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The GEM Debate: What Do Ann Romney And Gwyneth Paltrow Have In Common?


Ugh I hate politics. I really do. But I have to get something off my chest, to say something that needs to be said.

Yesterday there was a huge dust-up created when Hilary Rosen, democratic strategist said, in a rather clunky statement, that Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, had, “never worked a day in her life.” That set off a most interesting set of actions. First the White House went into overdrive, back peddling and trying to put as much distance between it and Hilary Rosen. The Romney camp, pounced, blasting Rosen for her poor choice of words.

I wrote about it yesterday but the upshot is that I get what Rosen was trying to say. I also understand Ann Romney’s decision to choose to stay home with her kids. And no, that is not an easy job.

But here’s the thing. Ann Romney had a choice, something, as I said, a lot of women frankly don’t have.  One of the comments I got from that piece was from someone saying I was trashing the Romney’s for being rich. Okay, deep breath.

No, I am not trashing the Romney’s for being rich,  hell I’m trying to get there my damn self. But what I do fault them for is pretending to be like everyone else. They are not. And frankly, I find that offensive.

It’s called being tone deaf and actress Gwyneth Paltrow is an expert at this. I wrote a post a while back after she started with her Goop newsletter. She interviewed several of her friends, one of whom was a “working mother”. Yes, she was a working mother; working as a partner in a venture capital firm. This woman suggested a weekly blowout so you don’t have to wash your hair everyday. You know how much a weekly blowout costs? Google it. That indulgence is probably a bit more than most working moms can afford.

Those things in and of themselves are not that offensive. But the fact that Paltrow has no idea how it comes off, how she sounds, especially in this economy, is what is such a turn off.

And that’s the problems facing the Romney’s. I don’t care one iota that Ann Romney chose to stay home with her kids. But does she know how lucky she is to be able to make that choice? Does she know that there are a lot of women who would like to do that do, but can’t, even if they cut their budgets to the bone?

You know what would be refreshing? For Mitt Romney to stand up and say, “Yeah, we’re filthy, stinking rich. Yeah, our money afforded us a lifestyle that others can only dream about. But I’d like the opportunity to sit in the Oval office so I can figure out to help get you there.”

Be authentic, don’t apologize for your wealth and please don’t tell me that you’re just like me because you’re not. I don’t hate you because you’re rich but being tone-deaf will earn you the insensitive label every time.

That’s my take. What do you think? Are the Romney’s (and Gwyneth Paltrow) tone deaf? Do they have the ability to get in touch with the life and struggles of the average American? Lemme hear ya!

More from GEM:

My Target Moment: How I Left TV News Behind

The Story of Us: Happy Anniversary Buff

Ask Rene: Is My Daughter Being Abused?

Good Enough Mother Versus Goop


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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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