Where Angels Fear to Trod – Ann Romney’s Wealth


What we have here is a failure to communicate.  I’ve wanted to use that sentence for years.  Indeed, we do have a failure to communicate.  Then again, some of the talk being used to prop up a really bad nominee apparent are just plain stupid. Case in point, once again, is NRO.

Where do they come up with this dribble, and these pandering writers?  I don’t even think Kevin Williamson even knows what he has written.  What this proves to me, and this is where The Pink Flamingo is going to get in a heck of a lot of trouble, conservatives have no idea what real wealth is, nor how people live with it.  If they did, I suspect people might be a little more charitable toward Hilary Rosen and what she actually said.  (I’ve been told that the other day, Ann Romney told someone that she’s never had to really work a day in her life, that she had maids and nannies.  She was able to spend her time playing with her children).  This is the remark Rosen picked up on, and then made an absolute disaster of the whole situation.


The Romneys are ultra wealthy.  They have enough for Mitt to set up a ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR TRUST for his grandchildren.  I know what a trust is.  I’ve been helping my parents with their estate, which may be valued about one-tenth of this trust.  You establish a trust to get around paying inheritance taxes.  That’s life in the fast lane.  It’s easy enough to do, if you have the right attorney.  The parents have little more work to do on theirs, moving property to an LLC, but it’s basically finished.

In fact, when you think about it, it looks like a of a lot of money, but it’s not.  The Romney’s have a whole  lot of grandchildren.  Each kid will end up with maybe five million, if they are lucky.  For people who are alleged to have that much money, that’s not a heck of a lot.  Depending on the way things go with property values, real estate and the like, my sister and I will probably come out about the same way.

Yes, Ann Romney is a hell of a lot smarter than a  lot of us.  She was smart enough to marry a rich trust fund baby with good earning potential.  She was smart enough to keep her head above water, not fool around on him, and make sure he did the same.  She was smart enough to hold on to him, not divorce, and not see her income destroyed by divorce.

(In fact just yesterday, someone who is struggling to say afloat told me she should have just stayed married to the abusive you know what.  She’d be rich, have a maid, new clothes, a new car, and travel.  Instead, after raising his kids, staying at home until they were grown, and home-schooling, her alimony is considered a “gift” and is taxed as such.  That’s how well respected women are.  If the GOP wanted to really help women, they would force a change in the tax code for women getting alimony.)

So, yes, Ann Romney is a hell of a lot smarter than many of the women I know today.

In case you’ve not heard, the Romney’s are members of the LDS church.  The Mormon Church requires that 10% of their earnings be donated as charitable contributions.  Mitt & Ann do about 12% or so.  In other words, they only real money they’re donating to charity, unlike Jon Huntsman’s father, is going to their church.  I don’t call that charity.  I call that a tithe.  Charity is what Huntsman, Sr. has done with his life.

Williamson adds this absolute dribble about Ann Romney’s worth as a housewife.  That’s pure insulting crap, plain and simple.  Any woman who has dedicated her life to her home and family should receive the same respect.  My mother should.  My grandmothers should.  My aunts should.  Get off defending this one specific woman for doing what women have done through the ages.

“…”This isn’t about whether Ann Romney or I or other women of means can afford to make a choice to stay home and raise kids,” Rosen told CNN’s Newsroom. “Most women in America, let’s face it, don’t have that choice. And that’s the piece I’m not hearing from the Romney camp. Instead everybody’s attacking me, that’s fine, attack me. But that does not erase his woeful record on this issue.”

Ann Romney came to her husband’s defense on his view toward women and their economic struggle as well, saying that despite her family’s well-off financial situation, she and Mitt knew what it was like to “struggle” and are in touch with the concerns of working women.

“Look, I know what it’s like to struggle,” Ann Romney, who has battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, said. “Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as much as some people have but I can tell you and promise you that I have had struggles in my life. … I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling and that’s why we’re running.”…”

I a so sick of hearing about how Ann Romney has struggled to survive breast cancer and MS.  Yes, it is heart-breaking and tragic.  But, every moment of her life has been cushioned by wealth.  She’s not had to worry about her husband having MS, and going bankrupt because he can no longer work two jobs.  She’s driving new cars.  I know a woman her age who has never had a new car.  Her husband has debilitating MS, but he works day in and day out.  They have had to go bankrupt to handle their financial situation.

Oh, but Ann Romney raised five perfect sons.  So, who bloody cares.  The person I’m talking about has a son who volunteered to go into the Army.  He’s in the 82nd.  None of the Romney boys have even lifted a finger to serve their country like my brother and his two sons, all of whom have done tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. And, anyone who says that their mission service is the same thing will get told off, by me.  It isn’t.  Their mission service isn’t even community service.  They are working for their church, promoting their church.  They aren’t helping the poor, picking worms out of kids who live in the slums of Nairobi (my niece, Rachel did that).  They were serving as missionaries for their church – which is a laudable thing to do.  But, it is not community service. They wear nice white shirts, a tie, clean clothes, and don’t get dirty.

Ann Romney survived beast cancer.  More power to her.  My mother’s best friend died of breast cancer.  I’m a 15 year survivor of melanoma.  Cancer happens.  It happens to just about everyone. I have a great-aunt who died of breast cancer.  My mother’s sister is surviving the same cancer that eventually cost Geraldine Ferraro her life.  Because she has been fortune enough to survive breast cancer does not make Ann Romney any better than the rest of us.

Sorry, but this is about wealth and the conservative mind’s inability to either understand or comprehend what wealth does for a person.  They talk a good game, and condemn anyone who questions their comprehension of wealth.  They condemn anyone who dares mention that wealthy people are different.  That’s socialist.  No, it’s reality.

I grew up as a trust fund baby.  It was fun while it lasted.  It wasn’t all that much, but it enabled me to have a good time during the 1980s and not work.  I racked up a heck of a lot of frequent flyer miles, which I cashed in, and earned more frequent flyer miles.  I took a heck of a lot of trips and spent a lot of time hanging out in Jamaica.  I know what it is like to be able to have a closet full of Louis Vuitton and 225+ pair of shoes.  I know what having just a little bit of “money” is like.  I don’t have near as much as I want, but I’ve known life in the 1% (once upon a time).

My mother laughs and say’s she’s never worked a day in her life – for pay.  When she graduated from high school in 1949 my grandfather did not want her to get a job.  She could volunteer and do the socialite thing, but she did not need to work for money.  So, she volunteered, until she was married.  She is still a stay at home wife who now works harder than she ever has ( keeping track of my father who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s).  My mother has worked, hard – at gardening, keeping the perfect home, planning and throwing the perfect parties, and cooking to perfection.  She has always had a maid.  She has never ironed a day in her life.  She did though, habitually vacuum.  When we lived in South Carolina she had a full time gardener.  The parent’s property was always on the list of places GOP POTUS candidates wished to go to have large fund-raisers.  She was that good at things.

My grandmother Froehlich, even during the Depression had a full time maid and cook.  She had someone to come in and do the laundry.  She had a housekeeper who was with her from the time I was two weeks old until her death.  Her housekeeper had two maids.  The only laundry I ever saw her do was to wash, by hand, her stockings every night.  Before leaving for the day, Mae had the basic dinner prepared, everything on the stove, ready to heat.  The dinner dishes went into the dish-washer, to be emptied in the morning, when Mae arrived to help cook breakfast.

My point is we did not have near the money the Romney’s have.  I understand what Ann Romney said, when she discussed working.  She had maids, cooks, someone to do the laundry and help with the kids.  She had a gardener.  That’s life where I once lived.  (Heck, even I have a cleaning woman once a week).

What the pathetic right doesn’t comprehend, or refuses to comprehend, is the fact that there is a difference between Ann Romney and a person I know who teaches all day.  She has a debilitating, life-threatening illness.  She can’t afford a maid.  Her house is a wreck.  Her family is a wreck.  She does what she can, with what she can.  That’s what happens when you can’t afford to have that cushion of wealth.

Conservatives also don’t comprehend the fact that the average person doesn’t resent Ann Romney’s wealth.  They wish they had it, but they don’t resent it.  That’s the problem with the Romney family.  They are so out of touch with reality, they don’t really comprehend us little people.  It’s rather like ‘what do the simple folk do’.   That’s where the resentment is – in pretending and pandering that they don’t consider themselves wealthy.  That’s a crock.

MS is a horrible disease.  I don’t know how the poor woman can handle the fatigue that goes along with it, and be on the campaign trail all the time.  She is a wonder.  Breast cancer is terrifying.  We should all be so fortunate to catch it in time.

Families aren’t perfect.  This perfect meme that the Romney family is perfect is insulting to us little people, we the simple folk of America who have less than perfect families, but somehow make them work.

I find it rather interesting how touchy the right is when it comes to women and work. It fascinates me, terribly.  It is almost like a reflex action.  (to be discussed at a later date)

Women want to stay home with their kids.  I know of women who have sacrificed, gone without to stay home until their kids are in school, then only work school hours.  They do without so many things, so they can be there as much as they can.  They have no wealth to fall back on, no maid, housekeeper, gardener, or nanny.  They’re lucky if they can afford a baby-sitter once a month.  To pretend there is not a gap in life-style between them and Ann Romney is just plain, well, stupid.


Be honest here.  Any mom who has met a budget, raised kids, and made ends meet would be far superior to solving our financial crises than 90% of the men who have been elected to office.  Like this Daily Beast piece says, Ann Romney, and any other mom out there knows better how to run things than a man.

“...Let’s be clear: Raising children full time is work. Being the spouse who runs the household full time is work. And it’s work that society often doesn’t value or treat with respect. In addition to running their homes and supporting their husband’s endeavors, stay-at-home moms are often the people who keep the school board running, do the volunteering for community activities, and even support the women in their neighborhood who work outside the home. When I was a child, and my archaeologist mother had to work late, guess who watched me?  Yep, the stay-at-home mom next door.

The idea that “women’s work” is indeed valuable to society has long been a contention of feminists, so it’s strange to see a prominent Democrat lash out a stay-at-home mother and wife in this fashion. Feminists have agitated for as long as I can remember for society to value and respect the “unpaid work” that women do in the home and society. The fact that Ann Romney doesn’t struggle financially doesn’t make what she does any less valuable. I suspect there is a lot about how she has contributed to her community that we don’t know.

Her full-time homemaker role also doesn’t make her any less able to speak about women’s economic conditions. Presumably she is just as capable as Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Edwards or Michelle Obama in boning up on policy issues and educating herself about the economic plight of women in America. …”

On Thursday I had someone call me,  hysterical, over the taxes she was being charged, because her business finally made an $8000 profit for the first time in 5 years.  She is furious, in tears.  “I could do better running the government than these stupid men.”  Any mom, stay at home or not, could.

Conservatives who are propping up their liberal faux GOP nominee apparent are just making fools of themselves over this.  It proves my point that they don’t even know how to comprehend wealth.  Are they that out of touch with reality that they don’t understand that women who have the luxury of even a small amount of wealth have a far easier time than me.

This is insulting to the 99% of moms who must fight to stay alive, financially.

Human Events

The GOP, once again, has managed to put its foot in its mouth.  Oh, not right now.  It is like the opening shots of the Contraceptive War.  They won round one and lost the war.  They are going to end up losing this war.  I can already see it coming.  We began losing it (because I am just as guilty as everyone else) in 1992 when we made Hillary Clinton a target. We made it worse in 2008 when we targeted Michelle Obama.

They are making it worse by not comprehending that there is a difference between having wealth and not having wealth.  The right is so afraid people are going to become “socialists” that they have managed forget there is a difference in the way the 1% and the 99% live.  If they don’t begin to understand that there is a difference, and that women struggle, constantly to survive, they are dooming the GOP, forever, as a losing party.

If the right cannot understand that comprehending the difference between the 1% and the 99% is not about socialism but about an approach to life, they are dead in the water.  This is the problem with the GOP’s nominee presumptive.  He cannot and will not comprehend the 99%.  No matter how he tries, he will never be able to bridge the gap between himself and the rest of us.  It isn’t because of his wealth, but his arrogance in not wanting people to know he’s rich.

Why are these people ashamed of what they have?

Ann Romney says she doesn’t consider herself wealthy.  Heck, I consider anyone who has more than $75 million to be wealthy.  They have a bit more than that.  What is wrong with acknowledging what you  have and enjoying it?  That’s what I don’t get.  That’s what bothers me.  Instead, they push this vile and insulting perfection theme.  Sorry, but no family is perfect. The ones who pretend to be, simply have more to hide and deny than those of us who come from less than perfection.