Before this week, Ann Romney had been dubbed as her husband’s “secret weapon.” And while the simple fact that this was general knowledge implies that she was not exactly invisible, it was true that her story was not front and center.
Of course, that was until Thursday, when a fire storm erupted over comments made by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney was unceremoniously shoved into a very bright spotlight.
The mother of five who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is also a breast cancer survivor is currently the No. 1 search on google. Yesterday she joined twitter and got more mentions per minute than Justin Bieber.
So the question on everyone’s minds is: What’s next for Ann Romney?
“The campaign has used her a lot already,” notes ABC’s Cokie Roberts. ”I think, now that there is this attention from people who hadn’t previously been paying attention to her, for whatever reason, now she has to really hone a message.”
So far, Ann’s role on the trail has been a humanizing one; Ann is a counterweight to her sometimes stiff-seeming husband. She talks about his sense of humor, and the fact that he is actually her “most disobedient child”- making the buttoned up candidate seem less, well, buttoned.
Roberts argues that Ann must pivot to making the focus of her message more economical.
“It needs to be a good, solid economic message, because the women’s vote is an economic vote and the reason the Democrats get more of it is because women are economically vulnerable,” she points out.
One thing Ann will need to do, Roberts says, is continue to address how she’s been financially blessed.
“She has to say ‘look, I’m blessed, I’ve been lucky in my life, I’ve been able to make the choice to stay home and take care of my kids’- she just has to say it straight out.”
Ann is also likely to become a key fundraiser, argues Doug Wead, a historian who has written extensively on first families, and served as a political adviser to numerous Republican campaigns.
“As the campaign approaches the end, the celebritihood of the wife and children just skyrocket. They were unknowns and suddenly they become very valuable,” Wead explains. “For Ann Romney to sit at home and enjoy a leisurely night off ends up costing the campaign thousands of dollars.”
The specific rhetoric of Ann’s message remains to be seen, but one thing seems clear- we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Ann Romney.