Who would have thought? Mild mannered Ann Romney moves with lightning speed? The wife of Republican front-runner Mitt, had the Democrats springing into damage control mode yesterday, after one of their own handed Republican strategists a PR gift.
It all started when Hilary Rosen a well-known Democratic strategist opined on CNN that Ann Romney is unlikely to connect with female voters. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen said. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”
Cue collective outrage! Instantly! Anti stay at home mom! Ann Romney tweeted in seconds “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” From then on it was a no brainer for the Republicans who cashed in on the same drumbeat from years ago, when Hilary Clinton said she is not the sort of woman who bakes cookies. No wonder the Democrats were running scared.
The PR Verdict: “A” to Ann Romney and the Republicans for milking a relatively harmless comment and turning it into a media event. Getting the Democrats on the defensive when up until now they have been in a lead position in the polls with female voters was a PR victory in any book.
PR Takeaway: Speed is of the essence. Ann Romney jumped in and talked of her record as a mother instantly before Rosen or Democrats could explain and contextualise. Within a matter of hours Ann Romney was all over Fox and other media outlets. Suddenly Democrats had no choice but to distance themselves from their own strategist (who ironically has children of her own). Justified or not, this was opportunistic PR at its best. Don’t mess with a mother of five.
What’s your PR Verdict? How did Ann Romney do?