Would-be GOP first ladies woo NRA women

April 5, 2012

The wives of the Republican presidential contenders—whose husbands have spent months taking shots at each other--don’t usually appear together in the same forum.

But on April 13 (yes, a Friday), Romney, Karen Santorum and Callista Gingrich will join in “A Conversation Off The Campaign Trail” for the ladies of the high-powered National Rifle Association.


Ann and Mitt Romney. (Steven Senne/AP)

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and his wife Karen. (Eric Gay/AP)

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam contends “Mrs. Paul was sent an invitation but we never received a response.”

Stay tuned to see how that one gets sorted out. 

Meanwhile, Democrat Michelle Obama, the incumbent White House spouse, was categorically not invited, Arulalandam said. “The NRA will be actively campaigning against President Obama this election cycle.”


Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista. (John Starks/AP)

With the format and talking points of the luncheon still being worked out, we are left to speculate on what the wives might discuss.

As Mitt Romney marches closer to the nomination even as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum refuse to quit, will the wives act as policy surrogates? Will they tackle such hot-button issues as women’s reproductive rights, the budget, health care and, of course, gun legislation?

Will they touch on the good works they would promote should their respective husbands makes it to the White House? Music education for singer, pianist and French horn player Gingrich? Multiple sclerosis research and therapeutic horseback riding for Romney, who combats the effects of the former by engaging in the latter? The divinely-inspired decision for her mate's White House run, or possibly home schooling for Santorum, a nurse and a lawyer who oversaw the education of the couple’s seven children?

Will the wives keep it light and chatty, how gosh-darn fun and in touch with voters their guys are?

Will they joke about the rigors of campaigning, while offering helpful hints on no-wrinkle travel clothing, hurricane-proof hair products and staying slim while enduring endless rubber chicken banquets and ethno-regional food-fests? (Thank heavens for elegant culinary interludes such as the NRA luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel).

As an added bonus—perhaps playing into the stereotype that women just love to shop, there will also be silent and live auctions. 

Some items are exotic, like the one-week African safari offering a pair of hunters “the opportunity to take" two impala two duiker (small antelopes) and two warthogs. Other items fashionably practical, like the leather purses designed for easy access to a concealed handgun.

The luncheon co-chairs have graciously donated items. From Susan LaPierre, wife of NRA chief Wayne LaPierre come “Chicks With Guns,” a coffee table book signed by author Lindsay McCrum, and a set of "AK Bullets & Pistol” ice cube trays. “Pop a few rounds of these gun and ammo shaped ice cubes into your party beverage and watch your guests enjoy those fully-loaded drinks,” touts the catalogue. 

Suzie Brewster—avid turkey hunter, lobbyist and co-founder of the Washington Women’s Shooting Club—donated a “Furry Friend” mink teddy bear made from recycled garments, surplus or damaged pelts. The FF bears are a project of the Fur Commission USA, “representing more than 400 families raising furbearers on 300 farms in two dozen states.”

Ready, aim, bid…   

Annie Groer is a former Washington Post and PoliticsDaily.com writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Times, Town & Country and More magazine. She is at work on a memoir.

Annie Groer is a former Washington Post and PoliticsDaily.com writer and columnist specializing in politics, culture and design. She has also written for the New York Times, Town & Country, Washingtonian and More, and is at work on a memoir. Follow her @AnnieGroer.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters