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LATE NIGHT

Ann Romney makes late-night debut on 'Tonight Show With Jay Leno'

September 26, 2012|By Meredith Blake

Like the woman she’s hoping to replace, aspiring first lady Ann Romney understands the value of a little publicity. The wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney made her late-night debut Wednesday on the “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” just a week after appearing on “Live! With Michael and Kelly” and a day before an interview on “Access Hollywood.”

In her first visit to Jay Leno’s couch, Romney did the thing that virtually all political wives — Mrs. Obama included — do in similar situations: She morphed, for a few minutes, into a sitcom mother, complaining about her “cheap” husband’s habit of turning off the water heater, poking fun at his dancing abilities and recalling how “stinky” her five sons were as teenagers.

When it came to actual politics, Ann Romney was also an effective proxy for her husband, even if she steered well clear of policy specifics. Not surprisingly, Leno asked for her thoughts on the “47%” video that dominated much of the news cycle last week. Rather than clarify or explain her husband’s comments about Americans who don't pay federal income taxes — or double down on those comments, as he has done — Ann Romney opted instead to convey a sense of the man she knows.

“We care about the 100%,” she said.  “I’ve seen this guy through his life do the most extraordinary things. There’s two things about Mitt: He cares and he’s competent.”

Ann Romney had only kind words to say about the woman whose house she’d like to move into. After Leno noted that both Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney were more popular than their spouses, she said, “She’s great.  Love her. She’s a beautiful woman, a strong woman, and doing a great, great service for this country.”

Leno seemed disappointed that Mrs. Romney was so complimentary. “I’d love to see you two running negative campaigns,” he said, meowing like an angry cat.

No need, Jay: Their husbands are already doing plenty of that.

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