THE BLOG
02/07/2008 06:46 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Did Ann Romney Force Mitt Out of the Race?

Yeah, pretty much.

Sometimes, as we boys need reminding, it takes a woman to inject some common sense into complicated decision-making like "Should I run for higher office?"

(Sometimes, not.)

Maybe the evidence is all circumstantial, but it's there. First there's the oft-cited story about Ann Romney not wanting all of Mitt's money, so hard earned laying off every worker he could find, to go into the hands of the genius political consultants who came up with bright ideas like "Mitt should run against Massachusetts," and "I'm withdrawing from this race because staying in it will aid and abet terrorists by electing a Democrat."

The idea that Mrs. Romney was worried more about Mitt's money than about his desire to win was brought up at the Daily Telegraph:

His wife Ann made him agree to keep to a personal limit of $40 million, which he exceeded by up to $10 million in the past week of the campaign.

"What was he going to do? Just carry on spending his sons' inheritance," said a member of the McCain campaign at the conference.

But I think there's more to it than that. Our man Mitt seemed to be a little bit defensive about the prospect of fighting with his old lady before Super Tuesday. Check out this statement and immediate back-up from it when Romney discussed stretching out and sleeping on the floor of his airplane:

There are no flat-bed seats in Romney's charter plane. He does enjoy a wide business class seat in the front row but he said he planned to spend the red-eye flight on the floor.

"It's been a while since I slept on the floor," he told reporters on the flight to California. "Usually if I'm in trouble I sleep on the sofa," he said.

A father of five who frequently talks about family values, Romney quickly took back the suggestion that he gets in trouble with his wife, Ann.

"Actually I've not been in trouble to sleep on the sofa. But sometimes in the middle of the night if I wake up and can't sleep, instead of bothering Ann by tossing and turning, I sleep on the sofa," he said.

"Camping is probably the last time I slept on the ground," he said, adding that was perhaps a decade ago. "It's been a long time."

You've got to hand it to him. Mitt sure was an acrobat everyday on the campaign trail.

But I think there was more evidence of some tension between the two. How about when Romney started out his concession speech on Tuesday night by saying that his wife was WRONG:

Ann came to me and she said, 'You know, the one thing that's clear tonight is that nothing's clear.' But I think she's wrong. One thing that's clear is this campaign's going on. I think there are some people who thought it was all going to be done tonight. But it's not all done tonight. We're going to keep on battling. We're going to go all the way to the convention. We're going to win this thing, and we're going to get to the White House.

I'm sure she loved that. "My wife doesn't believe in me!" is what starting off a major speech like that screams out. Dr. Phil would not be pleased.

But ultimately, Mitt really is all about his family. Word is Mitt and Ann talked this over last night. And when he says, "I'm doing this because I love America," he really may means "I'm doing this because I love my wife" as much as he means, "I'm doing this because I love my money."

And let's face it - Mitt was never a very good candidate for the Republican nomination. Even if Anne Coulter was lining up Big Love-style to be his second wife, he had too much non-conservative baggage to be bought into by the real GOP crowd, and just about everyone on both sides saw him as a phoney.

What this campaign was really about for Romney was ego. That ego was evident when he declared on Tuesday, "That's pretty fun. First time I've ever voted for myself for president."

Ultimately, it seems like it took the Mrs. to put that ego away. She probably said to Mitt, "This election is making you into a dick, and I don't like it when you're being a dick. I need you to drop out."

And to that, we all can say, "Thank you, Ann, thank you.

Cross-posted from The Right's Field.