Ann Romney appeared on “The View” on Thursday. One could argue that this decision exhibited a shocking lack of sense or, at the very least, taste by Mrs. Romney, but there is another possibility. Mrs. Romney was being smart…or at the very least, charitable.
Mrs. Romney appeared poised and gracious. It didn’t take long for the president’s personal attack machine, in the person of Whoopi Goldberg (Caryn Elaine Johnson), to get rolling. Ms. Goldberg barely waited for Mrs. Romney to take a seat before beginning the inquisition. Hemming and hawing, Whoopi made a statement that presumed knowledge about the Mormon faith: “As first lady, if you get the job, it’s going to entail a lot of things, and one of those things is going to be talking to the mothers whose children are coming home in bags, you know, from wars. Now, I know — I believe that your religion doesn’t allow you to go fight.” At which point Mrs. Romney hit Ms. Goldberg with an iron fist in a velvet glove.
In response to Ms. Goldberg’s ignorance, Mrs. Romney said, conversationally but firmly, “No, that’s not correct.” She amplified that comment by letting Ms. Goldberg know that there are “many, many members of our faith (Mormonism) serving in the armed services.”
A visibly surprised Ms. Goldberg reeled but, like any punch-drunk boxer, too dumb to know when to lie down, she continued her attack: “Okay, um, I say that because when I read about your husband, what I had read, and maybe you can correct this is that the reason that he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion. That’s what I read.”
Once again, Mrs. Romney was able to quash what Ms. Goldberg seemed to devoutly wish was true. Mrs. Romney repeated “No, that’s not correct.” She explained that Governor Romney was, at that time, serving his two-and-a-half year mission for the church. Mrs. Romney added that doing service for others, in different venues, was critical, it is what makes this country great. All five of the Romney’s sons have served 2 year missions as well.
Governor Romney’s two and a half year mission was served in 1968, in France, during a very troubled period. Governor Romney was involved in an accident so severe that he was declared dead by an attending police officer. Even so, he did not come home. Governor Romney, at the age of 21, was forced to take over the mission during that time. Over 200 people, amid riots, violence and political chaos looked to him for leadership and guidance. He provided just that and gained early experience in an executive position.
It took 10 seconds to research this information. It would have taken less time had I been a more adept typist. The Romney appearance on “The View” had been scheduled for over a month. One would think that Ms. Goldberg would have found the initiative to do a little background checking in that time. But that wasn’t her purpose here. She was, clearly, attempting to savage Mormonism, torpedo Mrs. Romney and denigrate Governor Romney. Oops.
Ms. Goldberg was not the only one of the cabal asking the questions that, somehow, the president and his wife never get asked on “The View.” Barbara Walters cross-examined Mrs. Romney, digging for her “feelings.” With a silvery laugh, Mrs. Romney said, “The good news is I’m not running for office and I don’t have to say what I feel.”
Babwa was shut down faster than a Republican GM dealership under the president’s regime. Mrs. Romney did answer every other question put to her, from her thoughts about the run for the White House to her stance on abortion, with characteristic honesty and openness. For her pains, Barbara Walters damned her with faint praise: “You’re a wonderful advocate for your husband, I have to say, whatever your point of view — this is a terrific lady.” Yes, Ms. Walters, she is a terrific lady.
It is difficult to reconcile the grilling Republican candidates and their families get from the harpies on “The View” with the cooing and tossing of rose petals the president and his wife receive from the same source. Comparisons to Brad Pitt and breathless questions about “how romantic is the president?” are a far cry from accusations of dodging military service and slanders against one’s religion served up. Mrs. Romney was more than equal to the task of defusing the bombs. She was able to demonstrate, to the segment of America that actually watches “The View,” what she and her family are really like. The mother of five sons, Mrs. Romney has a wealth of experience handling children. She put it to good use here. As stated earlier, Mrs. Romney’s appearance was smart.
It’s puzzling that Ms. Goldberg never got the opportunity to ask the president about his own Vietnam military experience. But he didn’t have any military experience, did he? Perplexing, too, that this deficiency doesn’t seem to hinder either the president or his wife from “talking to the mothers whose children are coming home in bags, you know, from wars” either. But the president and his wife don’t talk to the families of dead soldiers. The president sends form letters instead.
Whoopi asked tough questions. Maybe someone should tell her that lawyers have a saying: “Never ask questions you don’t already have the answers to.”