I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.
Part XXVIII: On the Trail:
After Romney said that it was "high risk" for him to try to talk to modern American women on live TV, the audience suggested that he use Ann Romney as a surrogate. Romney seemed to be of two minds:
On the one hand he worried about keeping her off-screen "so that people don't tired of her, or start attacking".
On the other hand, when Hilary Rosen accused Ann Romney of knowing nothing about the problems women who have to earn money in the labor market face "not having worked a day in her life", the campaign immediately pivoted and attacked Hilary Rosen for denigrating what stay-at-home moms do as not valuable, and it was, Romney said: "very valuable... gave her a platform she wouldn't have had otherwise.... I think she will be extraordinarily helpful..."
I see this as Romney starting out as a Mormon Patriarch, echoing Perikles of Athens from 2400 years ago:
The greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about by men, whether they are praising you or criticizing you...
And then Romney remembers that he is a modern American politician appealing to an electorate, more than 50% female, which is not as enthusiastic about Mormon Patriarchy as he is.
Audience Member: We know that you value [unintelligible] and hard work. And Ann really connects with people, and she can tell a story about the hard work and she can tell about the person who [unintelligible] and go on Good Morning America and go on The View and hold her own against these people. And really get you the women connecting to you more. Seeing her and think she's a great—
Romney: I think you're right. Absolutely right. We use Ann sparingly right now, so that people don't tired of her, or start attacking.
Audience Member: Who gets tired of Ann?
Romney: [Audience laughs.] I'll tell ya—. But you will see more of her in the September, October timeframe. And you know we had, what's her name, Hilary Rosen, who, you know, attacked her, and that made Ann much more visible to the American people, which I think is very helpful. It gave her a platform she wouldn't have had otherwise. And I agree with you. I think she will be extraordinarily helpful.
Audience Member: Just a quick—. Can you be a friend of her on Facebook or whatever happened after Hilary Rosen [unintelligible]…That shows you the value of social networking and just how important the media can be in this election cycle, and I just think that she is amazing. And I know she wants, she wants [unintelligible]…
Romney: She's out there. She's, she's in Texas tonight. She was in Louisiana last night. She's raising money in those places. She was at Ben Crenshaw's house for dinner today, tonight. [Unintelligible.]