Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney fell for his wife Ann when they were kids.
MITT ROMNEY AND ANN DAVIES ROMNEY
Married Since: 1969
Family Album: Five sons, 16 grandchildren.
As Mitt tells it, the Romney marriage is a real love story. "We met in elementary school," he said in a 2006 speech that is posted on his campaign website. "I was a Cub Scout, and she was riding a horse bareback over some railroad tracks. What do Cub Scouts do when they see a little girl on a horse? We picked up stones and threw them." Years later, in 1965, he refined his style and asked her out to see The Sound of Music, which had recently opened. After that, Romney said, "I didn't want to be anywhere else but with Ann." He proposed at the senior prom, and she accepted. They were married in 1969, on the fourth anniversary of that first date. In the speech, he lists the reasons he loves her. First is her honesty. "There's no shading, there's no guile," he says, adding that "she has an incomprehensible capacity to love, and because she's honest, people recognize that she cares for them." And after all these years, "her love for me, of course, is the greatest source of joy I could possibly have.
Ann was raised Episcopalian, but converted to Mormonism after meeting Mitt, who comes from a prominent Mormon family. His faith is a problem for evangelical Christians, who are also mistrustful of his flip-flops. He supported abortion rights and gay rights in his 1994 Senate campaign, but changed these positions when he decided to run for president. Mitt sometimes battles skepticism about his religion with humor, and even jokes about polygamy, repudiated by the Mormon church more than a century ago. "I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman…and a woman…and a woman," he cracked at the 2005 St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Boston.
Ann has generally kept a low profile, devoting her time and energy to raising their sons. But in 1998, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, she has been active in raising awareness of the disease as well as funds for advocacy and research. "Ann is an angel," her husband says. "She's a hot angel, but she's an angel nonetheless." If her husband wins, she could be the next Nancy Reagan—loyal to her man, but willing to wield her influence behind the scenes. Above all, she'll keep Mitt happy. Why Do Ladies Love Mitt Romney?
Click Here For The Official Romney Campaign Site.
Barbara Kantrowitz is a senior writer for Newsweek.