to have no costs over and above what I pay in insurance premiums. But you shouldn’t expect your birth control to be free either. That’s it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  218. Spartacus says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug wrote: ” Birth control is a stupid issue to be talking about while the nation is in the middle of the weakest economic “recovery” since World War II.”

    You are an idiot. Who the hell are you to tell woman that their concern over access to birth control is a stupid issue on account of an unemployment rate of 8%?

    If the economic recovery is so important to you why are are you going to waste your vote on a third party candidate? Why are you refusing to vote for better 1 of the only 2 candidates who can become president? Apparently the economy isn’t important enough for you to choose the candidate that is better equipped to improve it, but being an asinine male, you’ve determined that a woman’s access to birth control is a stupid issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  219. al-Ameda says:

    @Lynda:

    The fact that both Anne and Michelle’s speeches were in prime time would indicate that a lot of people are interested in their views.

    A lot of people in America cannot locate North America on a labeled map of the continents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  220. bk says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Also, you’re not really suggesting that Internet comment threads are a reflection of anything “mainstream,” are you?

    No, they aren’t, Doug. Because people commenting on OTB threads are EXACTLY the same as people commenting on Yahoo Sports threads. We don’t vote; all of us here are sitting in our underwear in our parents’ basements eating Cheetos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  221. Lynda says:

    @bk:
    Doug, al-Ameda

    Sorry, but I’m unclear as to what you both are getting at with your replies.

    The people who watch Jersey Shore or who cannot find the US on a labeled map can still vote and those votes count just as much as someone’s who has read both parties platforms. However, I don’t think either of you would support disenfranchising them based on their TV habits or geography knowledge.

    Given that, if Anne and Michelle make them slightly more interested in finding out about how their respective partners would act as president surely that is a good thing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  222. @Lynda:

    I am not talking about disenfranchising anyone but I do think there’s something rather unfortunate about the way that political campaigning has been reducing to just another form of pandering to base instincts and “aw shucks” sentimentalism.

    Speeches by First Ladies, or candidate’s spouses, at political conventions is a relatively new phenomenon and the speeches aren’t meant to appeal to people’s intellects but to appeal to emotion and other irrational factors that I would prefer people not base their political decisions on, personally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  223. bk says:

    @Lynda: Not sure who you were directing that at, but let me expand on what I was trying to say in my most recent post. Doug implied (well, no – he actually said it) that people who comment on threads are not reflective of the mainstream. I was trying to point out a significant difference between comments on, let’s say, a Yahoo sports article about last night’s Yankees game, which will invariably contain at least five “OBAMA’S A SOCIALIST” comments, and comments on political blogs such as this, which tend to reflect a slightly higher degree of intelligence and relevance.

    Without pulling out a calculator, my guess is that 98% of the comments on this thread reflect disagreement with his original premise. Doug, If you want to dismiss that disparity as not being “reflective of the mainstream”, then there are a couple of options available. One is to not allow comments. The second is to stop writing such stupid crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  224. Bob says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    OK, how about we talk about Romney’s record as Governor? Oops, can’t do that, not relevant, stay on message; besides, he had those records destroyed.

    How about we talk about Romney’s tax returns? Oops, can’t do that, he refuses to release them to “you people.”

    How about we talk about Romney’s business experience? Oops, can’t do that, he was a brilliant businessman and that means he deserves to be President and discussing specifics is “gotcha” journalism.

    How about we talk about Romney’s specific policy proposals to restore the American economy? Oops, can’t do that, he refuses to be specific about what programs he will cut, and the rest of the plan is “cut taxes on job creators.”

    There are LOTS of things to talk about; but Romney, and you, refuse to do so. Is it any wonder that even a “hick journalist” is looking for something, ANYTHING, that te Romney campaign (and Ann IS PART OF THE GODDAMN ROMNEY CAMPAIGN) will talk about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  225. Bob,

    All of those are relevant topics of conversation, and I’ve said so in other posts here.

    Ann Romney’s personal opinions are not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  226. Spartacus says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    “I…I hardly even know how to respond to that sort of willful denial.”

    That kind of denial is typical of Doug. Your post completely annihilated his argument. Instead of simply acknowledging he’s wrong, he evades, ignores facts, doubles-down and then refuses to respond to crystal clear logic. This is at least the third topic on which he’s recently made a fool of himself.

    What he fails to understand is that he’s doing a complete disservice to the readers of OTB. Most people come here looking for well-reasoned, fact-based debate. The readers deserve much better than this crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  227. bk says:

    By the way, she is going to be on MTP tomorrow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  228. Me Me Me says:

    @bk: OMG, that is TRUE!! At first I assumed it was snark! Good thing she isn’t appearing on Answer The Press.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  229. Lynda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Thanks for the explanation Doug,

    I personally agree with you that campaigns focus too much on appealing to people’s emotions rather than making a logical argument for their point of view. When a spouse or parent is wheeled out to humanize the candidate or some such I am not particularly interested.

    Where I disagree with you is thinking that the spouse’s views are solely part of the campaign’s emotional appeal to voters and can therefore be dismissed as irrelevant. That is probably because I value and trust my husband’s opinion, especially when it differs from my own, and he has influenced my own political views.

    Perhaps I am wrong and Mitt doesn’t listen to his wife’s views or let them influence his own. I think a lot of people would find that even more relevant!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  230. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug, Kevin Drum is on to something. Much as we in the wonky crowd deny it, we aren’t electing decision-making machines as President, we’re electing human beings, and human beings come with family members, friends, and trusted advisers( Women seem to grasp this a lot easier than men). What Anne Romney may think about policy should play no role in the President’s decision making in some perfect, Platonic world, but in the real world it does . From all accounts, input from Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett played some role in Valerie Jarrett’s ” evolution” on gay marriage. I for one find it interesting that the wives of staunch anti-abortionists like Reagan and the Bushes were pro-choice, and I doubt that Hilary played no role in Bill’s policy making.
    In any case, Mitt and Anne are appearing together on MTP. That again undermines your argument that we can separate Anne’s views completely from Mitt’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  231. Lynda says:

    @bk:
    Sorry bk, I replied to your post rather than Doug’s in error.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  232. stonetools says:

    Second Valerie Jarrett should be President Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  233. M. Bouffant says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The personal opinions of a campaign surrogate, any campaign surrogate, are completely and utterly irrelevant.

    Note well: Mrs. Romney is neither a paid staffer nor unpaid surrogate; she is the candidate’s wife, and (I hope) her relationship w/ her husband is quite different from those he has w/ surrogates & staffers. So it seems fair to ask her about such things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  234. Lynda says:

    @stonetools:

    Thank you Stonetools, it was exactly that point I was trying very ineloquently to express.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  235. bk says:

    @Me Me Me: I am sure that we can count on David Gregory to ask her the penetrating follow-up questions that he is so noted for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  236. Nikki says:

    @Moderate Mom: Forgive me, I am not an economist or a wonk, so I probably got this wrong, but I will attempt to explain it to you as I understand it.

    Your husband’s life saving medications are not free because (1) there are not enough people consuming his particular type of medications to lower the production costs; therefore, the users pay a co-pay. On the other hand (2) there are more than enough women and teenagers who will be using birth control pills on a monthly basis over the course of their lifetimes, therefore providing enough consumption to effectively lower the production costs. For those female consumers, Obamacare can buy vastly more contraceptives in bulk and, therefore, at reduced rates, so that the consumers can receive the drugs at no cost to themselves rather than allow manufactures to continue to reap huge amounts of profit from those same female consumers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  237. stonetools says:

    @Nikki:

    As conservatives will tell you, you hussies should just keep your knees together and shut up about contraceptives .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  238. Mr. Replica says:

    Why shouldn’t social issues be important when considering republicans for the highest office in the land?

    These issues are a light-year away from being “irrelevant”. Considering most wives in politics have a huge influence over their husband’s stances on things such as this.

    If the 2010 elections show anything, the republicans are more than willing to run on “Job,Jobs, Jobs” just like what Romney is doing now.
    However, after all those republicans were elected in 2010 what happened? They started their crusade on America by making social issues their number one priority. Jobs, jobs, jobs took a back seat to abortion, marriage equality, and women’s reproductive rights.
    To say these social issues are “irrelevant”, just shows how naive a person is. To say that the Romney campaign, chock-full of neo-cons and “conservative values”, should just be trusted or given a pass on social issues, is bullshit.
    Why should I trust Romney to NOT try and do away with Roe v. Wade, or try and make gay marriage illegal, or try and make it so women have to under go federally mandated trans-vaginal ultrasounds?
    Considering Romney is running as someone in line with everything the GOP has done in the last 12 years, what exactly makes him so different that I can trust him not to pick up this GOP crusade on social issues as the POTUS?

    If Ann Romney wishes to not be asked how she personally feels about these issues, then she should stop being used as an “Ambassador to women” for her husband’s campaign. Or at least stop making these arguments consist on what she personally believes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  239. george says:

    Got to admit, I don’t give 2 cents for what her opinions are, any more than I care about my doctor’s spouse’s opinions on my blood tests might be.

    I think Romney is going to be a fiscal disaster if elected. I think he’ll start a disasterous war in Iran. But I really don’t see how her opinion on those, or any other issue, matters at all. If she runs for office, her opinions become important. Right now, they’re just trivia for a slow news day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  240. LC says:

    I find myself in the uncomfortable position of supporting Doug – to a degree.

    1. Ann Romney’s personal opinions are irrelevant. Mitt is the candidate. Mitt would be POTUS. Period.

    2. OTOH, I think she did not handle the interview well. She attempted to change the topic. She should simply have said something to the effect that she supports her husband’s position and that of the Republican Party. I put it down to a lack of experience in the role of a surrogate for her husband.

    3. I also think the convention speeches by Ann and Michelle were unnecessary and pretty much irrelevant. And I cringe every time I hear Michelle use the phrase “mom-in-chief”. She had a career which she had to give up when Obama became President (something the spouses of Britain’s Prime Ministers do not have to do). And, no doubt because of the tsunami of disapproval Hillary suffered, Michelle has created a role (like highway beautification or “just say no”) she hoped would be non-controversial. It, of course, has turned out to be not-so-non-controversial but that’s another matter.

    OTOH,
    his statement that

    Birth control is a stupid issue to be talking about while the nation is in the middle of the weakest economic “recovery” since World War II

    is so outlandish, I’m almost speechless.

    Doug,
    Have you perhaps not noticed the legislation proposed, and supported by almost all Republicans, in the Congress and State legislatures, that would make most, if not all, forms of female birth control illegal? Perhaps you’ve missed the “personhood” amendments? Perhaps you simply don’t realize that birth control is an economic issue. Women can’t simply go to the corner drugstore or liquor store. They have to see doctors to get birth control. That costs money. Then they have to pay for birth control, and if the choice is to use the Pill, that’s a monthly cost. Then they have to have access to a pharmacy not staffed by some wild-eyed evangelist who believes he has the right, often supported by Republican-passed laws, to refuse to fill a legal prescription. Access to the “morning-after” pill is also controlled by laws.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the average cost of having and raising a child, not including college, is $300,000 and assumes that said child does not suffer any major illnesses or disabilities. Perhaps that amount of money is trivial to you? To say nothing, of course, of the fact that a pregnant woman may succumb to health issues which make it impossible for her to work. Her employer may not even offer sick leave or maternity leave so she’d better have a very short labor and get back to work at once if she wants to keep her job.

    Perhaps you believe in the rhythm method? Or abstinence? Or male partners who will always use condoms?

    Good grief. What century are you living in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  241. anjin-san says:

    @ LC

    The message from the right has been pretty consistant – women who enjoy sex are sluts. If something bad comes from them having sex, well, they probably deserve it. Hell, many on the right don’t seem to have a clear idea what rape is.

    I get the sense that these guys believe in two kinds of sex – missionary style for procreation, and having a women bent over her rich, white bosses desk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  242. Folderol & Ephemera says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Because she’s smarter than that hick reporter from Davenport, Iowa . . . .

    Doug, this is surprisingly condescending — and, in all honesty, is kind of offensive. It’s not as bad as calling him white trash or something, but it’s not too far off. In any case, it certainly doesn’t help your argument (or reputation, frankly).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  243. PogueMahone says:

    So I’m drinking my coffee and reading this thread on this fine Sunday morning when my wife (who is politically astute, but not a junkie) walks in and asks me what I’m doing. I tell her that I’m reading the latest controversy which involves Ann Romney not answering questions about her views on birth control and right to choose – to which my wife responds,

    “Well, she isn’t running for office.”

    Me: “Yes, but don’t you remember when Mitt said she was his ambassador to women’s issues?”

    Wife: “Oooh, that’s right!! Well then, her opinions are extremely relevant.”

    Yep, that about sums it up for me.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  244. jukeboxgrad says:

    rafer:

    It must be very strange to be Doug Mataconis. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius regarding the proper role of a campaign surrogate and the proper place of a hick reporter, he can’t get anyone to agree with his position. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a commentariat that, when not bored, is hostile.

    Excellent, but I bet at least a few readers are not aware of the inspiration for this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  245. unclesmrgol says:

    Right Wing Reporter: Michelle, if Sasha became pregnant with your grandson, and her boyfriend wanted her to get an abortion, and she agreed, would you allow your grandson to be murdered?

    Michelle: That would be Sasha’s choice, made in a loving environment free from any moral coercion from either Barack or myself. It would be totally her choice. So yes, if she wanted it, I would have to allow my grandson to be killed. These are the choices we make when we allow Choice.

    Right Wing Reporter: You are aware that 30% of all black babies are murdered this way every year.

    Michelle: You are a racist for even thinking that I care about the heritage of these children. It doesn’t matter — if their mother can make the choice, we must all rejoice!

    Right Wing Reporter: Now, do you believe that what happens in the bedroom is a private thing?

    Michelle: Are you hitting on me again? Of course I do.

    Right Wing Reporter: So, why should employers pay for what goes on in the bedroom?

    Michelle: Reproductive rights are our greatest freedom, and woman should not be constrained by the physics of their bodies. The Government must help them, and the only way the Government can help them is by forcing employers to provide the necessary sex equipment for their employees to use in their bedrooms.

    Right Wing Reporter: Like sex dolls and such?

    Michelle: Not only are you a racist, you are a pervert too! [reaches across the table and slaps his hand] And get that hand away from me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  246. Me Me Me says:

    @unclesmrgol: Why is it that loons like you get worked up over imaginary scenarios, but turn a blind eye to actual facts? For example: by your standards, Mitt and Ann Romney have supported and encouraged one their sons and his wife as they torture and kill their “grandchildren”, and dozens of their “grandchildren” are being held in an icy prison at this very moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  247. DeVan says:

    Most of the media are Democrats and many of them belong to unions. Hence they are far left hard core liberals. Note that they never try to trap any of the Democrat wives. Think they will ask Michelle if she agrees with Barack taking God out of the Dem platform? Don’t hold your breath!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  248. anjin-san says:

    @ DeVan

    Wow! You are right. Conservatives are such… victims. It’s all rigged against you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1