Ann can't help Mitt Romney anymore.
She tried to paint a portrait of a kinder and gentler Mitt at the Republican National Convention. Just a boy who wanted to date a girl. Just a dad devoted to his kids. Just a husband who would care for his ailing wife, even though he wouldn't offer to cook for her. (It never occurred to him that he and his five sons might actually be able to cook some pasta or burgers themselves?)
What lady voter could resist such charm and helplessness in the kitchen? But I digress.
Just a guy who doesn't know why he wants to be President of the United States.
Thanks to secret videos that have just come to light, we can see the real Mitt Romney and his disdain for the "47 percent" -- those he says pay no income taxes and who he believes are unlikely to vote for him. As surprisingly honest as that was for him, that wasn't the most shocking thing he said. This was -- it turns out that in Mitt's America, food is an entitlement:
Who knew that eating was just for the rich?
There's plenty of good political fodder to dissect in the videos that Mother Jones has made public, not the least of which is taking note of Romney's comfortable and assured affect when speaking to members of his tribe, as opposed the strained, pretend smiley candidate-of-the-people face he wears on the campaign trail.
It doesn't surprise me in the least that Romney and his gazillionaire buddies have extraordinary contempt for people like my parents, the small family farmers who've had years when the only way they made ends meet was due to a few small government programs (ENTITLEMENTS!) and crop insurance (that they paid for). But it shocks me that some people with extreme wealth believe that even the bare essentials of life are off-bounds to those who barely manage to scrape by.
Who knew that Romney was related to Marie Antoinette, the woman who literally lost her head over her insensitivity to the little people and who has been famously, though mistakenly, saddled with the "Let them eat cake" quote? Sadly, she didn't survive to see the house that was being prepared for her here in America to escape the mobs she thought could eat cake. Similarly, the house that Romney hopes is being prepared for him is now, officially, out of his reach.
It doesn't matter how much money he gives to his church.
It doesn't matter how much time he's personally given to help those less fortunate.
It doesn't matter that his wife loves moms.
It probably doesn't even matter that he insulted half of all Americans (the ones he supposedly wants to represent) because our cultural ADHD means many voters will have forgotten about this moment before they step into the voting booths in November.
What matters about all these videos is that his "inelegant" remarks have revealed his true Marie Antoinette meets Ebeneezer Scrooge personality.
The Republican nominee for president can explain the food-as-entitlement remark away all he wants. But if the Democrats want to seal the deal with America, they'll make sure that small moment of these now-infamous videos hits the airwaves every single day until November 6. Because one thing the 99 percent can agree on is this -- we all know what it's like to be hungry. But as my friend Jaelithe Judy so eloquently wrote, you never forget going hungry. And if food is an entitlement in Mitt Romney's world, going hungry will be something many more people will discover if he moves into the White House.
Joanne Bamberger is the author of the Amazon.com bestseller, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America, the first book to examine the rise of the political motherhood movement. Joanne, a Washington, D.C.-based writer and political/media analyst, is the founder of the political blog, PunditMom. You can also find her political commentary at Politico's Arena.
Follow Joanne Bamberger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JLCBamberger
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