Mitt Romney's five biggest assets as GOP nominee

Typically, an election with an incumbent president on the ballot is a referendum on him. But President Obama is trying to turn the election into a choice, saying in effect that America's problems will get much worse under the other guy. So what does Mitt Romney bring to the table? Here are five assets. 

By , Staff writer

4. Ann Romney and the Romney family

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    Romney and his wife, Ann, arrive at the Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich., on Sept. 24, 2011.
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Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, has emerged as one of his best assets on the stump – both as a campaigner and a fundraiser. If he comes across as a bit stilted, she is warm and authentic. He is more relaxed when he’s with her, creating a dilemma for the campaign: How much to send her out on her own events and how much to keep her at Mitt’s side. Their photogenic family of five sons, five daughters-in-law, and 16 grandchildren also helps warm up Mitt’s image. But lest anyone complain that the Romneys are a bit too perfect, Ann’s health issues help keep it real.  

Ann Romney also helped the campaign score a few points when Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen dissed her economic expertise, saying “she has actually never worked a day in her life.” Mrs. Romney, a stay-at-home mom, suddenly was thrust into the middle of the tempest.

“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” she said in her inaugural tweet.  

A few days later, Mrs. Romney squandered a bit of her victory when she was overheard telling a private audience how pleased she was to be attacked. “It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," she said April 15 at a fundraiser in Palm Beach, Fla.

But Mrs. Romney is still an important asset to the campaign; Romney advisers hope she can help her husband reduce his yawning deficit with women voters. 

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