For many Americans, Wales is a land of coalmines, choirs and 'How Green was my Valley'. Last night they were not disappointed. Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, visited a pit museum and was serenaded by a male voice choir before a television interview in a pub overlooking the Llynfi Valley.
Her trip to Llangynwyd near Maesteg, where her ancestors are buried in the churchyard, was part of a strategy of using her family background to give American voters something easier to identify with than her husband's multi-millionaire status. She told NBC's 'Rock Center' programme how her grandfather became a coalminer in Nantyffyllon at the age of six and her father left Wales for the United States when he was just fifteen.
She hugged a Welsh mountain pony named 'Magic ' as if he had a crucial vote in a key state. The Republican party hopes Ann Romney's personality provides electoral magic for her less charismatic husband's campaign. Her job is to help help him defeat a president with an even more humble family background.
If the Romneys do turf the Obamas out of the White House, any future visit to Wales will be in a presidential motorcade. If they lose, it will just be a retirement trip.