After endearing himself to millions across the nation by claiming that 47% of Americans don’t pay income taxes and view themselves as victims, Mitt Romney must be sleeping in the dog house over this comment about wife, Ann Romney:

“We … we, uh, use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her.”

First of all, who has the heart to tell him that ship sailed and sunk off the coast of Three Months Ago? Second of all, his dog house is probably larger than the average American’s regular house. And third of all, as Daily Kos points out, Mitt’s been “using” Ann from the jump:

We already know that Mitt uses his wife as a shield; in fact, the campaign admitted in July that it would deflect questions about Mitt’s taxes by accusing critics of attacking Ann since they were her taxes too.

Before that, Ann “loved” the supposedly oh-so-offensive comment that she’d never worked a day in her life (which she hasn’t, as she herself has said). Ann considered that supposed attack an “early birthday present,” since it was such a great fundraising opportunity for the campaign.

Romneyland has been trying for months to “use Ann” to bolster Mitt’s likability and to close that pesky gender gap.

That gap is more like a gaping maw at this point, but there’s still hope of using Ann to her greatest capabilities: a walking punchline.

As a bonus, here’s Romney mitting on his wife in his own carefully modulated tone of voice:

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