Let’s ask Ann Romney?

Vincent Sheheen may have accidentally called South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley a “whore”, but smirking and laughing about the slip-up is entirely on him. Whatever heat comes his way as a result is completely deserved.

But not all of that heat deserves an appearance on CNN, least of all heat from the otherwise unemployed spouse of an ex-presidential candidate.

Ann Romney, the wife of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, condemned South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s Democratic challenger after he mistakenly called her a “whore” — and then chuckled.

“When I first heard about it, it hit me right in my gut,” Romney said in a Monday phone interview with CNN. “My nerve endings went haywire. It’s so upsetting when you know someone can say something like that about a woman, and not have any kind of reaction. It’s so unacceptable. Nikki is a great girl and has been a great governor.”

Okay. I agree.

I understand that in such a situation finding an appropriate commentator could be difficult. Governor Haley would seem the best choice, but politics complicates matters. Sheheen has already damaged himself. There would be little to gain harping on the comment, and much to potentially risk. Representing a party full of sexists, she can’t afford to sound, God forbid, like a feminist.

The next best choice would probably be a female Democrat, who could speak authoritatively about sexism within the party itself. Good luck finding one, though. The party is fighting tooth and nail for whatever seats it can find, and no one wants to be the one who drove Vincent Sheheen’s campaign right into the ground.

But I could not think of someone more irrelevant to this kerfuffle than Ann Romney. She’s not a politician, and, given Mitt Romney’s “I’m done with this sit” attitude as of late, I think it something of a stretch to even call her a “politician’s wife”. For all her expertise and connection to South Carolina, CNN could just as well have pulled any random female off a Charleston sidewalk and received just as insightful an appraisal of Sheheen’s gaffe.

If not more so. At least the random Charlestonite would have some personal stake in who assumes governorship of their state. But that’s not how news works these, is it?

Gone are the days of Cronkite, possibly forever. The talking heads and the politicians are caught in an intractable act of disingenuous coitus, wherein the news outlets give “political figures”, however irrelevant, air time in exchange for ratings. This is why Ann Romney is on my television, why Sarah Palin stalks the corridors of FOX, why Newt Gingrich will never go the fuck away.


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