When Good Morning America viewers tune in during the 8 o'clock hour Wednesday morning they will be treated to a brand new co-host, Ann Romney. In bringing Romney on to host the program ABC will continue to blur the already murky line that separates news and entertainment. Instead of being the news, Mrs. Romney will report the news. In co-hosting, Mrs. Romney will be doing her part in the arduous task of humanizing her husband.
Co-hosting the program gives Romney another mass media opportunity to campaign. With her powerful RNC speech and her engaging demeanour, Mrs. Romney has proved the secret weapon (as first ladies often do) in the task of making her husband a sympathetic and relatable figure. Mrs. Romney's battle with multiple sclerosis is another facet of her life story that helps to complete her already compelling and sympathetic character. Bringing Mrs. Romney into America's living rooms as people get ready for work and school is no dumb move on the eve of the vice presidential debates.
It was not always common practice for first ladies, and potential first ladies, to campaign in this manner. Indeed, there did exist a time when news outlets tried to keep their subjects at a more objective distance. That said, the program has every intention of blurring the line on both sides of the party divide. The network has indicated that they hope to have Michelle Obama on to co-host at a later date.
During the 2008 campaign ABC engaged in similar co-host political cross-over when they had both Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain on to co-host The View. The soon-to-be first lady joined the regular morning faces and spread her message and charm on real thick. Mrs. Romney will undoubtedly aspire to do the same.
Romney will be filling in for co-host Robin Roberts, who is out on medical leave for cancer treatment. Romney will join the regular GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos.