First Lady Michelle Obama recalled her father's battle with multiple sclerosis (MS) as she explained "what's at stake" in this election between President Obama and Mitt Romney -- whose wife has MS.
Mrs. Obama recalled her father's MS during a campaign fundraiser, saying he "had MS, was a blue-collar city worker all his life . . . [and her parents] saved for us, they sacrificed everything for us, why? Because they wanted something more for me and my brother." The First Lady summarized the anecdote by saying "that's what's at stake" -- by which she referred to the idea that "if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids . . . So believe me, your President knows what it means whan a family struggles," she added after talking about his life raised by a single mom.
The implication seemed to be that the president better understands the trials of people with MS, and of working class people like Mrs. Obama's father. But the First Lady might have forgotten that Ann Romney, Mitt Romney's wife, also has MS. (Michelle Obama did not mention Romney, but he is the alternative to President Obama in this general election.)
Ann Romney addressed the issue of her struggles in an interview with The Washington Examiner's Byron York. "The hardest time in my life was when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis," she told York, who wrote:
"Her husband was infinitely understanding, she said, telling her she would be alright and that he wouldn't mind even if she were disabled. "He said, 'Look, I'll be fine if you're in a wheelchair,'" she said. "And he said, 'And I really don't care that you can't cook dinner anymore -- I really could eat toast and cereal for the rest of my life.'" With her husband's encouragement, she said, she turned to riding horses as therapy and eventually returned to an active life.
Romney and Obama disagree on a lot, but at the minimum, they both have an understanding of MS in a family.