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. 

4. Ann Romney and the Romney family

Carlos Osorio/AP/File
Romney and his wife, Ann, arrive at the Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich., on Sept. 24, 2011.

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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