Mitt Romney didn't get the bounce he wanted from his convention, and Barack Obama did. How do I know? Not from the weekend polls that show that, not from Nate Silver upping Obama's chances of winning to 4 in 5, but because Ann Romney told me.
Well, not directly to my ear, but in an interview on “Meet the Press.” Mrs. Romney said her husband has been unfairly "demonized" and portrayed unfairly as person who lacks empathy; it was a reprise of her convention speech, but it was more plaintive. At one point, she reminded people awkwardly that she has multiple sclerosis, but unlike in her speech, her travail seemed disconnected from the larger point she was making: Mitt does care.
Mrs. Romney's frustration — and it is hard to see someone you love mischaracterized — is making her miss the point. As the Democratic convention pointed out, it isn't Mitt Romney's personal commitment to help others, it is the lack of commitment in his policies. And his occasionally awkward and reinforcing demeanor: "Borrow from your parents if you have to ..."
But what interests me is why Mrs. Romney decided to speak out so emphatically. I surmise from years of being around campaigns and candidate spouses that she received negative feedback on the Republican convention and positive on the Democrats' and has now seen the polls confirming the feedback. She's tempted now to take matters into her own hands. The Romney campaign assures us everything is on track; they might want to make sure their guy's wife agrees.