LA Times Vets Ann Romney's Horses

The Los Angeles Times refuses to disclose the contents of a video tape in its possession that reportedly shows Barack Obama lavishing praise on his friend Rashid Khalidi, a close associate of Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat, at a 2003 Chicago dinner party sponsored by the Arab American Action Network and attended by Bill Ayers. The Times does, however, have all kinds of time to vet Ann Romney, going so far as to dig into a lawsuit she was part of involving a horse:

It was the end of a long day in a stuffy Simi Valley office building. Ann Romney had been under oath for more than four hours, testifying in a sometimes contentious deposition about a pricey horse she sold that may or may not have been afflicted with a condition that made him unrideable.

In the airless room, Romney was getting annoyed.

"That really is — that really is irritating," she said when the opposing attorney implied she didn't know who looked after her horse in Moorpark when she was at her home in Boston. "Of course I know who was looking after my horse. You're just trying to irritate me."

It was a rare moment of pique for Ann Romney, not meant for public consumption, and one that opened a window onto the private world of the would-be first lady.

Though Romney was dropped from the case after 18 months of litigation, the deposition reveals her passionate engagement in a rarefied sport that she believes helps her deal with a debilitating chronic illness. It also displays her fear of privacy loss, and a depth of feeling for a handful of extraordinarily expensive horses that she compares to maternal love.

At over the 1300 words -- which is 1300 more than The Times has given the explosive allegation that the Obama campaign bribed Reverend Wright in 2008 -- the piece purports to be a profile of a woman suffering from MS who finds what the headline calls, the "pricey private world" of dressage therapeutic. But the language of the article is pure sneering smear and an obvious attempt to aid and abet the Obama campaign's crusade to define the Romneys as out of touch elitists who can't possibly understand the problems of the average American -- you know, like a community organizer turned failed president  can.

Here are the lowlights in the class envy department, but the worst comes after:

It was a rare moment of pique for Ann Romney, not meant for public consumption, and one that opened a window onto the private world of the would-be first lady. …

It also displays her fear of privacy loss, and a depth of feeling for a handful of extraordinarily expensive horses that she compares to maternal love. …

She soon fell in love with dressage, a fussy Olympic sport that is also called "horse ballet." …

Starting in 2003, coinciding with her purchase of Super Hit for about $105,000, Romney said she would frequently visit Moorpark from her Boston home, staying either in hotels or in a guesthouse on the ranch. When she is at her La Jolla beach house, she takes the train up from Del Mar. …

Dressage is not for the faint of wallet; it requires healthy outlays of cash for upkeep, training, transportation and veterinary care. It attracts some of the world's richest people — the daughter of billionaire New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg competes. …

A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign would not discuss the costs associated with Ann Romney's horses. "We are not required to disclose this information," said Amanda Henneberg in an emailed statement.

I guess we're supposed to be more outraged by what Ann Romney does with her own money as opposed to the lavish vacationing Michelle Obama has enjoyed as First Lady with our money.

The reporter, Robin Abcarian, closes the piece in an obvious attempt to turn the lawsuit into Dressage-Gate, the kind of ginned up scandal the media can use to haunt Mrs. Romney with throughout the campaign:

Romney maintained that the horse was sound when she sold him in February 2008. She was reluctant to part with him but was certain she'd found the right buyer in Norris, a former physical therapist who aspired to ride the animal in upper-level dressage competitions.

"I wanted him to go to a happy home," Romney testified. "She was so happy with the horse."

But Norris claimed she'd been misled about the horse's condition, and on April 28, 2010, sued Romney for fraud. She also sued the Ebelings, who took a commission from the sale, and the veterinarian who gave the horse a clean bill of health. The case settled last September.

The horse, now 15, was moved to a barn in San Marcos after surgery and other costly medical therapy. "He is to be permanently retired to pasture," Norris asserted in the court record. "He cannot be ridden and obviously has no future as a dressage horse."

The Romney campaign would not allow interviews with Romney, the Ebelings or Romney's attorney. Super Hit's owner could not be reached.

Romney's lawyers wanted to keep the case out of the public eye. In December 2010, one of her attorneys sent a letter to Robyn Ranke, the attorney for Norris, expressing dismay that Ranke refused to sign a confidentiality agreement.

"You can be assured we are not going to give any records … to the L.A. Times," replied Ranke, "and are at a loss as to why you would even suggest such a thing."

Looks to me like this election could be 2008 on steroids. We all remember how Obama's Media Palace Guards infested Alaska with their presence to dig into all things Sarah Palin as the man who would be president skipped along as though throwing his past associates under a bus was good enough.

Now it looks as through the track is being laid to put  more attention on the would-be First Lady as opposed to the man who is president.

And it's only May.

John Nolte is the editor of Big Hollywood. Follow him on Twitter @NolteNC.


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