Michelle Obama Gets Today's Moms Right, Ann Romney Gets Them SO Wrong (VIDEO)

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michelle obama dnc

Oh Ann Romney, I just don't know what to say. I'm so sorry. In the competition that is the candidate's wife speech, Michelle Obama obliterated you at the DNC Convention last night. I hear she even did her own writing! As MSNBC's Alex Wagner tweeted last night, "First Lady to Ann Romney: 'I will take your pasta & tunafish in a basement, and raise you a car with rusted holes & a dumpster coffee table.'"

But this is not a competition over who struggled more as a young couple. What stood out to me was how Ann Romney and Michelle Obama each spoke about their experiences as women and mothers and exactly how well their husbands understand their struggles. To hear Ann Romney tell it at the RNC Convention, you'd think Mitt Romney idealizes motherhood without caring much about the specifics -- or truly appreciating how hard she works. Michelle Obama's speech, on the other hand, describes a man who is deeply aware of and empathetic to the challenges and work mothers face.

"Tonight I want to talk with you about love," Ann said. "I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it -- the love we have for our children and our children's children." We didn't hear much beyond that about what Ann's love for her own children and grandchildren means to her in specifics, though. From there she talks about the struggles middle-class families are facing right now.

"And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it?" Naturally, the women in the audience loved this. "You're the ones who always have to do a little more." But while Ann mentions women working harder to earn "the respect you deserve at work," she also says she doesn't think men really understand that there's not a woman in America "who really expects her life to be easy."

More from The Stir: Michelle Obama's Electrifying DNC Speech: 8 Most Inspiring Quotes (VIDEO)

Yikes -- did Ann just reveal more about Romney there than she meant to? Because what I'm picturing now is a Mitt who just never got how hard his wife works, who put motherhood on a pedestal but was ultimately not very empathetic about Ann's struggles as a mother. "That's fine," Ann says like a martyr. I don't agree. I think that empathy deficit says everything that's wrong about Romney's candidacy.

Michelle Obama talked about being a mom, too -- America's "mom-in-chief." She made jokes about being a working mom who was so tired that on her dates with Barack they had to choose between dinner or a movie because she was too tired for both.

But she was at her best when she focused on the women who raised her and Barack. They both grew up with families who didn't have much money "but who had given us something far more valuable -- their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves."

To Ann Romney's vague statement that women have to work harder than men, laboring in mute acceptance, Michelle talks about Barack's single mother struggling to pay bills. She tells us about his secretary grandmother, who watched as men she trained were promoted over her. Michelle does not think "that's fine." She thinks it's unacceptable, especially for moms trying to support a family. So that's why she mentions Barack signing the Lily Ledbetter Act demanding equal pay for equal work.

You see, men can understand how women work harder. And they can do something about it. That's a difference that matters to me. “For Barack, these issues aren’t political -- they’re personal.” Moms need a president who actually sees and values the work moms do in specifics. Not in some bland, "you moms are so important" kind of way that results in exactly zero policies that support us. We're smarter -- and more valuable -- than that.

What did you think about the differing ways Michelle Obama and Ann Romney talked about motherhood?


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2012 election, barack obama, cafemom studios, democratic national convention, feminism, in the news, michelle obama, mitt romney, republican national convention


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nonmember avatar Sarah.S.

Oh stir writers, how you have all become predictable lemings.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

blah blah blah

You know, Barak Obama did not grow up impoverished because he had a single mother. He lived with his grandparents or with a step father for the majority of his childhood. He went to private schools and traveled the world, his lifestyle allowed him to see things that the majority of middle class Americans will never see. I don't feel sorry for him or the way he grew up... if only so many others could be so lucky.

But continue telling us how much more awesome the Obama's are because of, well EVERYTHING, of course. And please, continue bashing the Romney's for living in a lifestyle that is different than yours- because it continues to show your true ignorance and ability to spew forth hand-fed tripe from the other news media outlets.

bills... billsfan1104

Ann opens herself up and the thestir writers and other hateful people accuse her of playing for votes. Ann will never win for you. Ann did a great job for someone who has never spoken to a crowd like that before.

I like how you say this is not a competition but you went on and on with your hatefulness.

bills... billsfan1104

And Baracks mom didnt raise him and back then when his grandmother worked, that is how the workplace was. It isnt like that anymore. She should know, Michelle is getting a six figure salary from her old employer while being first lady.

nonmember avatar Guest

Michelle Obama Gets Today's Moms Right, Ann Romney Gets Them SO Wrong, because that is what the democrats are telling me I am supposed to think even if I don't really understand why...

Democrats good, Republicans baaaaaad!

Democrats good, Republicans baaaaaad!

Democrats good, Republicans baaaaaad!

Baaaaaah! Baaaaaah!

Lesli... Leslie_ABS

That's the thing though, research shows, that, to some degree, that is still how the workplace is. If women are getting on average less than men, then something has not been fixed. That is Michelle's point. It was one thing in the 60's, but this is 2012. Ann is a very nice lady and I wish her all of the best, but frankly, she has not experience things that most of us have and her husband does not speak to specifics about how to support all of those 'mom's. The Obamas have that personal experience and the president has done his best in his policies to support us moms. 

Lip service to how tough it is to be a mother is nothing compared to actually creating supportive government policies.

nonmember avatar Kim

Her husband has been the president for 3+ years. Did we really need to hear about how hard they had it growing up again? I wonder why she didn't focus on how much better off we are as a country?

bills... billsfan1104

Leslie it has been proven that all these struggles that the Obamas talk of, is just basically exaggerations.

quinn007 quinn007

Seriously, this is the second article I've read about how wonderful Michelle is, how much she gets us because of how rough they both had it while the writer scoffs at Ann's implication that she had any kind of challenges in her life.  Look, I admire both Michelle & Ann-they are both strong mothers who have certainly faced their own personal struggles.  However, both of their assertions that they led some rough & tumble life so they "get" us middle class moms is BULLSHIT.  Both the Obamas & the Romneys have led relatively easy lives financially and were afforded opportunities that I only dream about giving my children.  I find this pandering on both sides to mothers and middle class women to be, frankly, disgusting.  How these people can get up on stage and tell outright lies and people eat it up is beyond my understanding. 

bills... billsfan1104

I see that theStir editors are deleting comments. But they leave the hateful ones up against conservatives.

I will say it again, the only reason that these bloggers are hateful is because they are jealous of what she has. If they weren't, there wouldn't be this level of hatefulness against a woman that has done nothing illegal, wrong, except be a SAHM and stand by her husband.

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