Spin Cycle

10.10.12

Ann Romney's Morning Moment

GMA keeps it light with candidate's wife as co-host

I’m sure Good Morning America didn’t mean to suggest that Ann Romney belonged in the kitchen.

But there she was on the ABC set on Wednesday morning, cooking up a storm.

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Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, tapes an interview with Neil Cavuto, for his program "Your World With Neil Cavuto," on the Fox New Channel, in New York, on Sept. 14, 2012. (Richard Drew / AP Photo )

She was billed as a guest “co-host”—and why on earth should a presidential candidate’s wife have that title on a news show?—but that turned out to be a bit of marketing hype. For much of the two-hour program, Romney was nowhere to be found. She did not sit at the big anchor desk with George Stephanopoulos and the team. There was no big political interview. Romney was not so much on the show as on display.

Romney has a pleasant and genuine on-air manner. She cheerfully cooked up some Welsh cakes, from a recipe handed down by her grandmother, that the other hosts devoured. She began the second hour of GMA by declaring, “After raising five boys, I’m ready for anything that’s thrown my way.”

As she was occasionally inserted into feature segments, Mitt’s wife did nothing to embarrass herself. Talking to Drew Lachey, who was voted off Dancing with the Stars (an ABC show, of course), she asked: “How did you like your scoring?” Not surprisingly, he didn’t.

Standing with the team outside the Times Square studio, Romney said, “This is my most favorite place to be.” She was holding the reins of a horse. Romney is an accomplished equestrian who says that riding helps her multiple sclerosis, and one of her dressage horses competed in the Olympics. The horse belonged to Rebecca Hart, who suffers from spastic paraplegia and has competed in the Paralympics, and she and Romney chatted amiably. "The horses are a gift from God," Romney said.

By steering clear of politics, GMA kept things non-partisan, but that meant viewers didn't get to hear Romney talk the subject on which she'd be most interesting in the final weeks of the campaign: her husband.

She is one of a series of co-hosts filling in for Robin Roberts, who took a leave for surgery related to a bone marrow and blood disease.

Romney, resplendent in a red dress, probably enhanced her stature as a potential first lady, and maybe goosed GMA’s ratings as well. Perhaps it was a coincidence that the program’s blog touted an ABC/Washington Post poll showing that Ann Romney’s popularity had jumped 12 points and was almost as high as Michelle Obama’s. Maybe, if her husband pulls out this race, she’ll be invited back.