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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Ann Romney

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June 14, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Who owns patriotism? On this Flag Day, looks like Republicans.

U.S. flag being readied for folding on Flag Day

U.S. flag being readied for folding on Flag Day (Photo courtesy of Flickr member Vince Alongi).

SEATTLE — Today is Flag Day. It is a day that commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag, and the reason why the Galaxy Gold-painted Space Needle is adorned with the good o’ Stars and Stripes.

The American flag, and any flag really, often symbolizes patriotism, a love of one’s country.

In 2008, there was much ado over President Barack Obama’s on-again, off-again relationship with wearing a flag pin. To him, it was just a matter of circumstance whether the pin made an appearance: “If it ends up being on another suit, I might leave it one day.” But for many, it was an indication that Obama was unpatriotic, or at the least, he was not expressing their brand of patriotism. He was, in effect, not owning his patriotism.

In political communication scholarship, there is a concept known as “political ownership.” Most ownership is about political parties “owning” certain political issues. Who owns what is based on the public’s perception of which party has had a history of attention and effective handling of problems and matters related to that issue. For instance, Republicans are seen as owning military and defense, whereas Democrats are seen as owning health care.

A notion that comes up often is who owns patriotism.

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Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Flag Day

April 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Santorum strikes out; Ann Romney scores

Each Monday we will feature several important stories in the political world — ones that either just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. Our blog is UW Election Eye, and we call these Monday Eye Openers.

Rick Santorum on NRA.org

Screen shot of Rick Santorum on NRA.org.

Santorum Quits, but Bella Joins
Rick Santorum called it quits last week on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum’s national Communications Director Hogan Gidley said Santorum ultimately decided that “if there’s no path, if there aren’t the delegates, then there’s no reason to keep going.”

Santorum has not gone quietly into hiding, though. He gave a speech to the National Rifle Association at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, where he told attendees that in addition to him and his wife Karen being lifetime members, that 3-year-old daughter Bella is now a lifetime NRA member too, adding, “I hope it is a long life.”

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Bella Santorum

April 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Ann Romney tweets about her work experience to refute Hilary Rosen’s claims

Twitter fights are no longer just for the likes of Snooki or Rihanna. A war of tweets is becoming a common tactic in politics.

The presidential candidates have gotten in what I’ll call low-level, indirect Twitter wars. For example, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in early 2012, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tweeted his campaign’s personal stance to any issue Obama discussed.

And yesterday, aka the first day of the general election, Obama and Mitt Romney lobbed strikes against one another, but it was hardly a direct back and forth. Romney tweeted that Obama was conducting a “war on women”:

But then Obama tweeted about Romney and his offshore accounts:

 

If you want to see what a direct, hit-for-hit Twitter fight looks like, check out the partisan brawl that ensued on Tuesday between Communication Directors Josh Amato for WA GOP and Benton Strong for WA Democrats. Apparently being a Communication Director for a state party now requires a hefty bit of snippiness encapsulated in 140 characters or less.

Then Ann Romney decided, well at least the Romney campaign decided, that she too should get in on the Twitter fight action.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Democrats

April 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Ann Romney tweets about her work experience to refute Hilary Rosen's claims

Twitter fights are no longer just for the likes of Snooki or Rhianna. A war of tweets is becoming a common tactic in politics.

The presidential candidates have gotten in what I’ll call low-level, indirect Twitter wars. For example, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in early 2012, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tweeted his campaign’s personal stance to any issue Obama discussed.

And yesterday, aka the first day of the general election, Obama and Mitt Romney lobbed strikes against one another, but it was hardly a direct back and forth. Romney tweeted that Obama was conducting a “war on women”:

But then Obama tweeted about Romney and his offshore accounts:

 

If you want to see what a direct, hit-for-hit Twitter fight looks like, check out the partisan brawl that ensued on Tuesday between Communication Directors Josh Amato for WA GOP and Benton Strong for WA Democrats. Apparently being a Communication Director for a state party now requires a hefty bit of snippiness encapsulated in 140 characters or less.

Then Ann Romney decided, well at least the Romney campaign decided, that she too should get in on the Twitter fight action.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Democrats

April 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Rick Santorum to return to campaign trail Tuesday — joined by wife Karen in higher profile role

Screen shot at noon Saturday of Rick Santorum's campaign website. Rick Santorum appears to have a plan for moving ahead. It involves his wife. To squelch murmurs and questions about whether he might be dropping out of the Republican Party presidential contest, Santorum released information Saturday on some of his campaign events planned for this coming week. He…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Family, James Dobson

March 5, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Ann Romney words "I don't even consider myself wealthy" taken out of context, turning tables on Romney campaign

Things are often taken out of context in politics. But with the speed and easy ability to disseminate messages via Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc., the combination of taking something out of context and making it public can be disastrous. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann, and his campaign have been on both sides of this issue: victim…

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Comments | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Election 2012

February 6, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Ann Romney and Ann Romney on the Campaign Trail

Ann Romney

Ann Romney stageside as her husband, Mitt, spoke at a campaign rally in Irmo, SC on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (Photo by Lindsey Meeks / UW Election Eye)

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL — The Democratic National Committee is fond of making the case that there are two versions of Mitt Romney. The two take different positions on issues, the DNC contends, depending on the day.

I think there are two versions of Ann Romney.

News profile piece after piece paints Ann Romney as a political partner who is contributing a great deal to her husband’s campaign. They say she acts as a Mitt-stabilizer — earning her nickname “Serenity” among the press corps — and has, in the words of the Boston Globe, “latched on to her surrogacy role with zeal, providing potent testimony to her husband’s character.”

Coverage casts her as bubbling, humanizing, and charming. Journalists and pundits regularly note her standard stump speech about raising five boys, and how when her husband decided he wanted to run again, she asked if he could save the country. The stories, aside for commenting on a few fashion faux pas, are glowing.

I had a different experience.

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Comments | Topics: Ann Romney, Mitt Romney, Nevada

January 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Crashing the debate green room

MYRTLE BEACH — On Monday I crashed the debate “green room” of the Republican presidential candidates.

The debate was my first glimpse at how the press and the candidates maneuver around each other at a televised event. I assumed anyone with a press badge would automatically be seated front and center, close to the stage. Instead, the majority of the press sat in a filing room, watching a live feed of the debate and straining the Wi Fi with snarky updates (I’m looking at you @TheFix).

I grabbed fellow UWElectionEye contributor Will Mari, and we set off to find the entrance. Not familiar with the Myrtle Beach Convention Center’s layout or where the actual debate floor was, Will led us up an escalator — a turned-off escalator.

That should have been our first clue. 

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Comments | Topics: Ann Romney, Callista Gingrich, campaign oddities