Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ann Romney - Key Ingredient

In the News

Romney's Key Ingredient

By: Jennifer Liberto
St. Petersburg Times

"Ann Romney has never given a political speech while cooking before, but she's clearly a natural in the kitchen.

"While chatting about her 'monkey bread' recipe, she never garbles a word, never says 'ummm,' never leaves an uncomfortable pause, all of which she does sometimes while making a political pitch for her husband, Mitt Romney, and his views on immigration or balancing budgets.

"While talking politics, Ann Romney, 58, unconsciously starts stacking dirty dishes, even though it's a borrowed kitchen that will get cleaned long after she drives off to fly home to Boston.

"'Who cares about politics, I'm going to talk about rolls,' said the mother of five boys, the kind of mother who owns her own wheat grinder to make whole-wheat bread.

"Ann Romney's visit with 30 women in St. Petersburg's Old Northeast neighborhood on Tuesday capped off a four-day tour of Florida, campaigning on her husband's behalf. Such solo trips are becoming more common for Mrs. Romney.

"In a campaign where candidate spouses have to compete with the likes of former President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards, Ann Romney is becoming a name in her own right. In her home state of Michigan, she draws big crowds. She has her own campaign Web site, which includes recipes, family stories and details about her struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic, incurable disease that attacks the nervous system. She has a book on the way called Faith in the Family.

"And she's an integral part of her husband's campaign."
"Ann Romney told the St. Petersburg crowd the story of how Mitt Romney had chosen heroes to run the Olympic torch across America. She was his hero and got to carry the torch.
"'That was an amazing personal accomplishment for me, because I would have been barely able to walk when we first got to Utah,' Ann Romney explained. 'And three years later, with my husband beside me and my children running next to me and with all of my new friends cheering me on, and not a dry eye, they all ran next to me recognizing what an accomplishment and personal battle I had fought and won.'
"Between every campaign trip, she must try to rid herself of stress, or risk another flare-up. She does this mostly by riding horses and relaxing with her family."
"Her torch-running story led to tissues and smeared mascara from several women, including Karen Erickson, 63, whose brother also has multiple sclerosis.
"'She's so grounded, so wholesome, and the family values she lives and passes on is what we need in a big way,' said Erickson, an undecided Republican who is now leaning toward Mitt Romney."...
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