The LuLac Edition #2025, April 15th, 2012
Mitt Romney doing a reverse Nancy Reagan on his wife Ann. (Photo AP)
ROMNEY, WOMEN AND 270
When Obama political operative Hillary Rosen made the comment that Mitt Romney’s wife never worked a day in her life and therefore has no idea how a modern woman deals with everyday life, she must have been thinking of the 19 point spread President Obama has over the presumed GOP nominee. But a 19 point lead can evaporate in little time. The comments were both reckless and ironic. Reckless because Rosen was poking at a dangerous constituency with a stick and ironic because she herself is a working mother. The GOP was battered and bruised with women during this primary campaign. With Rick Santorum running around talking about his personal views on conception and Romney pointing to all the stuff his wife owns because of his wealth, most working women were in no mood to give the Republican party a vote. But the remarks by Rosen became a lifeline to the GOP among the women’s vote. The most hard charging, cold, hard edged business woman will always have a place in their heart (most anyway) for their own mothers. For years, women have defended their rights to be in the workplace which for many was a long, hard slog against sexism. But those same women have defended stay at home moms because they recognize that too is a hard job with little pay. Now a guy like Mitt makes it easy with three homes and multiple Cadillacs but the premise is the same. Raising kids is hard work. Most of the modern day working women I’ve come in contact with perform a delicate balance that is awe inspiring. But those women choosing not to work fill in the gaps in community volunteer posts that working mothers can’t participate in. For so long, women have been told what to do, how to think, how to feel. During the 70s a solidarity was built for women who were tired of those actions that made them feel “less thans”. Now that the fight is somewhat equal, women in the workplace are coming to defense of women who choose to stay at home. Notice how quickly Hillary Rosen backtracked. She cancelled all appearances on the Sunday morning shows and if the Obama White House is smart, they’d distance themselves from her remarks. Attacking Ann Romney who made a choice, and the women’s movement always used to tell us it was all about choice, was really stupid. Ann Romney raised 5 sons and suffers from a pretty tough disease, multiple sclerosis. There are many who are Ann Romney supporters precisely because she does what nearly every wife does: make her husband look better and credible. I mean look at Mitt, the guy is pretty much a wooden character that doesn’t seem to have an authentic bone in his body. But look at the photos of them together. He obviously adores her and after 42 years is loyal to her. (Mitt is no Donald Trump amassing millions along with wives, women, trust me, like that aspect of his character!) This remark might not damage the Obama effort in the long run. But the road to 270 is going to be precarious for the President this fall. Any shift toward Romney among women will be huge. For every reason not to pull the lever for Romney, pro life, a dismal record of women executives at Bain Capital as well as the nods and winks he gave to the comments made by Santorum and Newt Gingrich during the primary, Hillary Rosen’s comments have opened up a small window of opportunity. The Democrats have been saying the GOP has a war on women. It’s kind of hard to make that case when a high level media adviser to the President comes out with a howitzer aimed at the very base of the Republican party. Every working woman I know is friends with a mother who has stayed at home at one point in their lives. Some temporary, some forever. Before any side opens their mouth, they better think of one thing, how it will affect the number 270.