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August 2nd, 2012
07:41 PM ET

Letters to the President #1291: 'Beware the horse'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a duel to the end for the election this fall.

Dear Mr. President,

Here is a suggestion, which you can take or leave: I think if I were you, I would wave my Democratic pals away from too much criticism of Ann Romney’s horse in the Olympics.

You may’ve already seen the ad suggesting the Romneys care more about their horse than health care, or you could have heard the interviews in which Democratic operatives suggest the man from Massachusetts is a preening elitist and this horse is just proof of it, etc.

Here is the problem: Ann Romney took to riding in earnest about 14 years ago after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She has repeatedly asserted that the sport was one of the few things she could do at a time when she was so weak she could barely get out of bed; that it helped her build her muscles, fight the disease, and that it saved her life. Along the way, she got quite good at it; good enough to help train a horse to compete for our country in the Olympics.

Sure the horse costs a fortune. Sure dressage is an odd sport that many people don’t understand. But you get my point here, don’t you?

While some of your friends may see only the delightful opportunity to skewer a rich opponent, I suspect if Team Romney gets its act together on this, they will tear into you like a wheat thresher. Their talking points? I don’t know, but I would guess they would be something like this: Do you seriously think it is decent or fair to mock the efforts of any person wrestling with a disease that afflicts about 400,000 Americans? Should Mitt Romney have denied his wife this therapy because it looked too rich? And on and on and on.

It is, as they say, up to you. But I suspect this is not a horse your side should bet on.

Regards,
Tom

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