Ann Romney and Michelle Obama: It’s All Politics To Me [Election 2012]
The past two weeks in the political world have been filled with Democratic/Republican National Convention speeches and last minute attempts to change the polls for the upcoming presidential election. As interesting as the speeches were, however, I could not help but think about the role women play in this election.
As immensely important as we female voters are, I’m not talking about us. I’m talking about the wives of the candidates: Ann Romney and Michelle Obama.
During the RNC and DNC, both the Romney and Obama campaigns used their wives’ speeches as an opportunity to humanize and display themselves from a non-political perspective. There is certainly a political incentive to show a more personal side of each candidate. If voters can feel a more intimate connection to a candidate, they are more likely to mark their ballot for them. As the only non-political speakers at each convention, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney were used to fulfill the political goal of showing a more personal, intimate side of each of their husbands.
I really did love both Michelle Obama’s and Ann Romney’s speeches. (See them below!) They were inspiring, eloquent, and got the job done.
Despite this, I’m left with an unsettling feeling when I think about these speeches. Sure, each woman serves as a great role model for girls in our country and they accomplished the goal of showing a different side of each of their husbands. But, at the same time, I’m bothered by the fact that the candidates’ wives are so obviously used as pawns on the political chessboard. Am I alone in this belief?
When I heard each woman’s speech, I didn’t think about how they made me want to vote for their husband, I thought about the obvious political motives behind the words. Sure, it was nice to hear about how they suffered from college debts in their 20s and roughed it (for a bit.) However, my thoughts were clouded by frustration because this carefully planned out act is exactly what I hate about politics.
I know this sounds very idealistic, but I’d like to live in a world in which we vote for a president based on his or her policies, not based on how good of a speech their spouse gave. Is that even possible? Of course a wife’s opinion of her husband is important, but can’t we leave that out of the election for once?
Do you agree that Ann’s and Michelle’s speeches were obvious political moves? Disagree with me? Give your opinion in the comments!
Ashley is a sophomore majoring in International Affairs with a minor in English. Each week, Ashley will be discussing current events involving the upcoming presidential election. Check in every week to find out what’s going on in the election world and read one college girl’s opinion on the issues!