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Ann Romney: One More Reason to Vote for Mitt

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:37 am - November 1, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Strong Women

Writing yesterday about his travels in Ohio, Stacy McCain reports attending an event featuring Ann Romney and asks:

Have you seen any stories in the mainstream media about how enormously popular Ann Romney is? Do the TV networks report about how she’s always mobbed by autograph-seekers after her speeches? And if not, why not?

All good questions not just because of Mrs. Romney’s poise, but also because the woman born as Ann Davies obviously had a profound impact on the life of her husband.

He has overcome numerous hurdles during long slog of this campaign, faced tough question from a hostile media and has been the target of perhaps the most expensive TV attack ad campaign in the history of American politics and still managed to come across as a calm and collected leader in three debates and on the campaign trail.

And perhaps, Mitt Romney’s strong — and long-lasting — marriage to his high school sweetheart helps account for his ability to persevere.  As I wrote just a few weeks ago, he likely “wouldn’t have turned out as well as he did without” Ann’s influence.

Before he seriously started wooing Ann, Mitt Romney was an unruly adolescent.  Almost from the outset of their courtship, he became a more focused adult, committed to building a business and concerned about those in his community.

Ann has helped Mitt become a better person.  And let’s hope she is able to help him become a great president.

NB:  Image via ABCNews.

2008 Obama supporter calls President “divisive and polarizing”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:12 pm - October 26, 2012.
Filed under: Divas,Obama Dividing Us,Strong Women

Blogress Ann Althouse who, in 2008, thought Obama “was the better bet, compared to the GOP alternative” recently transcribed this video she watched on Instapundit featuring the sage diva, Camille Paglia, a woman who not just backed, but also contributed to, Barack Obama four years ago:

Not least: I consider him, now, one of the most racially divisive and polarizing figures ever. I think it’s going to take years to undo the damage to relationships between the races.

Read the whole thing. Now, I’m going to watch the video.

UPDATE:  Just watched the video and it’s well worth your time.  Love what she says early on about art.  She’s spot on.  Spot on.  Segment quoted above is just before 12 minute mark.

NB:  In the original version of this post, I neglected to include the name of the person whose remarks Althouse had transcribed.

Republicans aren’t the ones waging the real “war on women”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:35 am - October 26, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Congressional Elections,Strong Women

Republican congressional candidate Martha McSally explains.

H/t: Reader Kurt in a comment. McSally, running in Arizona’s 2nd district “is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, and first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history.” She “retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel in 2010.” Hey, I have a nephew in the Air Force.  I think he’d want me to support a woman like Martha.

By clicking here, you can too!

ADDENDUM:  Contrast the Republican woman in the video above with the Democrat shown here.

Condi Rice: “war on women” talk “far worse” than hyperbole

Last night, caught the end of Greta Van Susteren’s interview with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and her commentary (at 7:57 below) about what Democrats call the “war on women”:

Those, she said “who talk about a war on women are not just engaging in hyperbole, I think it’s far worse than that, it’s condemning people who are going to be reasonable and who are going to take into account the views of those with whom they disagree.

Will Joe Biden’s boorishness hurt Obama team’s standing among women? (UPDATED)

Before the vice-presidential debate last night, I had hypothesized that the only way it could make any difference in the presidential contest was if the incumbent made a gaffe so severe it forced the Obama campaign to spend the weekend playing defense.  And as I read numerous accounts about the debate, I first concluded that it would make no difference whatsoever, save perhaps to fire up the Democratic base.

Until I read Peggy Noonan’s reflection on the Ryan-Biden face-off.  And her words, coupled with videos of women in focus groups, remarks of female pundits, posts by female friends on Facebook and in the blogosphere caused me to reconsider my initial read on the reaction.  Like those women, Peggy also found Biden’s boorish behavior last night bothersome with “Mr. Biden’s style” poisoning his content”:

. . . Mr. Biden was so childishly manipulative that it will be surprising if independents and undecideds liked what they saw.

National Democrats keep confusing strength with aggression and command with sarcasm. Even the latter didn’t work for Mr. Biden. The things he said had the rhythm and smirk of sarcasm without the cutting substance.

And so the Romney-Ryan ticket emerged ahead. Its momentum was neither stopped nor slowed and likely was pushed.

Emphasis added.  She wasn’t the only woman turned off by Biden’s antics.  Over at Powerline, Steven Hayward reported that “Most of the early snap polls showed that Biden’s antics didn’t play well, especially with women.”  Reader Kurt alerted me to Ann Althouse’s reaction: (more…)

It takes an Eph at CNN to expose a Democratic coverup

Those who read this blog know that I’m a big fan of my alma mater, Williams College.  Well, here’s something which justifies my affection for my college and its alumni:  a daughter of Williams (we call ourselves Ephs) is one of the few voices in the legacy media to call the administration’s reaction to suggest that in its reaction to the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, the administration is “covering something up”:

As Allahpundit (who alerted me to the video) reports, after his

. . .post on media bias, let’s give credit where it’s due. CNN has followed this story, and on primetime shows like this one and Anderson Cooper’s too. Two: Per Eli Lake’s piece in Newsweek today, someone has started leaking preliminary intel assessments made by the CIA that pointed to a spontaneous attack. (I wrote about that here.) I think you’re going to hear more about that from the White House in the next days and weeks, e.g., “We were only telling you what the CIA told us.” Read Lake’s piece to see why that won’t wash, then watch this clip as CNN’s own foreign affairs correspondent reveals that her intel sources were pointing to a full-fledged attack on the consulate within the first 24 hours.

So, let’s give credit to Williams alumna Erin Burnett for investigating the administration’s reaction and reporting what her news team learned in that investigation.   (more…)

Chaz Bono to Headline Fundraiser for Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack

Twice while helping out with Outfest, I have experienced the class of Chaz Bono.  When honored by the festival one year on Opening Night, instead of delivering a long speech, he, humbled by the honor, briefly thanked the festival, then returned to his seat, understanding that people were eager to see film.  Another time, when I was managing the theater where he was appearing, he showed incredible courtesy to the Outfest staff (including yours truly), thanking us for our assistance, respect to his audience, staying to talk to anyone who wished to have a word with him.

He is showing his class once again — and a bit of courage — by joining Cindy McCain and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan in hosting a fundraiser, organized by our friend Ric Grenell, for his step-mother, Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack on Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 5:00 until 6:30 PM. For more information and to RSVP, contact Reagan Cotter.

Mrs. Mack is the only Republican woman in California’s House delegation.  She voted to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, has signed Americans’ for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge and  has been honored by that organization as well as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Join me in supporting this good Republican, voting the right way on DADT repeal and supporting a smaller, less intrusive federal government.

Who is the cattiest Catwoman?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:22 pm - July 17, 2012.
Filed under: Divas,Movies/Film & TV,Strong Women

Who is the cattiest Catwoman?
Halle Berry
Eartha Kitt
Lee Meriwether
Julie Newmar
Michelle Pfeiffer
Free polls from

Will Anne Hathaway be as catty as Eartha Kitt?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:12 pm - July 17, 2012.
Filed under: Divas,Movies/Film & TV,Strong Women

With just three days until the Dark Knight Rises, we at GayPatriot have been wondering whether Anne Hathaway can hold a candle to the cattiest of Catwomen, Eartha Kitt:

Perhaps we should poll our readers to see who was the cattiest. . . . Was it Miss Kitt, or perhaps Halle Berry or maybe Lee Meriwether, not to mention Julie Newmar or who could forget Michelle Pfeiffer?

Seems my gay friends are torn between Eartha and Julie while my straight male friends gravitate toward Michelle.

In Memoriam Celeste Holm

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:33 pm - July 15, 2012.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Strong Women

Two of the greatest conversations in cinema history are set in cars, one between two brothers, Marlon Brando‘s Terry Mally and Rod Steiger as his brother Charley in On the Waterfront when the former laments that he could have been a contender, the second, between two women, Bette Davis‘s Margo Channing and Celeste Holm‘s Karen Richards in All About Eve when their car has run out of gas as part a stratagem the latter arranged to try to diffuse the growing tension between Davis and Anne Baxter‘s eponymous Eve.

Holm who never enjoyed the leading status of Davis, excelled in supporting roles, winning her first Oscar in just such a role, Elia Kazan’s “1947 dramatic examination of anti-Semitism, “Gentleman’s Agreement.”  The stage and screen actress who played “a smart fashion editor” in that film died today in New York.  She was 95.

Though a screen natural,” reports Robert Simonson in Playbill,

Ms. Holm resolved that she preferred stage work over film, and made few movies after “All About Eve.” She had first made her mark on Broadway as the original Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, kicking up her gingham skirts and singing about being a girl who “cain’t say no.” The year after, in 1944, she topped the bill, playing a Civil War-era feminist in Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s Bloomer Girl. The show was a hit and ran for two years. Following her stay in Hollywood, she returned to Broadway with another hit, the comedy Affairs of State by Louis Verneuil. Ms. Holm played Anna Leonowens during Gertrude Lawrence’s vacation from the role in The King and I.

Most of us (alas!) did not have the good fortune to see this talented woman on stage, but she shone in her every screen performance, an incredibly talented woman whose performances either equalled or, more often exceeded those of the leading ladies — and men — her roles supported.

Condi Schools Katie

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:30 pm - July 13, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Strong Women,War On Terror

This is not the first time Katie Couric has posed a leading question to a Republican woman, a question which indicates the former CBS Anchor’s bias. But, this time, said woman challenged the journalist’s premise:

Well, now I get why Mitt Romney wants Condi as his running mate. This woman can stand up to media bias without losing her cool.

The empathetic Mitt Romney

By all accounts, Mitt Romney, like many boys in their teens, indeed like many mythological and movie heroes at that stage of their lives, was, in his high school years, a cocky prankster, eager to curry favor with his male peers, little concerned for the feelings of the victims of his various capers.

Also like many men in myth and movies, Romney changed at a certain point in his life.  When, we are not quite sure.  I have argued that his love for the former Ann Davies forced him to grow up. Perhaps because this beautiful young woman had, after she and Mitt had been dating for a time, broken up with him and started seeing another man at Brigham Young University, the future presidential candidate thought he needed to become a better person to win her back.

And become a better person he did.  As we have read in numerous accounts, not only did the twentysomething Mitt get his act together and stop pulling adolescent pranks, he also started looking out for his fellow man.  In February, Philip Klein offered an anecdote from Michael Kranish and Scott Helman‘s The Real Romney about how during his 1994 Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy, the Republican offered to “cover part” of the “milk costs” of a Boston shelter for homeless veterans, “and he didn’t want any publicity for it.

He didn’t just help out with gifts of cash, he also donated his time, frequently going out of his way for individuals in need.

One cold December day in the early 1980s,” reported Mara Gay, Dan Hirschhorn and M.L. Nestel in May

Mitt Romney loaded up his Gran Torino with firewood and brought it to the home of a single mother whose heat had been shut off just days before Christmas.

Years after a business partner died unexpectedly, Romney helped the man’s surviving daughter go to medical school with loans for tuition — loans he forgave when she graduated.

And in 1997, when a fellow church member’s teenage son fell seriously ill, Romney sprinted to the hospital in the dead of night, where he kept vigil with his terrified parents.

Despite this record of compassion, the latest ABCNews/Washington Post poll shows his opponent in this fall’s presidential election leading “on a range of personal attributes – empathy, standing up for his beliefs and, especially, basic likeability.

I dare say those numbers would change if our friends in the legacy media chose to tell the real story of Mitt Romney’s adult life rather than focus on more distant anecdotes from his adolescence.  And questioned why Mr. Obama chose to misrepresent his own past in his memoir.

Just by openly being herself, Mary Cheney helps improve the images conservatives hold of gay people

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - June 26, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Strong Women

It is no secret that I have long been a fan of Mary Cheney.  If she had her druthers, she never would have chosen to be a public figure, but when submitted to the limelight, she has shone, in her own subdued way — and has served as a great role model for gay men and lesbians.

And she helped us see the worth of her much (and unfairly) maligned father, a strong conservative whose first response to learning about his younger daughter’s sexuality was to tell her that he loved her.  When Hugh Hewitt had her on her show six years ago, she afforded Hugh’s listeners, many of them social conservatives, an opportunity to hear just a normal a lesbian was.  And how such a woman could be conservative.

It’s clear from talking to her about — and seeing her in public with — Heather Poe just how much she loves her wife.  Just by being herself and by being open about her relationship, she has become a role model.

She may even have changed a few minds on gay marriage.  Last week, when blogging about Mary’s wedding, my friend John Hinderaker, friendly to gay people, yet opposed to gay marriage, indicated that he might be changing his views:

Mary Cheney doesn’t know me from Adam, but in 2000, during Dick Cheney’s first vice-presidential campaign, I encountered her on the campaign trail and was deeply impressed by the devotion to her father that she showed. I wrote about it here.

So I’ve been reconsidering my stance on gay marriage, and I’m thinking maybe a more nuanced position is appropriate: like, I’m in favor of gay marriage, but only for conservatives. At the moment, anyway, it strikes me as a principled distinction.

Mary Cheney is doing a world of good for the image of gay people in conservative circles, often countering, just by being herself, negative images created by many who have been far more active on behalf of gay causes.

Mazel Tov, Mary and Heather!

Well, it does seem to be Big Gay Friday today.

Former Vice President Cheney who didn’t have to wait for the promptings of gay activists threatening to withhold campaign contributions to come out for civil unions and gay marriage has joined his wife Lynne in expressing delight that their daughter Mary married her beloved Heather Poe:

“Our daughter Mary and her long time partner, Heather Poe, were married today in Washington, DC,” the Cheneys said.

Some conservatives tweeted their congratulations, but as Twitchy reports, this “didn’t sit well with the bitter and always angry Left“:

 Instead of being happy for the couple and offering congratulations, the Left instead spouted their usual hate-filled bile.

Why do these people seek to ruin Mary and Heather’s happy day with their bile?  But, Mary’s a strong woman; I’d don’t think their hate will hurt her.

Mary’s a great gal, smart, together and without pretense.  Gay people should celebrate her relationship and look to her as role model for the type of life to which we should all aspire.

Mazel Tov, Mary and Heather.  Wishing you both many more years of shared happiness.

A great lady, a great man

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:33 pm - June 13, 2012.
Filed under: Ronald Reagan,Strong Women

Just wanted to post this picture:

What explains Conservative Woman Derangement Syndrome?

Back in the 1990s (and into this century), whenever conservative men criticized the then-First Lady within earshot of her partisans, they quickly lashed out against us, telling us how afraid we were of strong women.

Such folks quickly forget how many Hillary critics in the 1990s had been, in the 1980s, enthusiastic supporters of then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a Mrs. (now Lady) Margaret Thatcher who just happened to be a woman.  And some of us also admired an American woman whom for some reason I have long called Lady Jeane, the Democrat Ronald Reagan tapped to serve as his Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick.

As I read Peter Collier’s biography of this great lady, Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick.  I am reminded that despite her intellectual acumen, Ambassador Kirkpatrick was subject in the 1980s to the same sort of attacks, another more charismatic conservative woman would face a quarter-century later.

Gloria Steinem called the ambassador a “female impersonator”.  Wendy Doniger quipped that Sarah Palin’s “greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.

How ready some folks on the left who see us as somehow sexist when we don’t love the women they love.  Yet, when conservative women rise in public favor, some liberals are quick to criticize them — and question even the reality of their sex.  You would think feminists would welcome women who succeed in endeavors once reserved for men — and earn the admiration of men, particularly conservative men.

Why do accomplished conservative women arose such ire on the left?

The Althouse Interestingness Standard

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:07 pm - May 26, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Blogress Divas,Strong Women

Ann Althouse explains why she didn’t read a Jeffrey Rosen, er, Jeffrey Toobin piece in the New Yorker:

I have an interestingness standard, not an it-was-in-The-New-Yorker standard.


Marriage to Ann seems to have ended Mitt’s adolescent unruliness

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - May 12, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Strong Women

“Boys,” Anne Moir and David Jessel in Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, “tend to seek out dares or challenges to flex their adolescent muscles in obedience to the dictates of their adolescent hormones.”  They seem particularly unruly in all male environments without the tempering influence of girls.

So Mitt Romney’s adolescent antics seem par for the course.  He was, after all, a student at an all boys school.  Whether or not it is true that he bullied a classmate, cruelly cutting his hair, he doesn’t seem to have kept up with his antics in the past 47 years, particularly in the past 43, that is, since March 21, 1969, a few days after celebrating his 22nd birthday, when he married his high school sweetheart, Ann Lois Davies.

Maybe it was dating her in 1965 that caused him to clean up his act.  Women do have that effect on men.

The prankster Mitt knew he needed to become a better person in order to merit the fetching Miss Davies.  And given that Ann had broken up with Mitt after they had “informally agreed to marriage after his senior prom in June 1965“, he knew he’d have to be on his best behavior to win her back.

Mitt very much seems devoted to Ann.  Just watch him when they’re on stage together and she’s introducing him; he’s got this goofy affectionate look, as if he can’t believe this woman would, of all the men in the world, choose him — and stick with him for more than four decades:

So perhaps Romney bullied a classmate.  The story, if true, paints a picture of a callous, insensitive young man.  But, things have changed for that young man in the intervening forty-odd years.  The adolescent Mitt Romney, however, is not running for president.  The former Ann Davies’s husband is.

Obama won’t show us any legislation on gay marriage:
(still gay Democrats are giddy about his words on gay marriage)

At 0:49 below, Audrey Hepburn demonstrates how gay Americans should have responded to President Obama’s statement on gay marriage yesterday:

Like everything with Obama, all we get is “words, words, words.”

This is not just a gay conservative talking.  Several voices on the left have found that there’s not much there there in the president’s sudden shift on same-sex marriage.  At the Gawker, John Cook calls the statement a “cowardly cop-out”:  “it seems fairly clear from the network’s coverage that his announcement amounts to much less than meets the eye. He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry.

At the far left magazine Mother Jones, Adam Serwer reports that his colleague . . .

. . . David Corn spoke with an administration source and asked whether the president recognized gay marriage as a right. The official replied, “He has always said that it is a state issue, and he’s not suggesting changing that. He did not support the North Carolina amendment, but he’s not saying he will bring up a piece of federal legislation on gay marriage. This is how he feels himself about the issue, and he leaves it to the states.”

Emphasis added.  He’s not bringing up legislation?!?  And all my left-leaning gay friends on Facebook are so giddy about the statement; Obama’s just leaving it to the states.

Shouldn’t they be insisting that he show us he loves us by putting some political capital on the line and backing legislation to make federal recognition of gay relationships a reality?

He’s like the guy who tells his beloved how much he loves her, tells her wants to get married, but refuses to buy a ring or set a date.

Why do some refuse to acknowledge Sarah Palin’s accomplishments?

May build on this post later.  Was just at a brunch where a very intelligent man refused to accept that Sarah Palin had a record of accomplishment as Governor of Alaska.  Why is it that some Democrats (and a few Republicans) refuse to acknowledge — or even familiarize themselves with this woman’s record?

Is it because she is a woman?

I mean, when John McCain tapped her as his running mate, she enjoyed a 75% approval rating . . . among Alaska Democrats.  When Katie Couric interviewed the then-Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, the CBS News anchor didn’t once ask her interlocutor about her record.  Or what she had done to win support among Democrats as well as Republicans.

Do these folks just assume that a woman can’t stand up to a corrupt political establishment and effect real reforms?